He’ll nearly get your coach fired, and then he’ll win you a Super Bowl.
Eli Manning might not be the most stress-free quarterback to lead a team, but he seems to get the job done where so many quarterbacks fail — when it matters the most. With one ring already, Eli can surpass his brother Peyton in championships Sunday night, which was unanimously believed to be impossible just a few years ago.
His New York Giants are so far removed from losing five of their last eight regular-season games that I doubt many people outside of the Giants’ fan base even remembers that little tidbit. They’ve had four must-win games in a row — a win against the Dallas Cowboys just to qualify for the postseason and three playoff games — and they’ve won all four games.
You can point to the Giants’ defense all you want, but I’m buying stock in Eli Manning.
Let’s look at their 6-1 run in the last seven games. Eli only threw three interceptions combined in those six wins; in their one loss, a 23-10 loss to the Washington Redskins, he threw three interceptions. When Eli is his own worst enemy, the Giants lose. But when he’s good, the Giants are really good.
Sounds like a team MVP to me, no?
And here’s the thing about Eli’s brilliance — it seems to be consistently present in the postseason. In their run to Super Bowl XLVI, Eli’s passer rating has been above 82 in each game (it was 45.5 in that loss to the Redskins), and it broke the 110 mark in two of three games. New England’s defense isn’t great; I think it’s pretty similar in many ways to that of the Green Bay Packers. And what was Eli’s passer rating against the Packers?
The big stage doesn’t seem to bother Eli. He’s 1-0 in the Super Bowl, and I expect no jitters from him or his teammates this time around. They weren’t all on the team that went all the way in the 2007 season, but they sure do look like that team: reliable defense and a great signal-caller leading the offense.
Is Eli ever going to be listed as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time? Probably not, but he definitely deserves credit as one of the greatest quarterbacks of our time.