Best Saints By The Numbers: #8
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Archie Manning
When picking the best Saints player ever to wear #8, the choice is limited to one player, and one player only, quarterback Archie Manning, whose number is unofficially retired by the organization.
Manning, who played for the Saints from 1971-1982, is one of the most popular players in franchise history.
After finishing his collegiate career at Ole Miss, where he was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1969, and later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Manning was taken by the Saints in the first round, with the second overall pick, in the 1971 NFL Draft.
In 1972, Manning led the NFC in passing yards (2,781), while tossing 18 touchdown passes.
After missing the entire 1976 season due to injury, Manning recovered and had three-consecutive seasons from 1978-1980 where he threw for over 3,000 yards.
A native of Drew, Mississippi, Manning was named to the Pro Bowl in 1978 and 1979, and was also named the NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978, after throwing for 3,416 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Manning was traded to the Houston Oilers midway through the 1982 season, before finishing his 13-career with the Minnesota Vikings following the 1983 season.
Manning completed his career completing 2,011-of-3,642 passes for 23,911 yards and 125 touchdowns, while rushing for another 2,197 yards and 18 touchdowns.
In 11 seasons with the Saints, Manning threw for 2,734 and 115 touchdowns.
No, Manning never guided the Saints to a winning season, but he was one of the few bright spots in many dismal season in the 1970's.
Named the NFL's Man of the Year in 1977, Manning's character, as well as his play, make him a Saints legend.