How bad are things for Eli Manning. Bad enough that former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms would actually demote Manning from the ranks of the elite.
Simms didn't hold back anything when he was asked about the two-time Super Bowl MVP winner on "NFL Monday Quarterback" on CBS Sports Network.
"No, he's not one of the elites. Because when I hear the word "elite," I'm thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves," said Simms — a Super Bowl MVP himself.
"There are very few quarterbacks in that category. Yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. he has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no."
The once beleaguered Manning got himself into tossed into the comparisons with the NFL's best quarterbacks after he said he saw himself as an elite quarterback when asked prior to the 2011 season. He backed it up by leading the Giants to a second Lombardi Trophy in five years.
Manning started this season where he left off in February — and was an early MVP candidate— but a three game slump, where he has failed to throw a touchdown pass, has sparked the debates about whether his skills or a couple of lucky catches made him a winner.
One Hall of Fame quarterback has come to Manning's defense.
"You can't spell elite without Eli. The pressure situations that Eli has thrived in over his short career in my mind make him an elite quarterback," said former San Diego Charger Dan Fouts, who also appeared on the show. " All you have to do is look back at his two Super Bowl wins and the way he beat the Patriots."
While Manning takes a few days off from throwing during the Giants bye week, the debate will rage over whether or not his arm is tired. Exhausted or not, he still has three fourth-quarter comebacks this season.
"I have to give him a nod and say Eli is elite," added Fouts.