Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?

Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?

Eli Manning seems to be well on his way to the Twitter Hall of Fame, making now the perfect time discuss if he deserves to be enshrined in Canton as well.
Football by no means is solely based on comparisons, which Eli dealt with his entire career. Not only was he in the shadow of big brother Peyton, but Eli also was and still is compared to fellow quarterback draftees Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. Manning and Rivers were of course traded for each other. A trade that changed the course of football history.
Despite immense pressure to succeed, Easy E came through in the fourth quarter time and time again. It only took till his third full season to come up clutch. Manning led a 10-6 wild card team on the road to the Super Bowl, a road which included taking down the one seeded Cowboys and two seeded Packers.
Heading into Super Sunday, Big Blue was a 12.5-point underdog to 18-0 New England. In what was a defensive battle through three quarters, Eli and the offense turned on another gear. In the final 15 minutes, Manning went 9/14 for 152 yards and two touchdowns against the NFL’s fourth ranked defense.
It was that second touchdown that will live in Giants lore. Trailing 14-10 with 2:39 remaining, Manning led a 12-play, 83-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Buress in the back-left corner of the endzone. A 17-14 Giants’ win became one of the biggest upsets in sports history. I would be remiss if I did not mention Eli’s superb play on 3rd & 5 to get out of a sack and find David Tyree for 32 yards over the middle for the famous helmet catch. Drives like these put quarterbacks in Canton.
Eli had defeated an 18-0 juggernaut. Beating Tom Brady in the Super Bowl is a pretty notable accomplishment too. Named Super Bowl XLII MVP, the 27-year old had already put his name in the history books.
Anything you do once you can do twice right? Well, that was not the case the following season. The 2008 Giants are widely regarded as one of the best teams that did not win the Super Bowl. After an 11-1 start, the Giants finished 1-3 down the stretch.
The 12-4 Giants still secured a first-round bye but laid an egg against the Eagles in the divisional round. A sloppy 23-11 loss ended the Giants’ run at defending their title. It is often speculated the Plaxico Burress incident derailed a second straight championship run.
That second magical run came in 2011-12. During training camp, Manning was asked if he was in Tom Brady’s class. He said yes and put his words into action by having the year of his career in 2011.
Despite having the last ranked rushing attack and a defense ranked 25th, Manning put up MVP caliber numbers. His 29 touchdowns and 4,933 passing yards carried Big Blue to the division title with a 9-7 record. Six of the nine wins were thanks to fourth quarter comebacks orchestrated by Manning. The G-Men won the division on the season’s final day by beating the Cowboys at MetLife in a win or go home matchup. Eli led the way with 346 yards and three touchdowns.
Of all Eli’s playoff heroics, it was perhaps the 2011 NFC Championship Game that turned out to be the defining game of Eli’s career.
On a foggy and muddy evening at Candlestick Park, Eli was repeatedly pounded into the turf by the 49ers’ fierce pass rush. Manning took hit after hit, but he always got back up. His jersey was covered in grass stains, his shoulder pad was coming off, and his chin strap even ended up on his nose. Despite all, Eli hung in there all the way through while contributing 316 yards and two touchdowns in route to a 20-17 overtime win. Performances like these separate good quarterbacks from Hall of Famers.
The stage for the sequel was set for Eli vs. Brady II. In another low scoring game, Eli found himself trailing 17-15 with the ball and 3:46 on the clock. No way he could do it again to New England, but he did. This time it was the first play of the drive that will live forever. Manning dropped a dime to Mario Manningham on the sideline for 38 yards.
This was the start of the nine-play, 88-yard drive that got New York in the endzone to go up 21-17 with 57 seconds to play. 21-17 would be the final as the defense would knock down a Hail Mary. Eli had taken down the mighty Patriots yet again, earning his second Super Bowl MVP award in the process.
But how did such an under the radar Giants squad beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick twice? Look no further than head coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin like Belichick was an apprentice under legendary coach Bill Parcells. The two celebrated together when the Giants upset the Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV. Safe to say both learned a lot from Parcells and applied it to their own schemes.
Eli was the right guy for the scheme and Coughlin knew it. Until this new age of running quarterbacks, the NFL was dominated by pocket passers, like Manning. Eli’s ability to stand strong in the pocket and deliver medium deep and deep passes was what made him so successful.
Although Eli was in the right system to succeed, he often did not have the talent around him. Just because the team had multiple losing seasons does not mean the quarterback should be blamed.
Manning was quite productive many years while the rest of the team was not. The 2014 and 2015 Giants went 6-10, but Eli threw for 4,400+ yards and 30+ touchdowns both years. 2015 is the more gut-wrenching season as the defense blew leads in the final two minutes of regulation five, yes five times. Eli cannot control how the defense plays.
Remember earlier when I talked about how Eli fit Coughlin’s system? Well that went out the window after the 2015 season as Coughlin stepped down as head coach. In came Ben McAdoo.
Despite being the offensive coordinator for Eli’s successful 2015 campaign, McAdoo changed the offensive scheme. Very seldom did we see vintage Eli throwing the ball deep down the field. McAdoo played against Manning’s strength of the deep pass by throwing line of scrimmage passes and 3-yard slants.
As you can expect, Manning’s numbers took a nosedive. In one year, he dipped from 35 touchdowns to 26 while his yardage dropped from 4,432 to 4,027. Still, New York made the playoffs thanks to their improved defense. The Giants defense folded in the playoffs, giving up 38 points to the Packers in the wild card weekend loss. Imagine if the 2016 team played to the same offensive scheme as Coughlin in 2015. What could have been.
After one year, the defense became an Achilles heel once again. Not to mention the offensive line was a sieve as well. Eli was repeatedly drilled into the ground with no time in the pocket to deliver the ball. This often led to rushed reads and throws, resulting in fumbles and interceptions. The final years of Manning’s career could have been much more productive had the team not caved around him.
Is Eli Manning on the same level as his brother Peyton, Brett Favre or Drew Brees? No, but the stats do not lie. Manning is seventh all-time in both passing yards, 57,023, and touchdowns, 366.
Not to mention his iron man streak of 210 straight games, which is third all-time behind Rivers and Favre. We all know his streak would have continued had McAdoo not screwed it up. Teams today would drool over the thought of having a franchise quarterback that could start 210 straight games. That is equivalent to over 13 seasons without missing a start.
Winning two Super Bowl MVPs carries enormous weight as well. Only five players in the history of the sport have won multiple Super Bowl MVPs. Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, and Terry Bradshaw are the other four besides Manning. What do these four have in common? They are all Hall of Famers knowing Brady will easily get in after he retires.
When you are one of five players to accomplish a feat of this magnitude, the red carpet to Canton should be rolled out for you. Eli Manning’s enshrinement amongst football’s greatest will come one day not too far from now.
Will the 24-team playoff return post COVID?

