By Brad VanFossan
As crazy as it sounds going back to as early as last season, I think it's a legitimate question to ask is Eli Manning the better Manning? I think he's working on it if not already there, for several reasons. Granted Peyton Manning was a very good quarterback during his time with the Colts, and yes I'm using past tense because I believe his days with the Colts will be over before he is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8th. I think the writing is on the wall that the Colts will cut Manning before this date, not only because they are going to draft Stanford's Andrew Luck with the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft in April, but because of all of the changes at the top and at head coach Indianapolis has made. Personally I think Peyton Manning will never play again because of the injury he suffered to his neck and the three surgeries he's had on it.
I was never really a fan of either brother until recently. I mean they both have always looked like Aunt Bea from Andy Griffith combed their hair to the side and sent them off to school in their press conferences, and Peyton's drawl is not only annoying but sounds of someone you would think would be out hunting rabbits, not reading defenses. But I digress. I like to look at the playoffs and championships when I rate athletes or claim them to be all time greats. Because there's no better argument settler than big games and huge pressure situations. Those who come out standing at the end of such games are the GOAT's (Greatest of all time), i.e. Brady, Montana, Elway, and dare I say possibly soon................................Eli Manning.....gulp! I am leaving some people off this list that deserve honorable mention like Ben Roethlisberger and Terry Bradshaw. But records and numbers accumulators like Dan Marino, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning are just good quarterbacks who at times were great in my book, but not Top 5 all time.
But getting back to the Mannings, sure Peyton wins the endorsement war. Eli endorses watches, who wears a watch anymore? But on the TV programs that matter, i.e. NFL playoff games, the book tells of a different story. Peyton is 9-10 in the playoffs with one playoff comeback, and one playoff game-winning drive. In the Super Bowl, Peyton is 1-1, with that win coming vs. a arguably weak NFC representative in the Chicago Bears quarterbacked by Rex freaking Grossman! Peyton also has 2 Super Bowl Td's and 2 Super Bowl INT's, one of which was returned for a Touchdown, ouch! On the other hand, Eli is 6-3 in the playoffs, has two playoff comebacks and three playoff game-winning drives. Eli is 1-0 in the Super Bowl with 2 Td's and 1 INT. Oh, and Eli's Super Bowl win came vs. the 18-0 at the time New England Patriots, who were heavily favored and looking to go into the history books as only the second undefeated team in NFL history.
I'm not saying Peyton stinks by any means because he was very good, but I think Eli is a little more of a creator when things break down, and it seems like the bright lights of the playoffs, and also the hostile environments of road playoff games don't get to him either. I think even getting to another Super Bowl propels him over Peyton, and winning antoher one puts him in the greatest ever argument. And at age 31, he's gonna have a few more years to win another, or two, especially with the solid defense and tremendous young receivers that the Giants have. Not too shabby for the kid that was just supposed to be Peyton's little brother.