By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
No player in franchise history is loved more by the New Orleans fan base then Archie Manning. Manning was drafted second overall in the 1971 NFL draft by the Saints and played ten seasons for the team. In those ten years the Saints had nine losing seasons, managing only a .500 record of 8-8 in 1979.
Manning was asked to lead some pretty bad teams during his career, as he was sacked 337 times in New Orleans. In 1972, he led the league in pass attempts and completions and led the NFC in passing yards, though the team's record was only 2–11–1. Archie sat out the entire 1976 season after corrective surgery on his right shoulder, spending the second half of that season in the team's radio booth. In 1978, he was named the NFC Player of the Year by UPI after leading the Saints to a 7–9 record. That same year, he was also named All-NFC by both the UPI and The Sporting News.
Manning was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978 and 1979. He went on to conclude his career with the Houston Oilers (1982–1983), and the Minnesota Vikings (1983–1984). He ended his 13-year career having completed 2,011 of 3,642 passes for 23,911 yards and 125 touchdowns, with 173 Ints. He also rushed for 2,197 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 2,011 completions ranked 17th in NFL history upon his retirement. His record as a starter was 35–101–3 (26.3%), the worst in NFL history among QBs with at least 100 starts. He retired having never played on a team with a winning record or made the playoffs. He is one of the few players to have played 10 or more years in the NFL without taking part in an official playoff game.
Even though the Saints have never officially retired Manning's #8, no other player in team history has worn it since he was traded away to Houston.
Everyone knows that two of Archie's sons, Peyton and Eli have gone on to have Hall of Fame NFL careers....