- Matt Williamson, ESPN.com
The Giants with Eli Manning just miss making the top 10, while a resurgent Jake Delhomme and the Panthers come in at No. 16. Plus, Kansas City, Miami and Chicago all were in the running to be ranked No. 32, but you might be surprised who receives that dubious honor.
11. New York Giants
We know, we know, Manning has broken out. He led the Giants through a fantastic playoff run that ended with New York upsetting the undefeated Patriots and hoisting the Lombardi trophy. And we know many of the starting quarterbacks listed ahead of the younger Manning on this list do not have rings on their fingers. However, we want to see him do it for an entire season before we put him closer to the top. This is a player who managed only a 23-to-20 touchdown-to-interception ratio last year and a player many Giants fans wanted out of the Big Apple as recently as midway through last season. He threw just 19 touchdowns over the first 15 games of 2007, and Manning has completed only 57 percent of his passes over the past two seasons.
New York might end up in the top five in these rankings one year from now, but for now, let's not get carried away with the former first-overall selection and a suspect group of backups. The way Manning stepped up as a leader when it mattered most was impressive, and the arrow on his career is pointing up as we enter the 2008 season. Needless to say, if David Carr ever has to play, bad things will happen, and the New York media will destroy his already-damaged psyche. Like his older brother, Manning has proved quite durable and is tougher than usually given credit for.