Archie Manning on Eli’s struggles: ‘I’m as proud of him as I was when they won championships’

Anybody who has watched the New York Giants this season knows that Eli Manning is struggling. 

Amidst a league-wide passing boom, Manning is actually completing a career-high percentage of his passes and has his highest yards per attempt figure since 2011, but those figures mask a parade of check-downs and sacks and completions that don’t come close to gaining the yardage needed for first downs. And Manning is also working on a career-worst touchdown rate (2.5 percent of his throws have gone for scores, continuing a trend where his rate dropped from 5.7 percent to 4.3 percent to 3.3 percent over the past three seasons) and the second-worst QBR of his career. 

Late-career struggles are something that other Mannings have gone through as well. It all fell apart very quickly for Eli’s brother Peyton, who despite being one of the handful of best quarterbacks in NFL history couldn’t avoid a disaster-level final season in Denver during which he was briefly benched in favor of Brock Osweiler. Of course, Eli and Peyton’s father, Archie Manning, is no stranger to those types of struggles, either. 

Once a Pro Bowler, Archie struggled badly during his final couple seasons with the Saints in the 1970s, then bounced around to a few other teams while struggling some more. So he knows what Eli is going through right now. And because he does, he’s able to keep some perspective about his son’s career. 

“I’m as proud of him as I was when they won championships,” Archie said of Eli, per The Athletic. “He’s a pro. It’s football. I always say to some of my close friends, ‘It’s f’ng football.'”

“I don’t blame anything,” he continued. “Everybody is trying.  Eli doesn’t make excuses. He doesn’t point blame. He doesn’t moan and groan. Everybody wants to blame somebody. It’s football. I don’t throw out advice unless I am asked. He knows how to handle things. He’s holding up good. He hates it for everybody. He hates it for the new coaches, he hates it for the organization, he hates it for the fans.”

Eli’s done a fair amount of winning in his career, including playing a major role in two incredible Super Bowl runs for the Giants. But it’s been clear for a while that his career is winding down, and this year has made it clearer than ever. That’s just what happens as quarterbacks who aren’t Tom Brady get older. Archie understands that, and Eli probably does as well. 

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