Will the 24-team playoff return post COVID?

The NHL announced that in wake of the regular season being disrupted by COVID-19 that they will be using a 24-team playoff when play resumes.

Will we see this playoffformat after this year?

I think that A lot of revenue stands to be made by the NHL with the adoption of this playoff format and for that reason I believe that this format could return in the future.

This format has many similarities to the NCAA’s March Madness which is a revenue generating machine.
I believe that the 24-team playoff will generate more revenue for the NHL because of the increased amount of playoff games. With more games, there’s more viewership. With more viewership, there’s more advertising. With more advertising, there’s more revenue generated. This playoff format could potentially make the NHL so much money that they return to this format in the future.
In addition to the league making more money from this format, the fans also stand to benefit. It’sno secret that playoff hockey is more exciting than any regular-season game. The 24-team format brings more playoff games to the fans.
This playoff format could very easily return in the future. It could possibly make the league agreat deal of money and become a fan favorite.
Sami Zayn stays home and stripped of Intercontinental Championship

Sami Zayn stays home and stripped of Intercontinental Championship

In mists of the COVID-19 pandemic WWE are allowing their wrestlers to not work during the pandemic if they do not feel comfortable without any consequences. WWE said this back at the end of March and now in May, WWE is going back on their word. The WWE Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn did not feel safe travel back and froth from his home to the WWE Performance center. Zayn choose to take up WWE on their offer to not work during the pandemic, the company did not take to kindly to one of their mid-card champions opting out of work so they stripped him of the Intercontinental Championship. WWE announced on Monday, May 11th that the Intercontinental Championship was vacated and starting on Smackdown on Friday May 15th there will be a tournament to crown a new champion. WWE said that the title was vacated due to the champion not being able to defend the title. This is hypocritical of WWE, not only because they said there would not consequences for those who choose not work, but there is another champion in the company that currently can not defend his championship.
The NXT cruiserweight champion Jordan Devlin is currently stuck in his home country of Ireland and can not come to the US to defend his title on NXT. The company decided to have a tournament, but not to crown a new champion. NXT is currently holding a tournament to crown a new Interim Cruiserweight champion. This is a neat idea for the WWE to do and hopeful something they do in the future. The company has a history of champions get hurt or sick for a few months and having to vacate and then usually never get a chance to reclaim the title. Continuing to use the interim champion model in future, the WWE would more mirror the UFC and give WWE a more real sports feel. The WWE is currently using the interim championship as a way to keep the Cruiserweight championship on NXT TV, while being fair to the undisputed champion Jordan Devlin. So why is WWE not doing the same for Sami Zayn? Plain and simple, Sami Zayn choose to put his personal health and safety over defending his championship. WWE said that there will be zero consequences to those that do not want to work during the pandemic, though their actions towards those that chose not to wrestle show otherwise.

