I will give E. Manning this much credit, he is better than his overall passer rating. He took a beating early on with a bad Giants O-line and survived, getting to the playoffs three years running.
There actually aren't a lot a younger QB's that I'd rather have on my team than Manning, possibly including Phil Rivers. Big Ben is clearly one of those, though. As previously noted Ben>>>Rivers/Eli.
If BBR and Eli swapped teams this year, Roethlisberger would be going to Disney World and Eli's helmet would routinely look like that plugged punt in the Heinz Field turf. And like his first year with the Giants, he'd be under a 50% completion %. So I don't think that there's a real comparison there.
Other than the crap surrounding his draft pick by SD, Manning's been a good citizen on a team with some oversized egos (e.g., Shockey, Tiki). Given a decent O-line, he's become a decent QB. When you look at it, only half the QB's in the league are capable of making plays under big game pressure. Manning's nowhere near the top, but at least he's in this group. That's 16 players in the entire league; otherwise you get Jason Campbell and Brodie Croyle.
Anyway, Manning isn't a Top 10 QB, but given the lack of impact QB's, he was worth the Giant's efforts to get him in 2004. They obviously didn't have the crystal ball on Big Ben's talent, but it would be an interesting question whether Rivers could have carried the Giants to the SB this year. Maybe, maybe not.
Oh yeah, I agree with Finny, Shills, etc., the article sucked eggs. That idiot inferred that Rivers was a one year wonder to date. Jenkins was obviously and completely clueless about both the Chargers' surge at the end of this season, their win at Indy, and that they effectively were missing Rivers (bad ankle), Tomlinson, and Gates against the Pats in the AFCC game.