The debate of whether or not New York Giants QB Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer has been talked about for years. The discussion is just warming up though, as Manning will not be eligible for enshrinement into Canton until 2025. But, when the time comes, Manning will be a lock for the Hall of Fame – and here’s why:
Why Eli Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame
His regular-season statistics
The NFL has been around for 100 seasons now. In those 100 years, only six players have managed to throw for more yards and touchdowns than Eli Manning did. His 57,023 passing yards and 366 touchdowns in 234 career games are the seventh-most in NFL history. Thousands of players have thrown a pass in the NFL. Yet only six of them have statistically had more success than Manning.
He has been undoubtedly the greatest quarterback in New York Giants history, and he has the wins to show for it as well. His 117 career wins are tied for the 11th-most by a QB in NFL History. Every QB with over 100 career wins is either active, not eligible for the Hall of Fame yet, or already enshrined in Canton. That trend will continue when 2025 rolls around.
His postseason success
Perhaps the easiest argument to make for why Manning deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is because of his two dominant postseason runs. In 2008, Manning led the 10-6 Giants on a run for the ages. Capped off by a Super Bowl victory over the then 18-0 Patriots, Eli, and the G-men became just the fifth Wild Card team ever to win a Lombardi Trophy. Four years later, Eli and Big Blue snuck into the playoffs after winning the NFC East with a 9-7 record. They went on another improbable run, and once again beat New England in the Super Bowl.
Manning started 13 playoff games in his storied 16-year career. He went 8-5 in those games and set multiple records along the way. The most impressive being his 1,219 passing yards in the 2012 postseason, the most by a single player in NFL history. His five career postseason road wins are tied for the third-most ever. Very few other quarterbacks have been as good in the postseason as Manning was.
His ability to work with less
Football is a team game, and to be the best, your team must excel in every area. Or, you could just have Eli Manning as your signal-caller. His 27 fourth-quarter comebacks are tied for the 13th-most ever. Throughout most of career, Manning had to play with a poor offensive line, a substandard defense, and an often non-existent run-game. But time after time, Eli found a way to do it.
During their 2012 postseason run, Manning did not have much to work with. The Giants boasted the worst running game in the NFL, rushing for less than 90 yards per game during the regular season. His defense barely provided any help, as they allowed the eighth-most points per game (25.0) and gave up the sixth-most yards per game (376.4).
Manning, on the other hand, had one of the best seasons of his career. He threw for a career-high 4,933 yards, the seventeenth-most in a single season. His 29 passing touchdowns were the sixth-most in the league. His 92.9 passer rating was the seventh-best in the NFL. While the rest of his team struggled, Eli put the team on his back and brought the Giants their fourth Lombardi Trophy.
The lack of reasons why not
So, what knock can you make on Eli? That he threw the 12th-most interceptions in NFL history? Well, sorry to disappoint, but of the 11 players who threw more than him, six of them are in the Hall of Fame. Or perhaps you’d like to argue that he was never truly “elite” during a season? You get into Canton based on your entire career, not based on one season. Eli Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame in 2025, and it shouldn’t even be a discussion.