Tiki Barber stirred up a Manning debate on Wednesday when he stated that Eli is better than Peyton. "Because of clutch," Barber said on the CBS Sports Radio Network. "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."
So, let's open this up to the floor: Which Manning brother reigns supreme?
Peyton is the superior QB, but Eli has played better when it mattersTiki has a point. Eli has been better in the postseason and has two rings to Peyton's one. That said, Peyton Manning is the better quarterback.
In speaking to defensive coaches through the years, they have relayed to me that they fear Peyton a lot more than Eli. When they talk about the top three or four QBs in the NFL, Eli is on the outside looking in. Peyton's had the good fortune of playing in pass-first schemes that allow him to put up crazy stats, but if he weren't so good, his offensive coaches wouldn't throw the ball as much.
Peyton is the better quarterback, but Eli's won and played better at the right times.
Eli has played with better teams, but Peyton is the more consistent quarterbackI would take Peyton over Eli because Peyton is more consistent in his decision-making and accuracy.
It is easy to say Eli made some clutch plays to win two Super Bowls, but you have to look at the whole body of work when you are making this decision. The New York Giants were a better team than the Indianapolis Colts. The Giants had better running games on each of Eli's Super Bowl-winning teams (XLII and XLVI). Sure, Indy's running game was part of the reason why the Colts beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, but it also was a contributing factor in their loss to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
Eli is the better quarterback, and it's not really even closeI agree with Tiki Barber, who suddenly realizes this after ripping Eli for most of his career. But hey, let's just celebrate that he got to the party. Stats don't matter, and it's not even close -- Eli's the better quarterback.
If Eli didn't have such bad body language and sour-puss looks on his face at times, we're not even talking about this. But Eli's image is that of the petulant younger brother, and it's hard to overcome that, even with two Super Bowl wins (with each featuring a late, game-winning drive). "Eli's lucky" is another common refrain. I don't know that it's luck, but what Eli does is a better version of what Brett Favre used to do in taking chances throwing the football.
Watch Eli at the line of scrimmage. What he does better than anyone else is get the Giants into the right formation to counteract what the defense is going to do on any specific play. Sometimes that means getting Hakeem Nicks isolated one-on-one with a defensive back. Then, in the face of a blitz, Eli throws up a wounded duck that Nicks goes up and gets for a touchdown. And we react by saying, "Boy, how lucky did Eli get on that one?" But in reality, Eli put his player in a position to make a play, even if the throw wasn't perfect. He takes the right chances. Eli is so underrated it's ridiculous.
Little brother has the ultimate trump card over big brother: a second ringMan, I hate to agree with just about anything Tiki Barber says, but he's kind of got a point.
I imagine Eli and Peyton arguing with one another about football over the family dinner table. I then envision the younger brother pulling out the ultimate trump card: two Super Bowl titles to his older brother's one. And then I can vividly imagine that sullen face Peyton gets when he throws a game-crippling interception. You know the one; we've seen it enough in recent years.
All 32 GMs, including Giants boss Jerry Reese, would choose Peyton over EliI wasn't planning to answer this because we're posting up a storm at Around the League, but I started to legitimately worry about NFL.com losing credibility because of the ridiculousness of a few responses above. It's like no one watched Eli Manning play in 2012. Or watched Peyton Manning play for his entire career. So many factors go into a successful playoff run that have nothing to do with the quarterback, including plain old luck. Eli is a very good, top-10 quarterback, but he gets far too much credit for his two titles. Meanwhile, Peyton gets knocked too much for his playoff losses.
All 32 GMs, including Giants boss Jerry Reese, would take one year of Peyton Manning over one year of Eli Manning. That's true this year, just like it's been true every year since Eli entered the league.