Or a Prince and a Pauper.
"And when he awoke in the morning and looked upon the wretchedness about him, his dream had had its usual effect: it had intensified the sordidness of his surroundings a thousandfold.”
― Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper
When Eli Manning awoke on the day after the 2004 draft he was the overall #1 pick of a bad team. No, not the San Diego Chargers who held that pick but the NY Giants who traded their rights to Philip Rivers, their 2004 3rd round pick, their 2005 1st round pick, and another 2005 pick.
- ^ #1: San Diego → New York Giants. San Diego traded Manning to the New York Giants in exchange for Philip Rivers and the Giants' third round selection in this draft (#65) and their first and fifth-round selections in 2005 wiki
How bad was that New York Giants team? 4-12 is bad. But, the 2002 team were playoff contenders.
The 2002 New York Giants season was the team's 78th season in the National Football League. The team improved upon their previous season's 7–9 disappointment, winning ten games and returning to the playoffs for the second time in three years. They ended the season on a four-game winning streak. - wiki
Sucking for Rivers was not what the Giants envisioned. Or maybe not what Archie Manning envisioned?
Well, the 2003 San Diego Chargers were just as bad. 4-12 for them too. But Rivers panned out well as a backup to Drew Brees
The 2004 San Diego Chargers season began with the team trying to improve on their 4–12 record in 2003. They finished the campaign 1st in their division and made the playoffs for the first time in nine years. In the playoffs they lost in overtime to the New York Jets. At the end of the season Marty Schottenheimer was named NFL Coach of the Year. - wiki
The Chargers before the trade?
- 2001 - 1-15
- 2002 - 8-8
- 2003 - 4-12
Now, besides the WTF is Marty Schottenheimer doing drafting a QB when he has Drew "Fricken" Brees. Why did he draft Eli Manning over Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger? Why did the Chiefs get Blundin. Nevermind
So, Tom Coughlin gets his QB and lives happily ever after in Giant land? Well Not exactly. It was a rough start for Eli on a pretty well loaded team. Benched in 2004 for Kurt Warner in fact. In 2005 the Giants were able to win the NFC East but one and done in the playoffs. In 2006, Eli started out strong and swooned in the 2nd half of the season.
2007 - The Giants Super Bowl season
After losing to their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys in week 9, New York Giants co-owner John Mara publicly questioned Manning's ability to lead the New York Giants in 2007 but more importantly in the future:
“ The only thing we evaluate is 'Can we win with this guy?' That's the one thing. When we talk about any player at the end of the season, the No.1 question is 'Will he help us win?' And to take it one step further, 'Can we win a championship with this guy?' ”
After a week of criticism in the New York media and being outplayed by Tony Romo, Manning had a bounce-back victory versus their conference wildcard competitors the Detroit Lions. Manning managed to throw for 283 yards and 1 touchdown but most importantly, no interceptions in a critical road game. - wiki
So Prince Eli was learning on the Job. Well the Pauper was too. But he was selected by the lowly San Francisco 49ers 1st overall in 2005. No King swooped in and led him to a better place. A year younger and scooped up at the age of 21 from Utah, Alex ( Alex is entering his 29th year while Eli is entering his 32nd year in 2013 ) was going to have a different future.
The San Francisco 49ers of 2004 (2-14)
The 49ers hoped to improve upon their disappointing 7-9 output from the previous season. However, the 49ers finished the season with the worst record in football, managing only two victories, both coming against division-rival Arizona Cardinals in overtime. The 49ers earned the #1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, where they selected quarterback Alex Smith, who would play for the team for several years.
Head coach Dennis Erickson was fired after the season. - wiki
2005 49ers (4-12)
Despite having a better record than the 2-14 Texans and 3-13 Saints, statistics site Football Outsiders calculated that the 49ers were actually, play-for-play, not only the worst team in the NFL in 2005, but the worst team they've ever tracked. According to the site, the 49ers offense in 2005 is the third-worst they'd ever tracked. The 49ers 3,587 total offensive yards were the fewest of any team in 2005, and their 239 points scored were third-worst in the NFL. Despite finishing with the worst record in 2004, the 49ers ended up playing the second-toughest schedule that season as they played eight games against playoff teams which includes games against the top seeds in both conferences, the Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts, - wiki
2006 49ers (7-9)
The 2006 San Francisco 49ers season began with the team trying to improve on their 4-12 record in 2005. Despite having improved from their previous two disastrous seasons and were in the top 10 best offense in the league in 2006, they missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year, continuing their playoff drought.
2007 49ers season (5-11)
Week 4. Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Steelers, the 49ers went home and played an NFC West battle with the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, even though there were no points at all, the Niners lost QB Alex Smith with a separated shoulder during a sack. Back-up QB Trent Dilfer would take the position for the rest of the game. - wiki
Week 8. Trying to snap a four-game skid, the 49ers went home for a Week 8 intraconference duel with the New Orleans Saints. QB Alex Smith(who was recovering from a separate right shoulder since Week 4) was healthy enough to get the start. - wiki
On September 30 in the first quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks, Smith injured his right shoulder after getting sacked by Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. Smith suffered a grade-three separation and the initial diagnosis was that surgery would not be required. Smith missed the next three games before returning to the 49ers' starting lineup on Sunday, October 28, 2007. - wiki
Smith was at odds with 49ers head coach Mike Nolan over the severity of his injury. Nolan publicly inferred that Smith was not fighting through the injury, while Smith felt that the injury still affected his ability to throw accurately, an account that was supported by players from the Seahawks. Nolan decided to rest Smith following a loss in that game to the Seahawks on November 12 and start Trent Dilfer to allow Smith's shoulder to recover. Following the decision, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews said that upon further examination the shoulder did not heal as significantly as Andrews thought it would, and on December 11, 2007, Smith was placed on injured reserve to undergo surgery on the shoulder, ending his season. - wiki
On September 10, the 49ers placed Smith on injured reserve after Dr. James Andrews confirmed the team's diagnosis of a broken bone in his shoulder, believed to have been caused by a wire left in his shoulder from the previous surgery, which had sawed through the bone. Regardless, the 49ers' general manager, Scot McCloughan, said that the 49ers expected to release Smith before the 2009 season, when they would owe him a salary of $9,625,000. - wiki
The Pauper has good Medical coverage :)
|2005||San Francisco 49ers||9||40.8||165||84||50.9||875||1||11||30||103||0|
|2006||San Francisco 49ers||16||74.8||442||257||58.1||2890||16||16||44||147||2|
|2007||San Francisco 49ers||7||57.2||193||94||48.7||914||2||4||13||89||0|
|2008||San Francisco 49ers||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2009||San Francisco 49ers||11||81.5||372||225||60.5||2350||18||12||24||51||0|
|2010||San Francisco 49ers||11||82.1||342||204||59.6||2370||14||10||18||60||0|
|2011||San Francisco 49ers||16||90.7||445||273||61.3||3144||17||5||52||179||2|
|2012||San Francisco 49ers||10||104.1||218||153||70.2||1737||13||5||31||132||0|
Four season of each
Eli wins and Smith loses. One 1st overall pick has a stable Coaching situation and a recent playoff team around him. The other has 4 systems in four years and gets injured. Played through a wire cutting his bone? Seriously.