Yes, Eli Manning will get to the Hall of Fame

Getty Images

On November 25, 2007, Eli Manning looked like anything but a Hall of Famer. On the heels of a four-pick performance in a 41-17 home loss to Minnesota, real questions were emerging regarding whether he should even get a second contract with the Giants.

Barely two months later, Eli became the Super Bowl MVP, fueled by one of the most iconic plays in NFL history in blocking the Patriots from going 19-0. Four years later, he did it again. That time, he made a throw for the ages, a full-speed needle threading from the shadow of his end zone to Mario Manningham that helped topple the Patriots, again.

After 16 years, Eli is calling it quits. And the Hall of Fame debate already has begun. (Hell, it began well before he retired.) And he will inevitably get in.

Earlier this week, I pegged the over-under on his number of tries at 3.5. I’m now revising that to 0.5. With five years for the case to be made, Eli has a very good chance at getting in on the first ballot.

And the reason is fairly simple. Apart from his accomplishment and setting aside the things that land in the “con” ledger, Eli has two things working for him: His personality, and his family.

The voters repeatedly passed over Cris Carter and Terrell Owens because the voters didn’t like them, plain and simple. (Ira Kaufman expertly managed the fact that voters didn’t like Warren Sapp to get him in on the first ballot, a vote that may have benefited in part from the criticism of the selection committee arising from the repeated snubs of Carter.) If voters will resist a guy they don’t like, they’ll also be inclined to support a guy they find personable and agreeable.

Then there’s the Peyton and Archie factor. Peyton already has made the on-camera case for Eli’s enshrinement, in a sit-down with Publicly and privately over the next five years, expect more of the same from Eli’s older brother and father as they count the votes, sway the votes, (if need be) stack the selection committee with Eli-friendly voters, and (if all else fails) cozy up to the guy who counts the votes. The Mannings have power and influence; if they’re motivated to use it to get Eli to Canton, they’ll get him in — possibly on the first try.

It’s really not that hard of a case to make. Lynn Swann got to Canton because of his exploits in Super Bowl X, and because of his membership on multiple championship teams. Other than coach Tom Coughlin (who also should get in), Eli is the only link between Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, and he was the MVP of both games. The fact that the Giants slayed the NFL’s dragon, twice, counts for something as well.

The Hall of Fame ultimately is about mythology, and the best myths feature an average guy thrown into the fires of grossly insurmountable odds and somehow prevailing. That’s Eli Manning, twice. That’s good enough for a bronze bust in Canton.

65 responses to “Yes, Eli Manning will get to the Hall of Fame

  1. He was no Kurt Warner. The Giants defenses seem to have been forgotten. But that’s the NFL for you. National Fantasy Football League. Defenses are merely a footnote in the halls of history. All glory goes to the offenses. Because that’s what drives fantasy football. Offense.

  2. Great. Now we are setting the ground work to debate him after he gets in, with “He only got in because Peyton and Archie stacked the deck for him” arguments. I’m sure Eli is looking forward to disappearing from football.

  3. For me the whole discussion comes down to longevity in his case. I for one think that longevity is a big part of making the hall of fame. Not just being around but playing at a professional level. Does josh McCown make it NO! But I think Rivers should eventually. I even think Ryan Fitzpatrick should be in it. No one has had the career he has had, not even close. He is a great story. What he did no one has even done. But now what happens when you start looking at players who careers were not very long i.e. Are there cases to be made for players that only had 7-10 year careers. I know there are some in the now. Now their simple performance on the field has to be extraordinary. An example is Andrew Luck and now even guys like Cam Newton if it ends up his career is close to the end. Do you put in players that we really good for only a few years. I say NO!

  4. This is joke. .500 quarterback. Two good games. He’ll get in because of his brother shooting his mouth off. Let’s nominate Trent Dilfer.

  5. Typically, I think the first hurdle is “Was he one of the best of his era.”

    The two superbowls can’t be argued, but I wouldn’t say he was often ranked among the top five at his position for most of his time in the league.

  6. A writer managed to poll 39 of 48 hall of fame voters and got the following results:

    Yes, Manning has my vote: 11

    No, Manning does not: 10

    Undecided right now: 9

    Declined to reveal: 9

    You need 80 % of 48 or 39 yes votes to enshrine. Even if he has ALL of the undecideds and declined to reveal, his case will be difficult to win. There’s already enough NO sentiment to keep him out. There will be a lot of debate. He’s not a slam dunk.

  7. Its says it the enshrinement can be swayed by likeability not talent. Chris Carter and Terrell Owen’s, two of the best WRs to ever play not getting their deserved first ballot induction because they were not “liked” by some voters. Eli is a borderline HOF QB. I think he deserves it but definitely not a first ballot. The Hall is a joke.

  8. I have never understood why this guy got so much flap. Has he ever been tied to anything bad? How many QB win two super bowls in their career? The guy just played, of course he will be in the HOF, and deservingly! Congrats to the Manning family.

