Franchise QB, Super Bowl Champion: The Case of Eli Manning

as the debate rages over the course of the next several weeks and perhaps, years, about whether or not the Buffalo Bills have found their franchise quarterback in previously dismissed journeyman qb The Fitz, it is worthy of a brief overview of the statistical record of a recent qb who actually won the superbowl, who has been considered a franchise qb by many analysts and observers, who was a high first round pick, and who also has been in the league awhile, playing for a pretty good New York Giants team. below, I present the statistical performance of eli manning.

eli manning has played in a total of 96 nfl games between 2004-2010. during that time he has had a career pass completion percentage of 58, and a career quarterback rating of 80 percent.

he has fumbled the ball 44 times, rushed 143 times for 291 yards, an average of 2.0 per carry.

he has thrown for 139 touchdown passes, and been intercepted 99 times.

this season, playing with a strong defense, he has a passer rating of 88, with 14 td passes and 11 interceptions, and a career high completion percentage of 65 percent.

despite playing in 57 games prior, it was not until the 2008 season that eli manning managed to earn a quarterback rating over the high 70s, achieving a rating of 86 in his 5th season in the league.

between 2005 and 2007, manning averaged a mid 70s passer rating, never having a completion percentage over 58 percent.

during his first 3.5 seasons playing, he averaged more than one interception per game. to his credit, he also threw more than one td pass per game, close to 1.5 per game (77 tds against 64 ints).

his best season for qb rating was 2009, when he finished with 27 td passes, 14 interceptions, a completion percentage of 62 percent, and a passer rating of 93 percent.

when putting what ryan fitzpatrick is doing into comparative perspective, it is useful to look at a qb who also plays in a windy and cold homefield, and who was considered, and remains considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, who also happens to have won a superbowl.

but eli manning is now 29 years old, and should be in or approaching his prime.

as of this weekend, he has three more seasons of playing experience than ryan fitzpatrick.

while fitzpatrick is just beginning his third season in terms of playing time, he appears to be way ahead of eli manning in terms of learning how to perform at an elite level in the nfl under chan gailey's tutelage.

one thing, though, is for certain, with ryan fitzpatrick, the bills have a qb that is not only, like eli manning, a threat throwing the ball, but unlike eli manning, also a clear threat running the ball.

when talking about franchise qbs, people often forget that not all franchise qbs are bad runners of the ball.

steve young comes to mind. perhaps fitz has more in common with steve young than say, either an eli manning or a drew brees.

eli manning does have one edge over fitzpatrick: though he weighs the same (225) he is listed at 6 feet 4, 2 more inches than the fitz can claim.

is there a minimum height required to be considered franchise qb?

drew brees would say, no, as would have joe theismann, joe kapp, fran tarkenton, and many many others.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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