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Eli Manning like LeBron? Damon Harrison explains


Leave it to Giants defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison to make the Eli Manning-LeBron James comparison we've all been waiting for.

On Good Morning Football on Monday, Harrison had just sidestepped a conversation about the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2017 list, biting his tongue after saying "it makes no sense [that Manning isn't on the list] when at the same time we've got rookies from last year ... which I guess makes sense if you go off the year alone." He asked not to comment on division-rival Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott -- a player the Giants beat twice last year -- being ranked No. 14.

But he did offer this on Manning:

"Eli, when you look at Eli, it's kind of like when you look at LeBron [James]," Harrison said. "I'm not saying they're the same, but look at Eli's numbers. If any other quarterback would have those numbers it would be an amazing year. But it being Eli, no one is respecting it much like we do LeBron. LeBron could average 30 [points], 15 rebounds and 12 assists and it's like 'he didn't do enough.'"

We'll give Harrison, who welcomed his first son into the world less than a week ago and admittedly wasn't getting any sleep, a break for not cleaning up the metaphor. Harrison is making a similar point to many Giants fans over the years about Manning's relative consistency and above-average injury tolerance. Having not missed a game in 13 seasons, Manning has a similar bedrock presence in the lineup as the Cavaliers star. Because of that, he is often saddled with an unfair portion of the blame when the team does not succeed.

Manning's late-career union with Giants coach Ben McAdoo has done wonders for the Eli-elite narrative. Just four seasons removed from a painful 2013 when Manning hurled 18 touchdowns to a career-high 27 interceptions, he has now thrown for at least 4,000 yards in each of the last three seasons. His completion percentage is also in the most consistent range it has been in years. Thanks to an infusion of talent at the receiver and tight end position over the past two years, perhaps there is enough talent on the field to round out the comparison.

Should Manning and the Giants win the Super Bowl this year, Eli and LeBron would both have the same number of titles, and Manning didn't even need to form a Super Team in South Beach.