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Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock Takes Baseless, Unfounded Shot at New York Giants’ Eli Manning

September 19th, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Hazem Kiswani

How many professional athletes in the history of New York sports can you name that have had as much or more success than Eli Manning has had as the quarterback of the New York Giants? You can probably count them on your fingers, more or less. 

Now consider the following statement from Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports:

"Despite his two Super Bowls and terrific play in the fourth quarter, Eli is not elite. Football coaches know this … The Giants proved you don’t have to be all that good in the regular season. Just make the tournament and roll the dice with your pass-happy mediocre QB."

Now, had you heard this sort of a comment from a casual NFL fan or someone who watches the game from time to time you might just brush it off as an uninformed comment from someone who doesn't really understand the position. Instead, here we have a professional sports writer, who is paid to cover the NFL game, making what is frankly one of the most bottomless statements we have heard in recent memory regarding anyone playing the quarterback position. 

First, let's take a look into exactly what Whitlock said. Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback and "football coaches know this"? Can someone point out the substance here? Did Whitlock take a poll of coaches in the National Football League, the league in which Eli Manning has been MVP of two Super Bowls in the past five seasons, and gotten a result which suggests they feel he's not an elite passer? Something tells me that's not the case. And something tells me that at least 27 or 28 coaches and general managers around the league would tell Mr.Whitlock off the record that they would take Eli Manning at quarterback over their current signal caller in a heartbeat. 

Let's move on from the complete lack of facts or substance supporting Whitlock's absurd claim, and move on to the actual facts regarding Eli Manning, shall we?

Let's start with the fact that Manning was the Super Bowl MVP in both of the Giants championship games in the past five seasons. The only other quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs in the history of the National Football League? Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, and Bart Starr. Does that sound "elite" enough? Want more postseason success? Manning holds the NFL record for playoff road wins of any quarterback in NFL history with five. 

Let me guess, Mr. Whitlock is going to point at the fact that the Giants have a great defensive line and how somehow that should take away from the way Eli Manning has played in the postseason. I'm not sure how that one works, considering Manning carried an offense with the worst running game in football to the Super Bowl last season, while setting an NFL record for passing yards in a single postseason with 1,219. Didn't put enough on his shoulders there?

And when the game is on the line, there's arguably no one better in the game, as Manning is coming off a season in which he led the Giants on eight game winning drives, another NFL record – tied for most in the game's history. 

Above all, an "elite" quarterback is one who instills confidence in his teammates, gives his team a chance to win even when other parts of the team are struggling, makes accurate, well-timed throws even when the pressure is at its highest, and one who can consistently overcome adversity and lead a football team to wins. 

Which one of those is Eli Manning lacking? If he were truly even near the category of a "mediocre" quarterback as Whitlock put it, the Giants wouldn't have sniffed their last two Super Bowl rings. Now Whitlock would know this had he actually been consistently following the Giants last season, as everyone who followed the team last year saw the inconsistency and struggle both in the running game and defensively that Eli Manning made up for with some of the most impressive performances we've seen from a New York quarterback. 

Jason Whitlock may want to get a more firm grasp of the facts before he uses his forum to say something so unsubstantiated and frankly, absurd.

photo credit: Kenyon's Travel via photo pin cc

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Fox Sports, Jason Whitlock, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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9 Responses to “Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock Takes Baseless, Unfounded Shot at New York Giants’ Eli Manning”

  1.  jfunk says:

    If you could arrange to scream this entire post at a webcam and then post it on Youtube, I’d watch. :-)

  2.  Dirt says:

    I agree with Whitlock. Eli is mediocre.

    There are only 6 elite QBs currently in the NFL: Kolb, Vick, Schaub, Rivers, Ryan and Smith.

    Medicore (.500) guys in addition to Eli are Rodgers and Brady.

    Brees is awful.

  3.  kujo says:

    Ehem.

    Whodafugcares what Whitlock says?

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Swear on my grandfather’s grave, I have no idea who this clown is, don’t care, don’t care what his opinions are, know I’d never pay attention to a thing he says in the future, and know you could pick someone randomly off the street who could offer a sounder opinion regarding Eli Manning.

    Carry on.

  5.  jfunk says:

    lol…Vince Young is broke. $26M income (I know that’s not “take home pay”) in six years and he’s completely broke.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/20226665/out-of-nfl-expro-bowl-qb-young-going-broke

    The funniest thing is he’s blaming these guys for it, but there’s only $1.2M in dispute. Vince, even if those guys swindled you out of 1.2M, what happened to the other 10M+ in cash you had?

    •  kujo says:

      Just another reason why the NFLPA should take a significant portion of a player’s contract(s) and put it into some sort of annuity or trust that cannot be touched until a player is retired.

      When I was doing my undergraduate work, I had a scholarship, a grant, and a pre-paid college fund paying for my way. Essentially, at the beginning of each semester, my tuition, books, room and board and meal plan would be paid for by a combination of the 3, with the rest being refunded back to me. That was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000-$3000 per semester. That’s a lot of money to a 18 or 19 year old, and I would blow through it easily–booze, parties, iPods, etc. It took my parents stepping in during my junior year and saying “Look, you have to put some of this away so you can have some savings and some security after school” before I wised up.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    So getting to that small detail that the team plays a big game tomorrow, what is the approach regarding the Panthers? Frankly, it’s too early in the season for me to know enough about them to have a good idea of what we should be doing other than the obvious: play our three fast linebackers together a lot to offset Newton’s runs; keep a deep man behind Smith and single LaFell; stop the early runs, especially those that they try to bounce outside; get pressure on Cam; establish the run enough to allow Eli to slice up their secondary targeting mostly Nicks, Cruz and Bennett. What else? Anyone really familiar with the Panthers?

    •  Emperor Norton says:

      Considering the pedigree of their linebacking corps, the Panthers’ run defense this season has been absolutely wretched. I’m hoping that Gilbride decides to keep riding his ‘establish the run at all costs even we’re getting 1.5 YPC’ pony for one more week, because I think this is the game where we can actually use the run to set up the pass. If this was really a team that could pound the rock, it would be one of the most terrifying offenses since the ’07 Pats.

      Defensively, I think you’ve got it: don’t put Webster on Smith, because he’s going to get torched, and keep a deep safety behind Smith all the time. They don’t have any other WRs that scare me, so we can probably creep Rolle up to the line to slow down that option-style running game they’ve been leaning on, and make Cam beat us with underneath stuff.

  7.  G-MenFan says:

    And such is the state of Journalism and Commentary in today’s America.

    Absolutely no credibility required.

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