Romo vs. Eli: Debunking the Comeback Stat

Tony Romo vs Eli Manning

Photo: Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News

Numbers never lie, but they damn sure can be deceiving.

On Friday, the Worldwide Leader in Spin tweeted out a graphic comparing the game-winning drive totals of proven clutch quarterback Eli Manning and proven choke artist Tony Romo over the last three seasons. As you can see, Romo actually has more game-winning drives than Manning since 2011:

It’s true, Romo does have two more game-winning drives than Eli over the last three years. However, what this graphic conveniently omits is the level of competition and the importance of the wins.

Of Romo’s 13 game-winning comebacks, only two were against opponents that finished the season with a record above .500. In fact, the combined win total of the teams Romo led comebacks against was 72-115-1.

Over the same span, Eli engineered comeback wins over four teams that finished the year above .500, including victories in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XLVI. The combined win total of the teams Eli came back against: 84-76.

Obviously none of Romo’s comebacks have come in playoff scenarios (**adjusts mic** **grins**), while a number of Eli’s came in the most pressure-filled situations a player could ever experience.

Romo isn’t to blame for this, but you’re also far more likely to be in emergency comeback situations when you field a piss-poor defense and play under a second-rate coach with clock management skills that make Andy Reid look like Bill Parcells.

I realize ESPN has very little to discuss since LeBron James made his decision, but this Romo-Eli debate has become as boring and tiresome as Rex Ryan’s yearly playoff proclamations. Comparing Eli to Romo is no different than comparing the Giants to the Jets. One has shown its championship mettle when the lights are brightest, while the other has folded like a cheap suit when facing the same heat.

If Romo is to be included in a logical conversation about clutch quarterbacks, he needs to go win something of meaning first. Until then, there’s nothing to talk about.

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  1. Pingback: Quarterback Battles: Eli Manning vs Tony Romo

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