Is Giants Eli Manning Better than Colts Peyton Manning?

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Driving to work today and listening to NY talk radio, it seemed as if every other caller was of the opinion that if Eli Manning won another Super Bowl, that meant he was better than his brother Peyton. Let me first say that if Eli gets another ring, he’s well on his way to Canton. Eli is one of the more clutch QB’s in the game, particularly in the two-minute offense. In fact, he’s so effective in that environment; I often wondered that if they let him do what Peyton does and call the game at the line of scrimmage, whether or not he would be viewed as football royalty like Peyton.

Eli fans are constantly fighting for his respect. You hear the argument all the time from Eli fans trying to make certain that he’s included in the top NFL quarterbacks conversation. The way it is now, and Eli is viewed as Prince Harry while Peyton is viewed as Prince William. That’s not quite like being Rodney Dangerfield, but you get the point; he’s second on the Manning football food chain. Should he be?

Check out this email I received from Todd in Irving, TX.

I ran each one’s performance in games in which the scoring margin was between -7 and +7 points at the end of the third quarter. I discounted both rookie years.

  • Peyton: .652 winning percentage
  • Eli: .581 winning percentage

If you want to go with a broader definition of clutch, which is winning percentage

  • Peyton: 141-67 (.678)
  • Eli: 69-51 (.575)

Or we could look at the game winning drives

  • Peyton: 46 in 227 games (.203)
  • Eli: 23 in 129 games (0.178)

In the playoffs, one and done

  • Peyton: 7 times in 11 years (.636)
  • Eli: 3 times in 5 seasons (.600) * only stat that favors Eli

Playoff seasons, versus seasons played

  • Peyton: 11 in 13 seasons (.846)
  • Eli: 5 in 8 seasons (.526)

How quick people forget… Just take a step back for a moment and look at what the Indianapolis Colts looked like this year without Peyton Manning… Think back to the feeling you had in your stomach when the team you were rooting for was winning by just a few points, couldn’t run out the clock and was going to have to punt the ball back to Peyton and the Colts. The first thing you did was look at the clock. If there was anything more than 30 seconds left, the second thing you did was say, “oh shit.”

Often in life you find that the little brother strives to get out of the shadow of the older brother, that’s just the way it is. Eli may end up with more championships in his career, but that’s because he played on better teams with better defenses. Eli Manning may in fact end up being a Hall of Fame quarterback and deserves every accolade that comes his way; but he’s not better than Peyton….


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