Since the 70's the New York Giants have been a ground and pound team.
They have made their success with the likes of Doug Kotar, Rob Carpenter, Joe Morris, OJ Anderson, Rodney Hampton, Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.
Times have changed.
The NFL is dominated by passing teams but in the world of fantasy football quarterbacks those that don't fit the Peyton Manning mold are often criticized.
The words "bust" and "overrated" are frequently used by the so-called critics and stat junkies. The bar is set high and the public often just files in and jumps on the bandwagon.
Fantasy Football has changed (wrecked) the way people look at the game. If you don't get "points" for it, it's not important.
The New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning has grown and shown progress almost every year he has been in the league.
The critics need to give it a rest. Eli Manning is a very, good quarterback.
In 2011 Eli Manning is playing on a MVP type level and only Aaron Rodgers has a hotter hand.
One could say that Eli is a bit of a late bloomer emotionally and mentally as his game has matured dramatically over the last three years, but more significantly in 2011.
He has had the ability to make a "Tony Romo" type of bone head play time to time, costing the Giants a game, but he also has the ability to run a two minute offense better than anyone in football.
Too many writers and analysts expect him to be something he's not which manufactures a piling on effect from much of the country.
That desire and expectation for Peyton Jr. has most people over looking this guy's game and body of work.
Most of the critics want a fiery guy to cover, a quarterback that mixes it up with a linebacker, pumps his fist after a good play and opens a can of whoop ass on his lineman when he gets sacked.
That will never be Eli Manning...and for the record that is not what his team needs to win.
He's his own man. Deal with it.
The critics want production. The critics love a gunslinger. Critics want to write about a quarterback that throws a ton of balls.
TD's create a web frenzy. Interception's make highlight reel footage and Eli Manning, the quarterback of the New York Giants, is entrenched in a ground and pound system....right?
A quarterback with eight years of NFL experience between 2004 to 2011, Eli is in the top three in attempts.
Eli Manning has 3652 attempts since being drafted in 2004.
Since that day, Eli has more passing attempts than Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, and Carson Palmer.
Tony Romo vs. Eli
Tony arrived in Dallas in 2003 and it took three years to become the starter.
With the ability to average and project Romo's numbers out over eight starting seasons, as if he was good enough to start during that time, Romo still comes up short.
Eli has more attempts.
If a co-worker or an employee at your company increased revenue or production seven out of eight years in a row, one might say that employee is pretty damn good.
What else can this guy do to get the critics and the arm chair quarterbacks off his back?
He's not a rock star like Joe Namath or a golden boy like Phil Simms, but Eli Manning stays out of trouble. He's a student of game. He's the most durable QB in the league and he gets better year after year.
I' m sure if he got rid of the "Opie" hair style, grew a beard, donned the eye black under the helmet and head butted a few players in pre-game warm ups no one would waste their time on the weekly Eli Manning evaluation.
Eli maybe the boy next door, but his passer rating has increased seven out of eight years.
2004 - 48.2
2005 - 52.8
2006 - 57.7
2007 - 56.1
2008 - 60.3
2009 - 62.3
2010 - 62.9
2011 - 63.1(so far)
In 2011, Eli Manning has made a huge step in separating himself from the other quarterbacks. Not because of the stats, because of the intangibles.
Eli finally is minimizing the mistakes. Eli, for years, used to throw off his back foot while trying to make a play, leaving the ball flat with little zip for the receiver to run underneath.
In 2011, Eli is stepping up or sliding the pocket over giving him more time resulting in much better throws.
It is very noticeable.
Eli Manning is also throwing the ball away when needed. How many times have you seen him toss the ball up toward the sideline while he is turning away from a defender about to hit him? Too many.
In 2011, Eli Manning is throwing the ball out of bounds and living to play another down.
Eli is playing with confidence and making smart plays. That has always been what has held him back from rising to the top of the heap of NFL quarterbacks.
Eli Manning has eight interceptions.
Some very good quarterbacks that go by the names of: Brady, Roethlisberger, Rivers, Freeman, Vick, Brees and Ryan have more 2011 interceptions than Eli Manning.
Did you know?
There are 32 teams in the NFL.
There are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
But did you know that there are ONLY three "active" QB's in the NFL that have thrown for over 3000 yards and 20 Touchdown's six years in a row...soon to be be 7?
Peyton Manning has made this bench mark but he is inactive. Sorry Peyton, little brother is catching up.
In the off-season, the Giants cut half of the offensive line that Eli Manning came up with: Sueubert and O'Hara.
Eli is still getting it done behind a new center (Bass) that has missed three games, a new guard (Diehl) that was his tackle and an unproven tackle (Beatty) that is being asked to step up.
Since 2007, Steve Smith was Eli Manning's most dependable and productive receiver. He and tight end Kevin Boss were not brought back.
Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are both studs receivers for this franchise; however, both have missed time with injuries. Nicks due to a hamstring injury and Manningham out with a concussion.
Domenik Hixon was penciled in as the Giants third receiver taking over for the loss of Steve Smith until his season ended by tearing his knee the second time in as many years, yet Eli finds a way.
Now, with an un-drafted wide receiver for UMASS(Cruz) and a tight end(Ballard) that the Giants had cut twice in the last two years, Eli Manning is still lighting up the board.
I was surprised at the change from 2010, but either way the progress needs to be noted.
Jake Ballard had not caught more than 34 balls for 377 yards in his entire college career at Ohio State.
Eli has called Ballard's number 26 times for 430 yards and 3 TD's. Quite an amazing feat and show of perseverance.
The guy doesn't miss a game...ever. 113 consecutive starts.
How can that be a sign of an over rated quarterback? It's time to turn the page and move on from the constant dogging of Eli Manning.
He shows up and gets the job done. See the quote below from our friends at Giants 101.com
"The reality here is that Eli Manning is one tough S.O.B. despite his "aw shucks" attitude. He's taken quite a beat at times over his career, played through some incredibly painful injuries, and is a supreme value over any type of potential replacement the Giants could muster up.
And no matter how much a fan or analyst may dislike him (as a player or a person), there's no denying or downplaying the fact that he will soon lead the hard-nosed NFL in consecutive starts by a quarterback." - Dan Benton
He's already there! Thanks Dan!
Five fourth quarter come backs!
8.4 yards a pass—only Schaub and Rodgers have more yards per catch
298 - yards per game—only Brees, Brady and Rodgers average more
17 TDs—only Brady, Brees and Rodgers have thrown more
Sacked: Only Freeman, Romo, Dalton, Fitz and Hasselbeck have been sacked less times.
Eli is a super bowl winner!
He made the throw...the rest his history.
He is a Super Bowl MVP—we know the defense did deserve that MVP, but they only give out one trophy.
Live with it...and go pick on Philip Rivers
Craig Santucci is a seasoned media professional and a senior columnist for GFB. He is also a longtime Giants season ticket holder and one of the only Bleacher Report featured columnist that knows what the hell they are talking about....