Super Debate: Eli Manning or Asante Samuel?

It doesn't matter if you think the Patriots are on the verge of capping off a perfect season or the Giants are about to pull off a monumental upset -- there are plenty of good arguments to support both sides. You may already have your own thoughts on the matter, but we'll try to help out. Between now and Super Bowl XLII, NFL.com will present a daily debate pertaining to the matchup. Check them out and then let us know what you think by answering the poll question:



A year after big brother Peyton won his first Super Bowl, Eli is in line to get his first title to keep up with his sibling. The younger Manning has never played better than he has in the past four weeks. He is the only quarterback who has not thrown an interception in this postseason despite playing more playoff games (three) than any QB except for San Diego's Philip Rivers. He has thrown for an average of 200 yards per playoff game and has four touchdowns, while compiling a 99.1 QB rating. He also played exceptionally in the Week 17 meeting against the Patriots and if not for one mistake - a costly fourth-quarter interception - the Giants may well have won that game. He threw four touchdowns in that contest, the most touchdown passes New England surrendered in a game all season, and passed for 251 yards. If he can duplicate that performance this time around, minus the pick, the Giants stand a great chance to win.

 


The Patriots tabbed Samuel as their franchise player during training camp and the cornerback has delivered. Samuel had six interceptions in 2007 - down from 10 a year ago - but that is because quarterbacks do not look his way. Case in point, Eli Manning completed a 52-yard pass to Plaxico Burress on the second play from scrimmage in Week 17, but went after Ellis Hobbs instead of Samuel. Manning completed some short routes against Samuel but could not beat him deep, giving the cornerback a huge psychological advantage. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers paid the price for challenging Samuel in the AFC Championship Game. Rivers attempted a pass to Chris Chambers, but Samuel made an athletic play to take the ball away from Chambers in what proved to be one of the key plays in the Patriots' win. Samuel is set to become a free agent after the season, so expect the talented cornerback to try to make a huge splash in the Super Bowl - possibly his last game with the team.



Previous debates:

Plaxico Burress or Wes Welker?
Tom Coughlin or Bill Belichick?
Giants' run defense or Patriots' veteran linebackers?
Rematch favors Pats... or are they due to lose?
Sam Madison or Tom Brady