The NFL has certainly changed quite a bit since New York Giants’ great Phil Simms retired in 1993. You can hardly watch an NFL telecast these days without hearing a former player injecting a “the league isn’t what it used to be” into their color commentary. That sentiment must be part of the reason behind why Simms is now saying that Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback per the New York Daily News:
“No, he is not one of the elites,” Simms said. “Because when I hear the word elite, I’m thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves. There are very few quarterbacks in that category.
“So yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no.”
Simms needs to go back and watch film on some of the throws that Manning made during the Giants’ 2011 playoff run if he wants to see unbelievable plays. While Simms did not explicitly say it, when Simms uses phrases like “guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves” and “Eli has been a tremendous team player”, the implication is that Simms thinks that Eli Manning is a glorified game manager (the NFL’s version of the “he/she has a good personality” label for quarterbacks). While Eli Manning may not be as charismatic as Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or even Peyton Manning (sorry Eli, had to mention him), he has clearly proven that he belongs amongst the NFL’s elite quarterbacks based on his body of work. Considering the fact that Manning has won as many Super Bowls in the past five years as Phil Simms did in his entire career (Simms did not play in Super Bowl XXV due to injury, but he was the MVP of Super Bowl XXI), if Manning isn’t “elite” than maybe Simms wasn’t either.