NFL Czar: Putting the "Eli" back in elite
Well, call me crazy, but I think I may be the last person in the world to finally come around. I truly have to admit my prior mistakes and become the bigger person. Of course, I am talking about my constant criticism of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I completely hate doing this, but it has to be said: Eli Manning is now an elite NFL quarterback.
After winning his second Super Bowl in four years (and second Super Bowl MVP Award), Eli has joined an elite group. He now has more Super Bowls than his brother (what was his name again?), and is the only quarterback in history to win two career playoff starts against one Tom Brady (good nugget.)
Manning hasn't always been the most consistent QB during his time in New York, and that was always my biggest beef with him. However, he proved this year that his worst days are certainly behind him. He set an NFL record with 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes and led the Giants to several comefrom- behind victories in the process.
Now, the great debate begins: is Eli better than Peyton? This will be a question we hear a lot over the next six months until the season starts again, and the argument for Eli has a lot more support now that he has ring number two. Let's just take a look at some numbers here:
Record in Super Bowls: Eli: 2-0, Peyton 1-1
Record in Playoff Games: Eli: 8- 3, Peyton: 9-10
Career Touchdown/Interception Ratio: Peyton: 399/198, Eli: 185/129
Career Winning Percentage: Peyton: .678, Eli: .580
You can see where this debate comes from. Most experts have been saying that the only stat that really matters is the first one, but as far as overall worth to the team, it's pretty much a toss-up. If you read my article last week, you will know my thoughts on Peyton Manning and the Colts, so I won't go into that here.
As far as the debate goes, I think we have to wait at least until Peyton's career is over to crown Eli "King of the Mannings." NFL Network Analyst Marshall Faulk said it best a little while ago when he said, "We wouldn't be having this conversation if 18 played this year." While Peyton may not have won the Super Bowl, he certainly would have taken some of the focus away from Eli. However, until he plays again, Eli gets all the love from both me and the NFL fans worldwide.