  9. Please, please, please let them make his HOF bust with that goofy look he always gets caught doing.

  10. He can get in right after Plunkett. Manning was slightly above average for most of his career. Losing record in 6 of his last 7 seasons, led the league in interceptions 4 times. Yes he has two rings… But at NO point in his career was he ever considered the best at his position. and to me, that is what a HOFer should be….

  11. Joe Namath is a Hall of Fame quarterback. For the same reasons, Eli will definitely get in. Fame. Not necessarily greatness.

  12. Here’s the winning Eli hof argument.

    Sayers and barry sanders. If they didn’t retire early and played another 7 years on godawful teams never resembling their early selves, they’d still get in, right?

    If Eli retired after the season plax shot homself when elis 8 year stats and 2 sbmpvs were right up there, he would’ve gone in.

    He shouldn’t be penalized for essentially being forced into retirement since 2013 based on the front offices complete failure.

  13. He is a borderline case.

    Probably not first ballot. But, he will/should get in. So should Ben and Rivers. Should Flacco get in then????

    Regular season stats — Average at best. Never dominated the NFL in 2-3 year period. Never considered a top 5 QB. Not very accurate. A lot of INTs.

    Playoffs — 2 Superbowl wins. Many big games wins. Excellent. HOF performance.

  14. I’d vote him in just for the fact that he beat the Patriots in the Superbowl twice. Prevented them from getting 8 Superbowl rings. I for one salute him on this merit alone.

  15. He won the Super Bowls, but never during his career was he mentioned as the dominant QB of his time. Not even among the Top 5 or 10. That should count for something.

  16. His team won some Super Bowls, but was he ever considered the best quarterback of his era? Was he ever on a single All-Pro team? Did he ever lead the league in any (positive) statistical category? Did he change the way the game is played with revolutionary style? I would argue the answer is No.

  17. factschecker says:
    January 24, 2020 at 10:40 am
    He was no Kurt Warner. The Giants defenses seem to have been forgotten. But that’s the NFL for you. National Fantasy Football League. Defenses are merely a footnote in the halls of history. All glory goes to the offenses. Because that’s what drives fantasy football. Offense.
    Live up to your name and go check some facts. 2007 defense was middling and the 2011 defense was flat out bad. They also rose to the occassion in the playoffs, but rankings of 17 and 27 respectively don’t suggest riding the defense to the championship (this isn’t the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense). Also, that 2011 passing offense was top 5, the running game was bottom 3rd. As much as you may try, Eli was THE man on those championship teams.

  18. Eli has a marginal case to be inducted. Two Superbowl MVPs is certainly a notable achievement, so that gets him in the conversation. Where he comes up short is when he is compared to other deserving players in his era.

    My guess is he gets in, but he doesn’t have the credentials that shout he deserves it.

  19. 210 starts. 100+ victories. 2 Super Bowl rings. 2 Super Bowl MVPs. Finished his career 7th all time Passing yards and 8th all time in Passing Touchdowns. There are players in the Hall of Fame that don’t have half of those accomplishments (Jim Kelly to name one). He’s not a first ballot guy, but he should be inducted no later than the fifth ballot.

  20. julienewmarsboobs says:
    January 24, 2020 at 10:48 am
    A qb with a 500 record should pay to get inside the HOF, he should not get voted in as a member.


    ok, take out joe namath then. 50 more career ints than tds as well as an exact .500 record

  21. You are probably right that Eli will be in the Hall but only thinks to the New York factor. Yeah, we understand why Babe Ruth, Frank Gifford and Lawrence Taylor are Hall of Famers. But if you play in New York, you get in the Hall of Fame with marginal results like Bill Parcells, Joe Namath and Michael Strahan. Eli will fit right in.

    Parcells win % of .569 ranks 50th and equates to an average season of 9-7. He is significantly behind Marty Schottenheimer in career wins and win % but not championships of course.

    Namath famously had more career interceptions than TD passes but he is in the Hall because of one game and his personality.

  22. 2x SB MVP, Top 10 all time in pass yards and TDs, never missed a start (due to injury) in 16 years, plenty of Pro-Bowls…..etc.

    The .500 career record isn’t but more HOFers are closer to that than you’d think! No one is claiming he’s first ballot or anything, but he will/should get in no problem

  23. carloswlassiter says:
    January 24, 2020 at 11:35 am
    If Eli is worthy, what about Flacco?
    Just stop. Eli is also top 10 in every major passing category. Flacco’s not close. Also, lots of QBs win one SB, very few win 2 (just ask Aaron Rodgers). 12 QBs have won 2 or more SBs. All of them who are eligible are in the HOF except Jim Plunkett.

  24. If he’s in then Dilfer should be too.

    And we all know Dilfer shouldn’t even be allowed to visit and just see the exhibits.

