Apologies to the Manning clan, but Troy Aikman isn't about to sugarcoat his on-air analysis of Eli to satisfy the family circle.
"No," Aikman said. "Not any tougher on Eli -- or any more praise for Eli -- than any other quarterback."
"Eli hasn't said anything to me," Aikman said. "He's 30 years old and if he has something to say or if he feels I'm being a little too tough then he can certainly voice that.
"I think Eli is playing outstanding. Archie is referring to a game a few weeks back, to where Eli, with a one-possession lead, threw a reckless ball into the corner of the end zone, it was intercepted and you just can't have that as a quarterback. I know that, Eli knows that. I pointed it out. Sometimes quarterbacks don't play as great as their parents think they do."
Not a shining moment for Eli. He's enjoyed a productive season, but New York's lost three straight and there's nothing Archie, Peyton or any other member of the hovering Manning contingent can do about it. This is Eli's weight to bear, Eli's opportunity to turn things around -- and doing just that will go a long way to quieting his critics.