Whether or not you believe Eli Manning is on the same level as Tom Brady, whom he believes is an equal, there’s no denying that he’s at least a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. In fact, that wouldn’t even be a debate had the New York Giants quarterback not thrown 25 interceptions a year ago.
It’s easy to look at the stat sheet and get wrapped up in a number. People see the number 25 and forget how that specific figure was reached. Luckily, BBI member eclipz928 recently compiled a video of all 25 of Manning’s interceptions as a helpful reminded that he wasn’t nearly as bad as the stats show.
As we’ve mentioned here several times on Giants 101, Manning’s interception statistics were significantly inflated due to dropped passes. And it wasn’t just the routine number of dropped or tipped passes you’d expect to see throughout a season, but a much larger number than would be considered the norm. Although some of the passes were high, in watching that video it’s clear that at least seven of those passes should have been caught, and that the interception against Green Bay (marked #22) shouldn’t have even counted.
Without further dissection of each interception (some also appeared to have come on bad or broken routes), Manning should have had only 17 interceptions. Of course, we have no way of telling what would have happened if all those passes were caught. For all we know, Manning could have gone ahead and thrown an interception on the very next play.
Either way, the proof is in the pudding, and while he may not be Tom Brady -regardless of what he thinks- there is absolutely no denying that his numbers were seriously inflated due to the play around him.