IF ELI WINS ANOTHER SUPER BOWL ... IT'S CASE CLOSEDBy Mike Mazzeo
Eli Manning can't touch Peyton Manning when it comes to statistics and awards.
But Eli is just two playoff wins away from taking the Super Bowl title lead on his older brother 2-1.
And, at the end of the day -- to steal Antrel Rolle's former favorite quote -- isn't that how we measure greatness?
Only 10 quarterbacks in NFL history have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at least twice: Bart Starr, Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, Joe Montana, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.
Imagine if Eli becomes the 11th member of that prestigious club.
I can envision a conversation between two fans in a bar going something like this:
Fan one: "How can you say Eli is better than Peyton when Peyton has made 11 Pro Bowls, is a five-time All-Pro and has won four MVP awards?"
Fan two: "How many Super Bowls has Peyton won?"
Fan one: "I don't care. You don't know anything about football if you think Eli is better than Peyton."
Fan two: "You do realize Eli has five road playoff wins, the most in NFL history, is 2-0 in Super Bowls against the immortal Tom Brady and is 8-3 in the postseason. Peyton is 9-10 in the postseason and had his chance to win another Super Bowl title but came up short. Want to watch the Tracy Porter pick-six on my iPhone?"
Fan one: "No bro, I don't. And it doesn't matter. Let's just agree to disagree on this one."
Even now, you can begin to make the case that Eli is better than Peyton. But if little brother wins a second Super Bowl title, it would make for some enjoyable bar debates, that much is certain.
PEYTON STILL THE BIGGER BROTHERBy Rich Cimini
Eli Manning is a terrific quarterback, and we all know he's having a terrific postseason, but let's be real here, folks: When it comes to the sibling rivalry, Peyton is the Mann.
Big Brother still rules America's first quarterback family. Don't allow Peyton's lost season, coupled with Eli's current tear, to overshadow the obvious:
Peyton is one of the top five quarterbacks -- ever. Eli is a borderline top-five quarterback -- right now.
Eli is doing now what Peyton has done for more than a decade: He's carrying his franchise. Peyton led the Colts to 10 consecutive double-digit win seasons, winning one Super Bowl and four league MVPs along the way. If anyone needed an explanation of his importance to the Colts (it's hard to believe anyone would), it came this season.
Without him, the Colts became a laughingstock, finishing 2-14.
You will find Peyton's name near the top of the all-time rankings in touchdown passes, passing yards, passer rating, comeback wins and ... well, you get the point. But numbers are only part of the story.
What separates Peyton from other prolific passers is his ability to control the game. In an era of micromanaging coaches, Peyton is old school. He calls his plays, he runs the offense, he does it all. He's a quarterback/offensive coordinator. His ability to direct traffic and call plays at the line of scrimmage makes him that much harder to defend.
He's Einstein with a drawl ... and a heck of a right arm.
Look, we know Peyton has experienced some hiccups in the postseason (9-10 career mark), and maybe this argument shifts if Eli wins his second Super Bowl with the Giants. But right now, it's clear:
The quarterback pedestal in the Manning family is Peyton's place.