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Monday, February 6, 2012
Eli named Super Bowl XLVI MVP

By Mike Mazzeo



Elite, indeed.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named MVP of Super Bowl XLVI after completing 30 of 40 passes for 276 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in his team’s 21-17 victory over the Patriots in his older brother Peyton’s house. Manning also beat New England in Super Bowl XLII and earned MVP honors in that game as well. Manning is now 2-0 in Super Bowls against legendary Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady.

“It just feels good to win a Super Bowl, it doesn’t matter where you are,” Manning said after the game. “I feel great.

“It’s been a wild game, it’s been a wild season, but we’ve got a great, tough bunch of guys that never quit and have faith in each other. I’m just proud of our team.”

Manning is the 11th starting quarterback in NFL history to win at least two Super Bowl titles and the eighth to win his first two Super Bowl starts.

Manning started off the game by completing a Super Bowl-record nine straight passes. He completed a two-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to Victor Cruz, and went 5 of 6 on the team’s final drive -- including a 38-yard strike to Mario Manningham, the longest play of the game.

Manning received a black 2012 Corvette Grand Sports Convertible Centennial edition for winning the MVP award. He is just one of five players in league history to win multiple MVP awards; Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr and Joe Montana (three) are the others. Given that, it’s hard to argue that Manning won’t go down as one of the greatest of all-time -- if he isn’t already.

Coming off an underwhelming 2010 campaign in which he led the NFL in turnovers (30), Manning made headlines before the season started when he stated he thought he was a top-five quarterback in Brady’s class.

And, at the end of the day, he backed it up, setting an NFL record by throwing 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes in the regular season, orchestrating six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and throwing for a team record 4,933 yards -- the sixth-most yards in league history. In the postseason, Manning threw nine touchdowns and just one interception.

He went 6-0 in his final six games, besting Mark Sanchez, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith and Brady to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in his eight-year career.

“I just stayed positive,” Manning said. “I knew we were moving the ball. We kept getting close and our defense played tough.”

Somewhere, the GM who acquired him in a controversial blockbuster trade on draft day in 2004, Ernie Accorsi, was smiling.

“In my eyes, he’s the best quarterback in the league,” said wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who caught 10 passes for 109 yards.