Along with Zayn, Smackdown’s Roman Reigns and NXT’s Leo Rush decided to not do the taping during the global health emergency. Reigns pulled out of his WrestleMania 36 match against Goldberg for the Universal Championship and has not been seen or heard from on WWE TV since before Mania. You can read all about the fallout between Reigns and WWE here. Leo Rush was the first Superstar to go public about not wanting to wrestle during the pandemic. Before WrestleMania Rush made his decision to opt out of wrestling during the pandemic then was released as part of WWE’s mass releases a few weeks after WrestleMania. Reports are now coming out that Rush was released because of his public opinion of not wrestling during the outbreak. It seems that the “zero consequences” statement from the WWE was a PR move with no intentions of honoring the statement. The WWE has a history of pulling shady moves like this and Sami Zayn has felt the wrath of WWE management before.

Being striped of the IC title is the most recent bump in the road of Sami Zayn’s relationship with WWE management. Sami Zayn has had many start/stops pushes due to disagreements with Management, the biggest disagreement being over the WWE’s deal with Saudi Arabia. In 2018 the WWE signed a huge ten-year deal with the Saudi government to do two shows in the country a year. Superstars such as John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens along with Zayn disagreed with the company’s deal with the Saudi government. Zayn is of Syrian decent and was not allowed into Saudi Arabia because of the bad blood between the two countries. Because of this and he his public disagreement with WWE, Zayn’s push was halted. Just like then Zayn has now publicly spoken out against the company and his push as champion has ended. WWE has done this too many in the past and will continue to do it in the future. This makes me wonder how much longer Sami Zayn will tolerate this abuse from the WWE management.
UFC – Tyron Woodley versus Gilbert Burns

UFC – Tyron Woodley versus Gilbert Burns

The UFC train will not slow down for anything or anyone and has set up another Fight Night.
The fight card for their next event will be on Saturday, May 30th and is expected to take place at the company’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White confirmed a welterweight bout between former champion Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns will be the card’s Main Event, which is scheduled to air on ESPN. The long talked-about fight between Woodley and Burns had been a Longtime Coming. Tyron Woodley has not competed since he lost his welterweight title to current champion Kamaru Usman in March of 2019, but was scheduled to return to the Octagon before the global coronavirus pandemic. However, because of travel restrictions, the card which he was scheduled to be part of against Leon Edwards was eventually canceled. Gilbert Burns has won five consecutive fights, including three at his new weight class of 170. In his most recent outing, Burns finished Demian Maia with strikes in Round 1.
“Looking Forward to it!…Woodley is a former Champion who is in a different class than Burns, although Burns has a huge win over Demian Maia, Woodley is a more aggressive striker than a Maia which spells trouble for Burns!” Cuban Lion.
“Good fights on the card…Woodley 2nd round KO.” Greg Rector.
New York Jets running game will make or break their season

New York Jets running game will make or break their season

It feels like it was still just yesterday, but there was a time when the New York Jets were one of the most dangerous teams in the league. It was only two years from 2009 to 2010, the Jets won 24 games including the playoffs and got to two straight AFC Championship games. They did that off the heels of a great defense, and a balanced offense with a strong running game.
In 2010, the last time the Jets made the playoffs, the Jets rush offense was 4th in the NFL. In the nine years since, the Jets rush offense has only been in the top-5 once and has ranked 19th, 26th, and 31st over the last three seasons. A large reason for that has been due to the struggles on the offensive line and New York has made it a priority this offseason, now the questions are will the offensive line improve, and if so, can the running game be effective?
The Jets have been also active in the running back market by signing veteran Frank Gore and drafting Lamical Perine to add to Le’Veon Bell. The team has also been interested in free agent running back Davonte Freeman. Bell is the x-factor in all of this as he’s coming off a down year. Statistically, it was a down year, but it wasn’t all Bell’s fault with the struggles on the offensive line and his lack of carries in head coach Adam Gase’s gameplan. Bell still showed the talent that is in him and what made him a top-5 running back in the NFL in 2019. Bell is not just a great runner, but he is still a productive player as a pass catcher.
A three headed rushing attack of Gore, Perine, and Bell should help bring balance to an offense that desperately needs it, but there is going to have to be consistency in the amount of times the Jets run the football, and that falls on Gase. Gase’s rush offenses have been below average and that is going to have to change, if the team is going to win.
If the Jets run the ball effectively, with Bell leading the charge and having a solid season, New York will be in the playoffs. The Jets have always been a franchise that has won with a good running game, look no further than 50 years ago when they won their only Super Bowl, or when they went to the AFC championship games in 1998, 2009, and 2010. Bell, Gore, and Perine will be key factors.