I need to be up for work in 7 hours, so I'll say this then be off to bed. This is my deal with the whole Eli-Rivers-Ben debate.
I said, after the 2005 season...AKA Big Ben Mania, that I was going to wait until the end of the 2007 season to wait to rank these QBs. I stand here in July of 2007 and I will give myself a little pat on the back because I feel that accurately ranking these 3 amongst themselves and amongst the rest of the NFL MUST wait until the end of this season, their 4th.
They have all had their struggles, they have all had their success, and they have all faced different kinds of adversity (well, maybe not Rivers, haha). Ben got knocked around last year big time and had to deal with his fair shair of injuries. Eli lost his starting LT and most reliable WR on top of playing under arguably the worst playcaller in the NFL. And again, that isn't just my opinion, Kevin Gilbride said so himself. I'm not knocking Rivers here....but he hasn't been hurt and he didn't have to deal with the kind of injuries/lack of brains on the coaching staff that Ben/Eli did.
This will be a telling year for these three because they have all had a few NFL offseasons to fully prepare and work with their new teammates on top of grasping the NFL life. They have all had game experience, BIG game experience if you think about it. I am trying my hardest to stay away from the "he is better than him but not better than him" type post because it just isn't fair at this point. The Giants have put WAY too much on Eli's shoulders early on in his career. Obviously he could have gotten his career off to a much better start, but he has led this team to the playoffs in both years as a starter (which hasn't been done since 1990) and has thrown for almost 50 TDs and 7,000+ yards. He has his issues to work out but for God's sake, I understand the New York limelight combined with being a #1 pick reaps high expectations, but he is progressing like a normal QB. He isn't, nor do I think he will ever be an icon like his brother, but I think he could and will be the best QB out of this class.
Time will tell, and only time will tell. NFL fans, especially young ones, rush to judgements to an extent that makes me sick. People are literally TRASHING Eli because he doesn't lead like Peyton in his 2nd year as a starter on a team full of ego-maniacs!!!! It's absurd if you think about it.
By saying Ben and Rivers were thrown into much easier positions early on is not an insult to their level of play. Both of them have done great to this point in their careers and I think either one of them could easily be the best QB to come out of this class. I simply think neither of them have seen the adversity Eli has and I feel that with both of them losing their coaching staffs will tell us all a lot about them. Again, at the end of the 2007 season, we will know A LOT more, more than the first 3 years of their careers combined have brought us.