We can probably stop making the “Why Eli Manning isn’t an elite quarterback argument?” now after he secured his second defeat of the New England Patriots in as many Super Bowls.
That’s one more Super Bowl ring than his brother Peyton has, two more than his father Archie, and two rings to throw up a peace sign to Tom Brady and yell, “That’s twice buddy!”
Push come to shove, teams have to get hot at the right time. The Giants chose the most opportune time, the Green Bay Packers, the most inopportune time. It’s time to favor the Wild Card team, or the team who gets into the playoffs on the final game of the season.
The Las Vegas bookies have it all wrong: never trust the teams sitting their starters in weeks 16 and 17 and “prepping” for the playoffs. Complacency is the number one killer in sports, and living on the edge is what fuels the fire. Just ask the Macabees when lighting up a menorah.
2010 San Francisco Giants anyone? 2011 St. Louis Cardinals anyone? 2011 Green Bay Packers anyone? Need I say more?
So maybe this Super Bowl did not entail a football, David Tyree’s helmet, and a strip of Velcro, but it did feature an over-the-shoulder-tip-toeing-maintaining-possession-of-the-ball-while-falling-out-of-bounds catch that changed the complexion of the game (not to name any names but Eli Manning’s runner-up as Super Bowl MVP-if they had such an award-Mario Manningham.)
Brady even tried to reenact his own version of Manning to David Tyree, only to see linebacker Chase Blackburn jump in front of Brady’s intended target Rob Gronkowski. A linebacker who just sixth months ago was in the classroom with a piece of chalk and a ruler.
Wasn’t it just less than two months ago the Giants were up “that” creek without a paddle after a blowout loss to Washington, and sitting at 7-7 on the outside looking in?
Tally up Manning’s game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime to seven. Seven come-from-behind wins in one season. Second to only Aaron Rodgers in fourth quarter QB rating, why is everyone so obsessed with Tim Tebow? Can’t you see Manning is out-Tebowing Tebow?
And for all you Patriots fans, don’t get all your “Bradys” in a bunch. An elite quarterback and leading a dynasty of the ages. Five Super Bowls in a little over 10 years, and three rings in four years during the 2000s.
But it takes an “Eli” to make an ELI-te quarterback.