We recently saw Peyton Manning officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and it’s rational to question if little brother Eli will get into the Hall. Should he get in? A brief but to-the-point case for and against his entrance will be made in this article.
The Case For:
Honestly, Eli’s “case for” is almost entirely in his two Super Bowl rings. Over the course of his career, Eli was 8th all-time in passing yards (57,023) and 9th all-time in TD passes (366). Eli played two great postseasons and won against Brady and Belichick twice, but should that be enough to be a Hall of Famer or is Eli merely a QB from his era that will be remembered as time goes on? Having the last name Manning also helps his chances.
The Case Against:
The first thing working against him is he’s probably not even the best QB from his draft class, let alone a HoFer. In the talented QB class of 2004 were Eli, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger. Eli retired first but was playing particularly shitty football for his final three years while both Rivers and Roethlisberger were in the playoffs last season.
In terms of completion %, TD%, and INT% Rivers was 64.9%, 5.2%, 2.6%, Roethlisberger was 64.4%, 5.1%, 2.6%, and Eli was 60.3%, 4.5%, and 3.0%, respectively, putting him last in every category. There was Eli’s 2013 where he had 18 touchdown passes to 27 interceptions season that makes you question if he was drunk that year. That kind of TD to INT ratio doesn’t belong in this century by a starting QB.
In passer rating, Eli (84.1) was also lesser than Rivers (95.2) and Roethlisberger (94.0). Manning’s average PFF passing grade rank was 17th while Rivers was 9.5 and Roethlisberger was 11.1. EPA/play shows an even greater difference as from 2004 to 2020 Eli ranks 29th at 0.079 while Rivers is 5th at 0.190 and Roethlisberger is 7th at 0.177.
To be in the Hall of Fame a quarterback should have to be a top-three or five-player at this position for most of their career and I can’t say Eli has met that criterion outside of maybe one season. Not being the best from his draft class and being for sure lesser than Brady, Peyton, and Brees makes it impossible to award him a slot. That’s three first-ballot Hall of Famers and if they take five from this era it should be Rivers and Roethlisberger before Eli. While he has two rings it really is because he played two great postseasons. Eli was never a regular-season quarterback.
Fuck no. Eli is not a HoFer and we don’t need six (and probably not five) QBs from his era in the Hall. If we put Eli in the Hall, it cheapens what it means to get in as literally this guys fucking last name will likely get him a gold jacket. It shouldn’t but that’s the world we live in. Eli doesn’t belong in the Hall, but he will end up in it.