No matter what happens in Super Bowl XLVI, Eli is now his own man. Eli Manning has been compared to his brother and other elite quarterbacks since he entered the NFL. I have written several NFL blogs this year proclaiming that "Eli is elite." There should be no debate of Eli's status in the NFL. The ironic thing is Eli has improved his stock by playing like a MVP and taking his team to the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning has improved his rank as a QB(if that is possible) by not playing and everyone watching the Colts tank, but I will explore that later in this blog entry.
Now let's not go crazy. Peyton is still better than Eli, but Eli has narrowed the gap and put himself, barring injury, into the Hall of Fame. Peyton and Eli now have the same amount of Super Bowl wins and appearances. If Eli wins, he will have one more than Peyton and in Super Bowls, a win is a mile. Plus, if Peyton never plays again, Eli will stack up more huge statistical seasons, and then let the debate begin of which brother is better. Well, who knows, let's not get again head of ourselves, let's see if Eli puts himself into rare company, leading his team to two Super Bowl victories.
There have only been ten quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to start and win two Super Bowls. What quarterback wouldn't want to be on a list of names like Bart Star, John Elway, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, etc.. So, Eli has a lot of history at stake, but so does Tom "Terrific." Brady with this Super Bowl start will tie the NFL record with 5, but a win would put him in a category by himself. Brady would tie Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with 4 wins, and that is nice, short list to be on, but those two guys never went to 5 Super Bowls. Tom Brady would be the only quarterback ever to win 4 and start in 5.
I have been picking NFL games all season and have been pretty successful doing so however, I hate picking the Super Bowl. It is hard to separate the information from the hype. Plus, this is a hard game to pick. The Giants have been the hot team during the playoffs and they are a much more balanced team on both sides of the ball. No one would have predicted this in the beginning of season when Eli said he was "elite"(Eli should get his credit for making that statement and backing it up with his play), but Eli has been the best quarterback in the playoffs and has been fourth quarter clutch all season. The Giants also come from the better division, NFC, but this is not an overall comparison of the divisions, this is one game.
In one game it will be hard to beat Brady and Belichick again in a Super Bowl. The Giants caught the Pats somewhat flat footed and hit them in mouth(literally) last time they met in the Super Bowl in 2007. I just don't know if the Pats will let that happen again, they are just way too smart and prepared.
Forgive the cliche, but not matter who wins this Super Bowl, this is going to be a great match up. As NFL fans we can't ask for two better teams. The rivalry between these two teams and their fans has been great over the years, and both teams are full of big names, and it is a repeat of the 2007 Super Bowl is which is considered the best Super Bowl ever. I don't want to list any more reasons, but everything added together should make this an exciting game to watch, which makes this a tough game to pick. I would be a coward not to make a pick, so here goes.
SUPER BOWL Sunday, February 5 (6:30 PM ET NBC)
New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
, it is no secret that for the most part the Colts had been bad for a long time. Peyton didn't just make the Colts better, Peyton was the Colts. Most people believed Peyton was the leader, face, and best player for the Colts, but now many believe he was the singular force that fueled the entire team. It is hard to argue with fact after the Colts went 2-14 this season and looked like a college team at times. The Colts were a given every year for the NFL playoffs, but with Peyton gone for the year the Colts fell apart.
Some say that any NFL team would go into a tail spin if they lost their MVP quarterback. New England is the example that destroys that argument. Tom Brady was lost for the year in 2008 and Matt Cassel lead New England to 11-5. So, as great as Brady is, Peyton was an even bigger part of the Colts' success, more than other great quarterbacks have been for their teams historically. Still, at some point, as a team you must move forward. Recently, Green Bay is an example of moving forward and things working out pretty well for them. So, the Colts may even need to move forward, but I just don't know if it is possible for the Colts to replace Peyton Manning. I guess it just depends on how good the much heralded Andrew Luck is.
I am not saying what Jim Irsay has done, by cleaning house, is a bad thing, but the old saying goes "you can do the right thing the wrong way." The front office deserved the blame for the Colts' terrible season. Clearly, the Colts team depended far too much to Peyton to make them a competitive team.
I know for a fact that firing Jim Caldwell was good move. Caldwell had been a failure on the college level and his success at the Colts was due to Manning and Tony Dungy leaving him a team that was ready to win. Many times you can tell how valuable someone is by seeing how other teams respond to him being on the free market. Well, Jim Caldwell is now going to be quarterbacks coach for the Ravens. No one in NFL even seriously considered him for a coordinators' position. I told someone before the season that Caldwell was the worst coach in the NFL and they laughed, now who is laughing. Even Irsay getting rid of Peyton might work out in the long run, but maybe it would be a good idea for Mr. Irsay not to talk so much about his team business, in public.
Jim Irsay criticized Peyton Manning for making his feelings public about the Colt current state. Manning has always been a class act, but maybe after his owner had so publicly talked about team business on twitter, in interviews, and every other media outlet, Peyton thought it would be all right. Irsay is one step away from making the Colts a circus side show and not the legit contender they have been the last decade and want to be again. Irsay inherited the Colts from his father and while that doesn't mean he will do a bad job, it does shed some light on why Irsay is acting like a big mouth spoiled rich kid. Outspoken ownership has worked in the past, but for the most part good owners handle business behind the scenes. Irsay may be doing what is best for the Colts, but it might help the team for him to keep his head down and his finger over his mouth.
What's My Next Move?
Tim Tebow has always been a very public figure since his college days, but for the most part he has kept a healthy distance from the media. He seems to have always concentrated on improving his game and being a family man. That is why I can't figure out why he is doing interviews with ESPN during the Super Bowl. I don't know whose idea that is and maybe I am putting too much stock in it. All I know is Tim better not believe his own hype(really I don't think he will), he better just get better.