Tiki Barber earned the ire of his former New York Giants teammates shortly after retiring in 2007 when he criticized Eli Manning for a lack of leadership. What Manning has accomplished since then has convinced Barber that Eli might end up as one of the top-five quarterbacks of all time with another Super Bowl victory.
Barber recently went even further, telling Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson of CBS Sports' "The Morning Show" that Eli already is a better player than Peyton Manning.
"I remember having these conversations with people who watched Eli in college, saying, 'He's good, but he's never going to be Peyton, he's not Peyton.' Guess what? I think he's better than Peyton," Barber said Wednesday. "Because of clutch. What matters in sports? It's winning and losing. You get to the stage and what do you do? Eli's gotten there and he's won."
Even if Eli's 8-3 postseason record is markedly better than Peyton's 9-11, it's an absurd sentiment from Barber.
Eli was carried by his defensive line in Super Bowl XLII. He owes his first ring to Asante Samuel dropping the game-winning interception and David Tyree coming down with the most freakish reception in postseason history. Eli's second ring came courtesy of a drop from Wes Welker on a play that NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth said the wide receiver makes "100 times out of 100."
Eli certainly deserves credit for making plays in the clutch, but there are 21 other players on the field determining the outcome. NFL games can turn in a dozen different directions without the quarterback even touching the ball.
Adjusting for defensive support, Peyton owns the best win-loss record of all time in addition to putting Eli to shame by every other statistical measure. Two Super Bowl wins don't carry more weight than the other 244, which prove that Peyton is out of Eli's league.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.