SEATTLE – I stumbled upon this by accident as I was debating the merits of whether New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he retired now.
I won’t get into the details of the heated argument between me and a friend, but each of us were throwing out our various reasons for why Manning is or is not deserving.
As part of my research, I began comparing Eli’s career numbers with that of current Hall of Famers. Then, just for fun, I decided to branch out and look at the numbers of my favorite childhood quarterback – former Seahawks (and Chiefs, Lions, Cardinals, Bears and Oilers) signal caller Dave Krieg.
Stunningly to me, Krieg’s career numbers compare favorably to several quarterbacks already in the Hall. Admittedly, the majority of the Hall of Famers played in a different era in which running the ball was more important than throwing. But the two comparisons that stand out to me are to Dallas Cowboys great Troy Aikman and Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. All three saw their careers overlap.
I am in no way suggesting Krieg is Hall of Fame worthy. He never went to a Super Bowl and got to a conference championship just once. We all remember how he set the league record for career fumbles and how he was benched more than once while in Seattle. And even though he played 19 years, in only 15 of those did he see significant starting time.
My reason for posting this is because I thought Seahawks fans might find it interesting that Krieg’s statistics compare well to some of the top quarterbacks in NFL history.
Krieg vs. Troy Aikman
The caveats: Aikman won three Super Bowls and had the NFL’s all-time leading rusher in Emmitt Smith to hand the ball to.
Krieg vs. Jim Kelly
The caveats: Kelly started his career in the USFL, so his numbers are a bit deflated, but he also went to four straight Super Bowls.
Krieg vs. Terry Bradshaw
The caveats: A different time for football. Bradshaw almost threw as many interceptions as touchdowns, but he also had Franco Harris (and the Immaculate Reception) plus The Steel Curtain to help him win four Super Bowls.
Krieg vs. Bob Griese
Krieg vs. Roger Staubach
And since he was the impetus for this research ...
Krieg vs. Eli Manning
The difference: Manning has two Super Bowl rings and is playing in the NFL's pass-happy era