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Home / NFL / The Hall of Fame Quarterback Debate

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There are 23 modern-era quarterbacks in the NFL that have been honored with an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was able to visit Canton last year, and it’s really quite a spectacular place. It’s an honor for anyone to have themselves immortalized, and their bust mantled to a wall with the greatest members from the NFL’s long, storied history.  As the years go on, there will be more and more players elected to the Hall. That goes without saying. The problem with that is the constant talk of players who are playing now that are being discussed as being worthy of the Hall of Fame.

We are in an era where Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers are considered the best quarterbacks playing today. While that’s great and all, I’m not sure if we should be calling the Hall of Fame for all of them. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are automatic Hall of Famers, and there’s a little question mark next to Drew Brees for now until he has a bit more postseason success.

The media has hyped up a lot of Super Bowl winning signal-callers like Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, and Big Ben, making it seem as if they belong in Canton right now. This makes us perceive that anyone who has ever won a Super Bowl can now be considered a Hall of Famer. That is just illogical thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, but he’s only been starting for four years now. Let’s watch how the rest of his career plays out before electing him into Canton. His numbers say that one day, most likely, he’ll be a Hall of Famer. But right now, he’s not worthy of NFL immortality.

A potential future Hall of Fame candidate, one who may be elected in the coming years and who said that Eli Manning wasn’t worthy of the Hall just yet, is Kurt Warner.

If you read what Warner said about Eli in the article, he’s absolutely right. To summarize, Warner says that Eli has been very inconsistent for the most of his career, and that if he produces like he has in 2011 for the majority of the latter part of his career, he should be considered for the Hall. Otherwise, he shouldn’t be considered. Which is pretty much a spot-on answer, and something I agree with.

Eli does have two Super Bowl victories, but with a career 82.1 passer rating, and a completion percentage under 60 how can you convince anyone that he’s a Hall of Famer? I just can’t put him in that discussion yet. The key word is “yet”, as Eli seemed to have turned his game around last season, as he passed for 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions while posting a 92.9 passer rating. For now though, we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of player Manning is for the rest of his career. When the time comes to judge Eli’s career we’ll do so, and we’ll have all the evidence to make the right decision.

Joe Namath is often considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. So when guys like me hear someone like Eli Manning being put in the Hall of Fame discussion, we have look back at other Hall of Fame quarterbacks. When you check out Namath’s numbers you see a 65.5 passer rating with a completion percentage of 50.1%. Along with a 173-220 TD-INT ratio.

How does that make Eli look? Well, it makes Eli look fantastic. It also makes Matt Schaub a Canton-worthy quarterback. The thing is whoever voted in Joe Namath didn’t vote him in because of his stats. They voted him in because of his prediction that he’ll beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. First of all who doesn’t think their team is going to win the game? What if he said the Jets were going to lose? Namath also didn’t do very much in that game. He won MVP without even throwing a touchdown or attempting a pass in the 4th quarter.

Namath made the Hall Of Fame based off hype. You can say Eli has better stats than Namath, and has one more Super Bowl victory. But as of now, he’s still not a Hall of Fame quarterback. Only time will tell if Manning is worthy of Canton immortality.


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