1. Eli Manning
Some will agree but I expect that most will disagree, and that’s okay but Eli Manning is the Ultimate Giants player of the decade. While the last few seasons have been an eyesore, it hasn’t been entirely his fault. For a better part of the decade, he played behind a beleaguered offensive line and never had a real running game before Saquon Barkley came along in 2018.
2011 was one of the best statistical seasons of Manning’s career. He set the record for the most passing yards in franchise history 4,993, threw for career-high 308.3 yards per game (YPG), attained the second-highest passer rating at that point of his career (92.9), all while leading the Giants on an improbable Super Bowl run.
During that historic 2011 title run, Manning led the Giants to a dominating 24-2 victory at home over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Wildcard Game. He then marched on to road victories over the Green Bay Packers and San Fransisco 49ers, before slaying the dragon known as the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, earning his second SB MVP award.
The 2011 Giants outscored opponents 102-56 in the playoffs. Manning averaged 304.8 YPG with nine touchdowns against just one interception. Additionally, he had two fourth-quarter comebacks and a 103.3 quarterback rating over the four games.
As much criticism that Eli receives, some of which is warranted, he threw for 4,000 plus yards in six of nine seasons as the full-time starter and was selected to three Pro Bowls (2011, 2012, 2015). Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers are the only other three quarterbacks to be selected to three Pro Bowls as well as win a Super Bowl MVP in the past ten years.
More from Eli Manning
- New York Giants: A Farewell Letter to Eli
- New York Giants quarterback change similar to Manning’s rise in 2004
- New York Giants: Ending the age-old debate, Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer
- Eli Manning Will Make Or Break The Giants Super Bowl Hopes
- 2016 Fantasy Football: Eli Manning Week 7 Projection
Constantly staring into the face of adversity, never losing his poise and forever stoic, the unwavering Manning led the Giants to 16 fourth-quarter comeback victories between 2010 and 2018.
He’s also the only Giant other than Y.A. Tittle to throw for 30 plus touchdowns in a single season, achieving the feat three times during the decade. As recent as 2018, Manning threw for 4,299 yards while posting a 92.4 quarterback rating despite the team only winning five games that season.
I am not trying to absolve Eli Manning of any blame for the abysmal decade the team had, he deserves his fair share of criticism. But I hope I was able to help citizens of Big Blue Nation appreciate him a little more by putting things into perspective and reminding you of all the good work he has done on the field while guiding the ship through treacherous waters.
The Giants head into a new decade with none of these gentlemen expected to be part of their organization. Two of the three will play for other teams and the third is presumably set to retire. You guys and gals in Big Blue Nation know the saying… ONCE A GIANT, ALWAYS A GIANT!