We learned two things about Eli Manning when you are comparing him to two of the best quarterbacks of our era, and maybe even of all time. First, Eli has two Super Bowl wins, one more than his brother Peyton, and he has beaten arguably the best quarterback of all time Tom Brady on the biggest stage, twice. It’s a tough argument to make in saying that Eli is an all-around better quarterback than his older brother or Brady, but it is definitely a viable conversation to have at this point in all three players’ careers.
Peyton, in my opinion will never play in the NFL again, I would think differently if his injury wasn’t literally life-threatening. No one knows, not even Peyton himself knows how his neck will hold up after getting knocked around by a defender. There’s no doubt that if he does play again he will immediately make his team a Super Bowl contender: the latest rumors have shown him either going to the Jets or the Redskins, teams that both desperately need a quality quarterback. So, lets say he does play again, he’s thirty-five years old and barring any other possible injuries he may have, at most he has three good years left in the league. So there definitely is a chance that he could play again and win a Super Bowl, but the chances of that aren’t too good. So in regards to comparing Eli to Peyton, in my eyes the most glaring statistic isn’t that Peyton has multiple league MVP’s to Eli’s none, but it is the fact that Eli has two rings on his fingers to his brothers one. Throw everything else out the window, you play to win championships, and the younger Manning thus far has one more championship than his older brother, and that is not arguable.
The Golden Boy, Tom Brady, is a more interesting argument, at least to me. Eli has beaten Brady twice in the Super Bowl, and has proven himself as a clutch player on the world’s brightest stage. I know all the people playing devil’s advocates would say that Brady has been a league MVP, has recorded the greatest statistical season ever by a quarterback, and most importantly he has one more ring than Eli. However, Brady has been in the league for a much longer time than Eli, and does anyone really think that the Giants are going anywhere but up? They were the best team in the NFL since December 15th after their embarrassing loss to the lowly Washington Redskins. They basically had to win every game after that just to get into the playoffs and they never stopped winning until they were holding the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Was there a doubt in anybody’s mind that with 3:45 minutes left in the 4th quarter that Eli would lead his team down the field and score? Even Pats fans knew it, and were just hoping that they were going to score quickly enough so that Brady could get the ball back in his hands with a chance to win. I’m not saying Eli is better than Brady, but I’m also saying that Brady is not convincingly better than Eli like everyone bELIeved. The fact remains that in the Super Bowl the best quarterback in the league, Tom Brady, is 0-2 against the younger Manning, and that is what ultimately matters the most.
Eli has climbed up into rarefied air winning his second Super Bowl. He is an ELITE quarterback in the NFL, and has surpassed his brother’s titles, and is closing in on Brady. There’s no doubt in my mind that Eli will get at least one more title, and I really don’t think that Brady will get another one. The Patriots are a great team, and Brady is still the best quarterback of our generation, but Eli is closing the gap, and quickly. Congratulations to the New York Football Giants, they got hot at the right time and grabbed their second title in four years. Eli has come a long way since his days at Ole Miss, and obviously the Broadway lights aren’t blinding him from winning.