Maybe we were a little too hard on Eli Messiah. After all, it was his first playoff game. And it's not like he held the league and the San Diego Chargers hostage during the 2004 NFL Draft.
But even though Eli and his family pulled a power-play with the league, it is too much to expect for a quarterback—in his first playoff game—to go out and make a difference. No quarterback has ever done that. Just look:
Tom Brady completed 32 or 52 passes for 312 yards and no touchdowns as the Patriots defeated the Raiders in 2002. New England would eventually win the Super Bowl. But this is not a fair comparison, seeing that Brady was a sixth-round draft pick
49ers quarterback Joe Montana completed 20 of 31 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco defeated the New York Giants in 1981. The 49ers would win the first of four Super Bowls under Montana. But Montana's daddy was not famous.
Tony Eason was a first-round draft pick. The Patriots quarterback completed 12 of 16 passes to defeat the Jets in the 1985 playoffs. But while Eason would lead New England to its first Super Bowl, they would not win it. However, Eason wasn't the first overall selection in the 1983 draft.
Troy Aikman was a first-overall selection in 1989. Aikman completed 15 of 25 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys routed the Eagles in the former Bruin's first playoff start. Aikman would defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman also was named Super Bowl MVP.
Does anybody remember Kurt Warner? The former NAIA Division XII quarterback completed 27 of 33 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns in his first playoff game as St. Louis went on to roll to the Super Bowl. But Warner was a former grocery clerk and AFL quarterback. He didn't have the family pedigree like Messiah. Besides, the Giants could never find a quarterback like that.
Then there is Archie Manning. Oh wait, Archie was never in the playoffs.
There has to be at least one first-round pick that absolutely stunk up the joint in his first playoff start? Oh yeah, Peyton Manning completed only 19 of 43 passes in his first playoff start, a 16-19 defeat to the Tennessee Titans in 1999. But at least Peyton has gone on to do some decent commercials. Maybe he can ask a shelve-stocking Warner for his autograph in the next one and say, "My little brother loves you."
But wait; there is one more for you Giants fans. How about the much maligned Chad Pennington? The fair-haired bomber completed 19 of 25 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns in his first ever playoff game. The opponent? Peyton Manning and the Colts, who were drubbed by the Jets, 41-0.
Talk about the Messiah's failures it in the Hater Nation Forums.