Sunday, January 8, 2012

Eli Manning Is Money: How He Should Someday Win A Second Super Bowl

The more I watch Eli, the more I wonder if he isn't the better of the Manning brothers at quarterback. Oh, I know, Peyton is tremendous and it hurts the comparison by having him injured for a whole year.  Certainly, also, the debacle that was this year's Indianapolis Colts season certainly pulled back the curtain on what is a somewhat barren franchise without Peyton playing.

However, Eli has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the League this year.  After being roundly laughed at in the beginning of the year for comparing himself to Tom Brady, Eli has gone out and proved himself to be an elite quarterback.  This year he threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Peyton's best season was 4,700 yards in 2010.  Certainly Peyton has had several seasons of throwing for 30 touchdowns are more, but a lot of that is due to the lack of a running game for the Colts.  Peyton HAD to throw in situations that would have been rushing touchdowns for the Giants.

As the games get bigger, Eli plays better.  He broke the NFL record this year for most touchdowns in the fourth quarter (a record that was previously held by Peyton and Johnny Unitas).  Today in the Wild Card round of the 2011 playoffs, he had 277 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 71.9% of his passes in the Giants 24-2 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The more I watch Eli, the more I'm convinced he can win another Super Bowl.  He has an enormous will to win and is fiercely competitive, something that has become more evident as he's gotten older.  Watching him spin out of would-be tacklers' grasp and fire a needle-threading pass to one of his receivers is a thing of beauty.  There are a lot of younger quarterbacks (like Matt Ryan) who haven't yet found out how to stoke the competitive fire at the biggest moments.

Considering all the criticism that Eli took when he came into the league and during the early part of his career, this is a guy who will deserve every bit of success that he earns throughout his career.  Hopefully, someday NFL fans will passionately argue about which Manning brother was the better, and there won't be an obvious answer.

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