Eli Manning has lived much of his life in the shadow of his highly decorated older brother Peyton. But on Sunday evening, Eli has the chance to win his second Lombardi Trophy. Despite all of Peyton's accomplishments through the years, he only owns one piece of championship hardware.
Eli might take the Lombardi lead, but Peyton has redefined the positionFirst off, Eli has a lot more time to add to his collection. But at this point, it's Peyton. Big brother is a four-time MVP, and though he won't have as many titles if the Giants prevail, he's been a transcendent player who redefined how the position is played. He also turned one of the more pathetic franchises into an annual powerhouse.
Peyton for now, but Eli isn't even close to being doneI'll go with Peyton ... for now. Eli isn't even close to being done. Eli will likely surpass Peyton in Super Bowls, as well as notable big-game performances when all is said and done.
Peyton's playoff performances -- including his showing in the Super Bowl XLI win -- are pedestrian by and large. He's been out-dueled by Tom Brady and even Mark Sanchez at times.
Eli will prove to be the bigger winner over time, but if the Super Bowl count ends up at just 2-1 in Eli's favor, then I'll stick with Peyton.
Eli needs a 3-1 title advantage over Peyton to even make this a conversationIf Eli wins the Super Bowl, he'll be viewed as the better quarterback right now. But overall? Peyton is going to go down as one of the five best quarterbacks in the history of the game. That's certain, even if he doesn't play another down.
Eli has to accomplish a bit more to surpass what his elder brother has done. Peyton has the passing records, and a longer history of single-handedly making his team a contender, year after year. Seriously, after what we saw from the Colts in 2011, is there any doubt Manning's not the true MVP every year? The Giants would certainly struggle if Eli were lost for a season, but they wouldn't fall off the face of the Earth (like the Colts).
If Eli finishes with three Super Bowls to Peyton's one? Then we have a conversation.
Peyton's greatness can't be measured by Super Bowls aloneIf a career is only measured by Super Bowl wins, then Eli obviously has an opportunity to take the lead. But of course, there are many different measurements of greatness. Peyton's name litters the record books, and he's won a ton of games. Eli may catch Peyton by the end of his career, but for now older brother holds the lead.