In a year where Tim Tebow and Aaron Rodgers were knocked out of the playoffs in the same round, Manning’s NFL record five road playoff wins reflect his poise.
Last Tuesday, Eli Manning took the podium in front of the East Rutherford, New Jersey media, answering questions with the same lethargic posture and demeanour. Thursday during practise his common sideways throwing release remained hard on the eyes, but at age 30, in his 8th season his playoff record is undeniable.
Wining Super Bowl 46 legitimizes Eli’s claim that he is in the elite class of passers. A second Super Bowl ring will position Eli among only ten other quarterbacks with to have won the game at least twice in their careers. All but one of those quarterbacks who are eligible, are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Going into the 2011 season he was not heralded as a top tier quarterback. Playing for the more successful of the two New York professional football teams places Eli under a great scope. His insistence that he believes he is indeed in the same elite as his counterparts, and specifically Brady. In a year where Tim Tebow and Aaron Rodgers were knocked out of the playoffs in the same round, Manning’s NFL record five road playoff wins reflect his poise.
Playing behind two great shadows of father, Archie and brother Peyton, Eli has been consistently overcoming of great adversities since his entrance to the NFL Winning Super Bowl 46 would separate Eli from big brother Peyton. His NFL playoff record stands at 7-3, .700 winning percentage, when compared to Peyton’s 9-10 record, .455 winning percentage with also only a single Super Bowl win to his credit. Eli Manning is one win away from officially separating himself from older brother Peyton in the category most critical of all NFL quarterbacks, Super Bowl wins. Ironically Eli pursues his second championship against Peyton’s greatest Nemesis, Tom Brady, who Eli has defeated in their last two match ups, Super Bowl 42, 17-14, and week 9 of this season 24-20.
There is no dispute that Eli exhibits the intangibles that are required of a championship Quarterback, evident in his NFC Championship performance against the stingy San Francisco 49ers defence. Winning Super Bowl 46 will definitely support Eli’s legacy, and he will indeed be mentioned among today’s top 5 elite quarterbacks. However for him to ensure his name among the other all-time great QBs with two or more rings, he still needs to improve on his passing numbers throughout a full NFL slate, and keep his performance level high at a consistent pace over the remaining duration of his career.
Eli made himself a punchline for many with his bold comment regarding his own perception of himself as an “elite quarterback”. Winning his second championship at Super Bowl 46 will silence those who criticized him. Still, the shadow cast by Peyton’s record four MVP’s, his unmistakable statistics and field generalship is too large to ignore. Eli’s one more Super Bowl ring still is not enough to place him as the better of the two Manning’s, yet.