We Know Eli Manning Has Been Terrible This Year, But Has He Been Historically Bad?

Let’s look at the Giants QB’s nightmare season.

Last night against the Chicago Bears, Eli Manning threw three interceptions — including a pick six — to raise his league-leading total to 15. His team, meanwhile, is 0-6. The team he led to a Super Bowl title just two years ago. What the hell is going on? And where does Manning’s season of discontent rank historically?

Well, if we extrapolate his stats from the fist six games across an entire season, Manning would finish with 40 picks on the year, and the Giants would finish 0-16. 40 interceptions is a shit-ton, but it still wouldn’t beat out the 42 that George Blanda threw for the Houstion Oilers in 1962. The difference is that Blanda threw 27 touchdowns, led those Oilers to an 11-3 record,  and the ACL Championship game. He was also the team’s kicker, so the Oilers were getting some value even when he was passing the ball to the wrong team.

Eli’s only on pace for 17.5 touchdowns, so it’s safe to say, Blanda gets the edge here. On the other hand, Manning is third in the league with 1,721 passing yards, trailing only Drew Brees and his big brother Peyton. Then again,  Eli’s 53.7 % completion percentage is the third worst in football, as is his 64 QB rating. The only players worse? The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Blaine Gabbert, and the new Vikings signee, Josh Freeman. In other words, Manning might not even be the worst quarterback in the league this season.

So, no, beyond the interceptions, and his team’s record,  Eli hasn’t been historically bad. Looking at some recent terrible quarterback seasons, a few jump out. In 1999, Jake Plummer threw 24 picks against 5 TDs. The year before Bobby Hoying threw zero touchdowns, and was picked off nine times. Plummer’s Cardinals went 6-10. Hoying got dropped from the Eagles’ starting job after failing to win a single game. The same year, Ryan Leaf threw two touchdowns and had 15 interceptions before being benched. His Chargers ultimately went 5-11.

If the Giants do, in fact, go 0-16, and Manning does, in fact, rack up 40 interceptions, it’ll be a different story. History says he’ll turn things around to a degree, but for right now, he’s playing terribly. On the bright side, if you’re a member of the Manning clan, Peyton is on pace for 64 touchdowns (which would shatter the all-time single-season record) and 3.2 interceptions for the undefeated Broncos. So both Mannings are having historical seasons, but only one is having fun doing it.

Photos by David Banks / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013