Eli or Peyton?

Posted: February 8, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

Hey big brother I got a secret to tell you. . . I have more Super Bowl Rings than you do!!!

This question will be asked for a while, who’s better Eli or Peyton?

Who would you rather have on your team?

The New York Giants won their 2nd Super Bowl in 5 years and yet again we are talking about the uncanny ability of Eli Manning to orchestrate key 4th down drives. He now has two of the most memorable throws in Super Bowl history and is just one of 6 QB’s to win two SB MVP awards. Eli was scrutinized before the season when he told a radio show host that he thought of himself as an elite QB in the league but stood by his words and proved himself right. The lackadaisical younger brother of Peyton Manning has the face of a 16 year old and the emotion of a cardboard box but with his performance this year he may have just catapulted his big bro.

I will admit that amongst my friends we have called Eli many things including, pretty princess, derp, Elisha, the afterbirth and of course Peyton’s little brother. I must say that after this playoff run by Eli has garnered some respect from a guy who absolutely despises the guy. Eli isn’t flashy, he doesn’t capture my attention, his playing style often times puts me to sleep, he isn’t the orchestrator Peyton is, but I will say that the fucking kid can play. Eli often looks confused but that just be who he is and if he can play football while looking like he has a hint of downs syndrome and win big games it doesn’t matter what I think of him.

Of course Peyton and Eli are the son of former New Orleans Saints QB Archie Manning but the boys are leaps and bounds better than their father ever was. Born and bred in the south the Manning brother’s made drastically different decisions when choosing where they would play college ball. Peyton as we know went to play as a Tennessee Volunteer while Eli followed his father’s footsteps and played for the Ole Miss Rebels. Both Manning’s had great collegiate careers  but since Peyton had more of an opportunity to play as a freshman we will only be looking at their last three years in school.

Peyton had a great sophomore year completing 244-380, 64.2% of his throws for 2954 yards, 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In the following year he had more yards, 3287, completed less passes 63.9%, threw less touchdowns 20, more interceptions 12 but decided to return for his senior year. Peyton had his best season but his completion percentage dropped to 60.2% while he threw for 3819 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and was eventually selected number 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts.

Eli absolutely exploded in his sophomore year after attempting just 33 passes as a freshman. In his first full season as a starter Eli completed 63.5% of his passes for 2948 yards, 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Like his brother Peyton, Eli’s junior year was his worst completing 58% of his passes for 3401 yards, 21 touchdowns and 15 interceptions but he bounced back in 2003. During his senior year he completed 62.4% of his passes for 3600 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He would be selected number 1 overall by the San Diego Chargers but after throwing a bitch fit and complaining through his father Eli ended up a New York Giant.

Both QB’s were snubbed of the Heisman Trophy, Peyton finishing 2nd in 1997 and Eli finishing 3rd in 2003 but both won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Maxwell Award and SEC Player of the Year in their senior seasons. I feel that many people would automatically say that Peyton had the more successful college career but when you look at those final three seasons its closer than one might think. Peyton threw for 10060 yards, 78 touchdowns, 27 interceptions completing 774-1237 of his passes with a 62.5 completion percentage. Eli completed 813 of 1330 passes for 9949 yards, 81 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

It is hard to argue that Eli is better than his brother and it becomes extremely difficult to defend that position when debating regular season performances. Peyton Manning is the only player in NFL history to be a 4-time NFL MVP and although Eli doesn’t have such an award when dissecting the numbers they aren’t mind-blowingly different. That is if you don’t look too much into a 6000+ yard and 59 touchdown differentials but over the first 121 regular season games of each Manning’s career are close. Peyton attempted over 500 more passes which does skew the results some but c’mon Peyton could be the best regular season QB of all-time. Eli does have fewer interceptions than his big brother when comparing the early parts of their careers but Peyton is near the end of the line while Eli’s right in the middle of an illustrious career.

