Eli Manning Over Philip Rivers? Did The Giants Get it Right?

Eli Manning Philip RiversDid the New York  Giants get it right when they went with Eli Manning over Philip Rivers?

On draft day of 2004 New York maneuvered a trade which sent Rivers to San Diego for Manning who was selected by the Chargers as the overall first pick. The transaction of players was not met with instant approval by fans and received a lot of criticism from football experts.

Seven years later both quarterbacks have encountered their ups and downs but both have also experienced successful careers. Eli Manning however has led the New York Giants to a Super Bowl win while Philip Rivers who has been surrounded by some of the most talented offensive players of this era has yet to play in one.

If you measured how good players are on stats alone then there would be a clear cut winner, but stats do not measure intangibles.

When you compare both careers it is evident that Rivers is more accurate, throws less interceptions and seems to hold on to the ball more than Manning. Lets take a quick look at a few of the key stats.

Comparing Stats Eli Manning vs Philip Rivers

From 2004 - Present (Week 7 2011)








Eli Manning








Philip Rivers








Eli has played 23 more games than Philip, he was thrown into the fire his rookie season (2004) where he played in 9 games and started 7 of them. On the other hand Rivers was given an opportunity to develop and learn behind Drew Brees who is among the best quarterbacks in the game. The San Diego QB started his first game in 2006 after Brees left to New Orleans.

I definitely do not want to diminish either one of these quarterbacks, they both are very good but to play in New York you need to have certain intangibles which I believe Eli Manning possesses over Philip Rivers. Manning is one of the most even keel players you will ever meet, he never seems to get too high and never seems to get down on himself or his teammates. To play in front of demanding NY Giants fans and to face the Big Apple media you need to have thick skin and that is what separates Eli from Philip.

People have criticized Eli for not showing much emotion even after a bad outing. He has had several bad games but he seems able to flip a switch and forget he just made a mistake. He does not get gun shy nor does he allow bad plays to linger in his mind. Sometimes that has been a negative but overall it  has been the best thing going for the NY QB.

In 2010 Manning threw 31 touchdown passes but he also threw 25 interceptions. I remember counting about 10-11 interceptions which were not Eli's fault especially at the beginning of the season. Lets not forget that in 2010 Eli had a core of very young wide receivers which included Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Several things contributed to the large number of interceptions such as tipped balls, bad routes by the young wide receivers and perfectly thrown balls which were missed or deflected by the wideouts. Manning never complained, he faced the media after every game and would simply say they had to play better as a team.

Philip Rivers is more a fiery character who in 2007 got into a verbal war with another fiery QB in Jay Cutler. Both were shouting at each other from the sidelines, something the New York quarterback would never do. In my opinion the Giants made an excellent trade in 2004, the fiery personality of Rivers would have clashed with the NY media and would have created problems. All sorts of things have been written about Manning by the Media and have been said by former teammates like Tiki Barber yet Eli has an ability to tune it out. Would Rivers be able to handle the criticism handed out by Barber after he retired? I think not!

Eli Manning is becoming one of the best quarterbacks in football even outplaying Philip Rivers if you look at TD passes to interception ratio in 2011.








Eli Manning








Philip Rivers








Once again, Rivers is very talented despite losing this past week against the Jets and throwing some dreadful passes which ultimately cost the Chargers the game he is among the best QB's in the NFL. With that being said Eli's personality fits perfectly in New York and has taken him to the promise land. He led the Giants and willed them to victory in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots and throughout that 2007 playoff run.

I dare say most New York Giants fans would take Eli Manning over Philip Rivers any day!

12 Responses to Eli Manning Over Philip Rivers? Did The Giants Get it Right?

  • Duane says:

    It was close the first 4 years but the last few not even in the same zip code. Eli Manning 2 Super Bowls and the best 4th quarter QB in football. Great point about their attitudes, Rivers would have been crushed in New York City, it may have been Ryan Leaf like cause he is so immature.

  • Unger says:

    This has been a truly terrible season for Rivers, this past weeks game in a nutshell re-enforces your article, fumbling the snap and causing his team a chance to win the game.

  • Escobar says:

    Eli has a brighter future, if the comparrison were to be the first few seasons then Rivers would have a huge edge. New York has some young up and comers while San Diego is starting to get old. The SuperBowl win also carries a lot of weight. As a GMEN fan I stay with what we have now.

  • Bolts Rule says:

    OMG you Giants fans are hilarious! Eli Manning is an interception machine unlike Philip Rivers who is super accurate with his side arm deliver like one of you clowns put it. The stats don’t like, Eli just got lucky and won a SB.

  • Sam R says:

    Sometimes really talented players like Philip Rivers don’t win championships. A good example is Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and the list goes on and on. I would say he is still a better QB than Eli Manning, look at those stats it’s not even close, I would take Rivers.

  • NYC4Life says:

    Chargers missed their opportunity to win already, their players aren’t getting any younger and Rivers is digresing unlike Manning who is becoming better every year. I venture to say that most so called “experts” would pick Eli over Philip at this point in their careers. 5 years ago that would have ben considered ridiculous, not anymore.

  • NewYorkGMen says:

    The question will always remain, would New York have won a Super Bowl with Rivers as well? Probably not, everything just worked out for the Giants in 2007 and Eli definitely came up big. Philip is considered a top 5 QB by many of the football analysts. Those stats are unvelieable, never realized there was such a disparity with their numbers.

  • JetsLoyalist says:

    The Chargers have always been overrated. Yeah they have had big named players but in reality they never won anything! Rivers is a big baby, jabbing and trash talking other players with his weird side arm delivery. I hate the Giants but would take Manning over Rivers right now. We OWNED San Diego mentally and on the field, GO JETS!

  • Jacko says:

    @Greg Myers you cannot compare the weapons Rivers has had throughout his years with San Diego as opposed to what Eli has played with. Earth, Wind and Fire was a catchy name but LT was better than all 3 of them back then. Antonio Gates is like having an extra receiver not just a tight end. Rivers is good but he would have had a hard time in NY. The media here is relentless and Philip has a little attitude about him which would have eventually been problematic.

  • Greg Myers says:

    Both quarterbacks have had the luxury of playing with superstars. It is true that Rivers has had the luxury of playing with two future hall of famers in Gates and Tomlinson, but you can argue that Eli has had better depth (remember the earth, wind, and fire running back trio). Rivers also only engages in fights with players on the field and has never done it with the media. San Diego is much more relaxed than the Big Apple, but I don’t doubt for a minute Rivers would have been able to handle himself.
    I don’t believe we can objectively analyze this trade until both of their careers are over and we have a massive amount of data to compare them against. You did poise a great argument and it was an entertaining read.

  • KingofQueensNY says:

    Most fans were harsh on Manning when he first came to NYC, I’m sure most would have picked Rivers a few years back but after the Super Bowl win band wagoners would go with Eli for sure.

  • BigBlue Fanatic says:

    I know San Diego fans must think New York fans are crazy but this isn’t even close in my opinion. Eli is clutch, Philip showed this week against the Jets that he isn’t.

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