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Mike Francesa Explains How Eli Manning Stopped Tom Brady and Bill Belichick From Being the Greatest

FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talks with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and head coach Bill Belichick before the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer? That has been the debate in sports this week. And perhaps many of the debaters are missing one key element in the discussion. Manning is responsible for preventing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick from being the greatest coach-quarterback duo of all-time. That is at least according to one pundit, Mike Francesa.

The Pope explains. Listen closely:

This may sound crazy, but let's stop and think. If you lose two Super Bowls, like Brady and Belichick did, in the fashion they did, you simply cannot be the G.O.A.T.s. Making it to the Super Bowl and losing to Manning and the Giants really wipes away the six Super Bowls the duo has won. I mean, sure, they've dominated for nearly two decades, but they lost to a New York team twice in the Super Bowl. And how can we count their regular season consistency after those two losses? Yes, they are in the AFC Championship Game pretty much every year, I know. However, it feels much less special after hearing Francesa talk.

It would be helpful to know where Francesa does rank them amongst the greats. After those two losses, it may be hard to even put them top five. Again, six Super Bowl wins, nine appearances doesn't quite cut the damage that Manning inserted into the discussion. Sorry.

Oh, what could have been if it wasn't for Eli Manning. Maybe one day Brady and Belichick can redeem themselves. But for now, let's listen to Mike and understand where Brady and Belichick really rank in the history of this great game.