Photo: Screenshot via NBC
It might sound like hyperbole to say this the day after his second epic Super Bowl victory, but it’s 100 per cent true: Eli Manning is NOW the definition of elite NFL quarterback.Not Tom Brady.
Not older brother Peyton Manning.
Eli has two Super Bowl championship rings under his belt. One more than Peyton. Only one behind Brady.
Starting with the 2007 Super Bowl season, Eli’s playoff numbers are off the charts:
7-1 record, 62 per cent completion percentage, 249 yards/game, 15 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
And in the fourth quarter of Super Bowls he’s been Joe Montana-esque:
68 per cent completion percentage, 270 yards passing, 14 first downs
Another Montana and Brady-level playoff stat: 5 fourth quarter or overtime game-winning drives.
Eli also has one of the best young receiving corps in the league, as Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, and Jake Ballard all continue to improve.
As for the old guard that Eli is taking the reigns from, it’s exactly that: old.
Brady looked uncharacteristically nervous and rattled in Sunday’s loss. The Giants were in his head, no matter how hard he tried to ignore it leading up to the Super Bowl. And yes, we know, a 13-3 regular season and trip to the big game shouldn’t be ignored, but after being the team of the decade during the aughts Brady and the Pats haven’t been able to get over the hump since 2004.
Will Peyton be the same quarterback he was before his injury? It looks like we’ll find out as soon as next season, but it won’t happen in a Colts uniform. Injuries aside, Peyton will be hard-pressed to find the same kind of stability and success he had in Indianapolis if he goes to Miami, Washington, or anywhere else.
Fans outside of New York and New Jersey will disagree and throw out names like Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, but last we checked winning is the defining stat for a quarterback.
Eli has 2 W’s when it matters most and a great chance at a few more.
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