Realistically it doesn’t matter how much better Peyton’s regular season number are compared to Eli’s because when you look back on a QB’s career it is all about their ability to lead their team to victory late and under bright lights. Although Peyton has played in 87 more games than Eli he has just 14 more 4th quarter comebacks. Eli has 21 comebacks which ranks 15th all-time while Peyton ranks 2nd on that list with 35 and is just a single comeback away from tying Dan Marino’s 36. Since Eli entered the league in 2004 Peyton has had 19 4th quarter comebacks, 2 less than Eli, but that is including Eli’s record breaking year this season while Peyton was on the sideline. I am not debating whether or not these are elite QB’s because clearly they are, BOTH OF THEM, but I am trying to argue that when the pressure is on Eli handles it better than his big brother.

All you have to do is look at their playoff record.

It is easy to say that Peyton is one of the greatest QB’s of all time but I think that his statistics are inflated from phenomenal regular season appearances while his playoff performances leave much to be desired. Peyton made it to the postseason for the first time in 1999 and lost a game to the Titans after he could complete just 45% of his passes. He made it back the next year and was defeated by the Miami Dolphins but did throw his first career playoff touchdown. They Colts didn’t make it back until 2002 but Peyton posted his worst QB of his playoff career with a 31.2 rating. Through Peyton’s first 3 playoff games he was 0-3 completed 50 of his 105 passes for 558 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

In 2003 Peyton played great in the playoffs for the first time throwing for 681 yards, 8 touchdowns and no interceptions in two blowout wins against the Broncos and Chiefs but he shit the bed against Tom Brady and the Patriots. He completed under 49% of his passes for just 237 yards, 1 touchdown and gave his team no chance to win by throwing 4 interceptions. Peyton would be bounced by New England again the next year but in 2006 he got his redemption by finally beating the Pats. That was on his way to winning his only Super Bowl and being named SB MVP when his team beat the Bears 29-17.

The following two years Peyton and the Colts were one and done, per usual, but got back to the Super Bowl in 2009. They were defeated by the New Orleans Saints and Peyton was neither bad nor great and last season he was bounced in the first game once again. All in all Peyton and his Indianapolis Colts lost in their first playoff game 7 times and have a postseason record of 9-10 with Peyton under Center. Peyton has thrown an interception in 11 of those 19 games and thrown for 0 or 1 touchdown in 13 of those games. Peyton has completed 63% of his passes in the playoffs for 5389 yards, 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

Eli Manning has half the experience his brother has but his postseason success is intriguing but unlike Peyton, Eli is all or nothing when it comes to the playoffs. Manning has been in the postseason 5 times compared to Peyton’s 11 but already Eli has more Championships and Super Bowl MVP’s. When Eli and the Giants make it to the playoffs and win a game, they have gone on to win the Super Bowl. Eli has lost the first playoff game in his other 3 appearances and his stats from those games are bad. In his 3 playoff losses Eli has completed 41 of 74 for 443 yards, 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with his team being outscored 31-69.

In Eli’s 8 playoff victories he completed 178 of 282 for 2073 yards, 15 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. He threw an interception in the Super Bowl in 2007 and another against the Green Bay Packers in this year’s Divisional round but other than that he made great decisions. Eli has completed 61.5% of his passes in the playoffs for 2516 yards, 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has half the experience that Peyton does, with half the yardage, over half the touchdowns and a much better interception ratio. Not to mention Eli has won both Super Bowl’s he has appeared in while Peyton is 1-1 and his future is up in the air.

It is highly unlikely that Peyton will continue his career with the Indianapolis Colts but it seems that the elder Manning is adamant about playing in the NFL again. I do not know to what level Peyton will be able to play after multiple neck surgeries but he doesn’t need to throw for another yard to get my Hall of Fame vote. He may however be living in the shadow of his younger brother though. Eli is just 31 and is playing on a team full of young talent and this could be just the beginning. Eli may not look confident while he does it but the guy clearly has the clutch factor and he may have been given a heavier dose than his bigger brother. As I said before Eli and Peyton are both elite players but in the end it is Super Bowl victories that matter most and right now the little brother is winning the battle. I think that this is just the beginning and Eli will continue to add on to a wonderful Manning legacy but he still looks like an emotionless mongoloid.


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