Quarterback Eli Manning is set to make his return to the New York Giants starting lineup on Monday night. While Manning is focused solely on helping his team add another victory to the win column, that hasn’t stopped mainstream media from wavering off into their favorite Manning discussion for the past number of years, is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?
That’s exactly what occurred on ESPN’s First Take this week, however, this time a former Giants great and ex-Manning teammate was there to have his quarterback’s back.
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Max Kellerman & Victor Cruz Debate Whether Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer
On a recent episode of ESPN’s First Take, co-host Max Kellerman, a self-proclaimed Giants fan through and through, had some less than praiseful words for the best quarterback in New York’s franchise history.
Kellerman pointed out that if Manning, who currently holds a 116-116 record as a starter in the NFL, were to start and lose the next handful of games, dropping his W/L record below .500, that he believes the QB’s Hall of Fame aspirations could dissipate. Kellerman called the potential of Manning donning a Gold Jacket “a borderline situation” and that he’s “afraid he can push himself back behind the line” over these next few weeks. Kellerman ended by stating that he “wished he’d have already retired.”
Yet, Former New York Giants great Victor Cruz also happened to be on the First Take panel that day, and he wasn’t having any of what Kellerman was selling.
“I don’t think it matters,” Cruz opened his arguing statement to Kellerman with, “I think his legacy’s already cemented.”
Cruz believes that Manning is hurt by the era that he came up in, throwing Donovan McNabb into the discussion along with Eli as successful quarterbacks who don’t possess a certain sexiness to their game.
Yet Cruz nailed it on the head with his closing argument, reminding everyone that Manning is just “one of five guys with multiple Super Bowl MVPs, all those other guys are in the Hall of Fame.” Cruz continued pointing out that Manning has 37 game winning drives to his name, the ninth-most by any signal-caller in NFL history.
Will Eli Manning be a Hall of Famer?
Manning’s statistical prominence is littered throughout the record books, as he just needs nine passing yards and two passing touchdowns on Monday night to surpass Ben Roethlisberger for seventh all-time in NFL history in both categories.
Manning may not be the most flashy, and he may have never even been the best at his position during any time over his career, however, there’s something to be said about sustained success. Manning has won two Super Bowls over his career and helped the Giants become known as one of the top franchises in football throughout the majority of his tenure.
He’s got the rings, he’s got the records, he’s got the accolades, and in about five years or so, he’ll have the gold jacket to go with it.