  25. It’s become the Hall of Good. I’d prefer he gets in 1st ballot so I don’t have to hear about it each year. I would be embarrassed to get in based on beating Tom Brady twice which was really done by their D line and the Giants dumped him 7 years too late so he was able to put up a lot stats trying to come behind just like Phillip Rivers. Oh since he’s Peyton’s brother argument. Insane. Let’s hope Brady gives Nick Foles a chance to get to Canton.

  26. Does flacco have the nfl record for most passing yards in a playoff run? 2 sbmvps? Beating the greatest team ever? Shall I continue?

  27. I stopped caring once “carried by a system and OL that greatly boosted numerous guys and didn’t even have a long career” Terrell Davis and “thrived when he had a pair of HOF caliber receivers at the same time and looked mediocre otherwise” Kurt Warner made the HOF. The distinction has been massively watered down now, thanks to an insistence on ignoring obvious key things such as supporting cast.

    In this new HOF era, it makes perfect sense for a QB with an astonishingly mediocre level of performance to make the Hall because he never missed a game (because always being on the field makes your mediocrity better, I guess?) and because he has two Super Bowl MVPs, even though at least one of those was nothing more than a totally undeserved popularity contest (2007). Manning’s entire HOF argument hangs on two single season TEAM accomplishments; what a perfect poster boy for how the HOF distinction has become worthless.

  28. Welcome to the HOF, Jim Plunkett.

    It’s just that simple. Plunkett performed better in those SBs than Eli did, too. Not even close.

    Imagine if Plunkett wasn’t drafted or played with two struggling franchises in NE and SF in the 1970s, a full 10 years into his career?

  29. Whenever we talk about the Hof and quarterbacks, the first thing to come up is usually Rings.
    Even though great qb’s on so-so teams don’t get Rings (Marino).
    It shouldn’t be, but it is.
    Perception is reality.

  30. Being ON 2 superbowl winning teams should not be a ticket to the HOF. Eli was ON 2 superbowl winning teams, he in no way was the driving force of those 2 teams. I don’t see any way, with his numbers, make the HOF, just because his father and brother deserve their busts.

    There are a lot of guys in this league who have 2 or more rings that won’t get into the HOF. Just because you are a QB, doesn’t mean you were GREAT. Eli was a GOOD QB on some very good teams. That shouldn’t get you to the HOF

  31. No beef with Eli, but this should prompt a discussion about comparing Super Bowl losers and Super Bowl winners. Ken Anderson had great stats, was league MVP and made multiple Pro Bowls. When he reached the Super Bowl (a feat in itself), he had a 95 passer rating and his team lost 26-21 to a 49ers team with 5 future HOFers. Anderson is not in because his team lost by 5? Really?

  32. Nope, average QB with an unbelievable catch that should have never happened because he was in the grasp and Seymour was being held, one great throw to Manningham and that’s it. If his name was Smith he wouldn’t get in. The only bigger fraud is Joe Namath.

  33. He gets in… the NFL Hall loses ANY respectability it has left… and it don’t have mush left… too many mediocre players get in.

  34. thrown into the fires of grossly insurmountable odds and somehow prevailing


    One of those is only due to the helmet catch – it wasn’t anything Eli did. Without that catch, the Giants don’t win.

  35. Can someone explain this to me? I know for a fact Jacobs and other players were on both teams.

    “Other than coach Tom Coughlin (who also should get in), Eli is the only link between Super Bowl XLII and XLVI,”

  36. footballismybusiness says:
    January 24, 2020 at 11:28 am
    I’d vote him in just for the fact that he beat the Patriots in the Superbowl twice. Prevented them from getting 8 Superbowl rings. I for one salute him on this merit alone.

    Giants defense won Super Bowl not Eli

  37. footballismybusiness says:
    January 24, 2020 at 11:28 am
    I’d vote him in just for the fact that he beat the Patriots in the Superbowl twice. Prevented them from getting 8 Superbowl rings. I for one salute him on this merit alone.


    Justin Tuck should have been the MVP of both Superbowls. Justin Tuck destroyed the Patriots and the best QB ever game plans.

  38. Eli has been a really good QB, but not a hall of famer. Here’s why I say that:

    Over his 16 years in the NFL, combined regular and post season, he has played in 248 games and thrown 8,559 passes. If you change the results of ONE pass – the ball doesn’t stick to David Tyrees helmet in SB 42 – then NOBODY would consider him worthy of the Hall. A Hall of Fame career is supposed to be about a career, and if a single play changes that, then he doesn’t qualify.

  39. Five people were named Super Bowl MVP 2 or more times. Five. That’s it. Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana (all in the Hall), Tom Brady and Eli Manning. So accomplishing something only 4 other people in the NFL have ever done is not worthy of FAME? It’s the Hall of FAME. He’s famous for those 2 Super Bowl runs. It’s not the Hall of Who Has the Prettiest Stats.

  40. If he’s in, Edelman has to be in. Same argument except the family name thing, which really should have nothing to do with it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.