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Eli Manning Has Tom Brady’s Number: Fan’s Take
The debate is settled. Manning is better than Brady. But who knew it was Eli, Manning the Youngest, that was better than the Golden Boy?
The truth is that Manning and his New York Giants have Brady's number. OK, well, the defensive line led by guys like Osi Umenyiora(notes) and Justin Tuck(notes) (and formerly Michael Strahan, currently Jason Pierre-Paul(notes)) has Brady's number. Either way.
Manning led a last second 4th quarter comeback, his fifth 4th-quarter comeback of the season already, to defeat a heavily favored New England Patriots squad. It all seemed quite similar to the drive he led to defeat Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII in February 2008.
Neither Manning or Brady actually had a great game, but both led late touchdown drives. However, Brady made the mistake that so many of his opponents make when facing him -leaving too much time on the clock for Eli to work with. Manning took advantage, following along with the same circumstances of that Super Bowl win.
Manning was just 20 of 39 passing with two touchdowns and one terrible interception for the game, but while Brady threw for more yards, 342 on the game, he also threw two interceptions.
On the season, Brady is the third ranked quarterback in the NFL, with a 100.0 rating. Manning is two spots behind him, with a 98.8 rating. Brady has thrown for more yards and touchdowns than Manning, 2,703 and 20 compared to 2,377 and 15, however, Brady has also thrown more interceptions, a surprising 10 picks on the year compared to Manning's six.
Eli has also been getting it done without many of his biggest weapons and favorite targets. Tight end Kevin Boss(notes) and wide receiver Steve Smith left before the year, and for this game, both Hakeem Nicks(notes) and Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) watched from the bench. But in their place, guys like tight end Jake Ballard(notes) and wide receiver Victor Cruz(notes) have stepped up, spurred on by Manning's penchant for big plays in big moments.
Manning took a lot of flak in the preseason for suggesting he was right up there with the Tom Brady's of the world. And, truth to be told, even the most rabid of Giants fans wouldn't have an argument to suggest that Manning is actually better than Brady.
However, as Manning continues to show that he never shrinks from the biggest of stages, as he continues to grow into more of a team leader, as he continues to defy the expectations and labels placed on him, it's time that he gets bumped up into the 1A tier of NFL quarterbacks, and not the 1B's or "pretty goods" of the world.
Of course, as I warned of nearly exactly 1 year ago, fast starts and 6-2 records are familiar territory for the New York Giants, and not in a good way.
The Giants missed the playoffs last season after starting 6-2. In 2009, a 5-0 record turned into 8-8 and another failed season. In 2008, an 11-1 start ended with a late season skid and a loss in their first playoff game. In 2006 it was a 6-2 record followed by a 2-6 slump and a first round playoff loss.
The Giants schedule is pretty brutal for the next month, with games at San Francisco and New Orleans, and with the Eagles and Packers coming into town. But all of that can be concern for another day.
For now, Giants fans can live with the hope that another 6-2 start to the year won't be squandered, and can bask in the glory that is Manning over Brady, Giants over Patriots.
Sources: ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, NFL on Fox TV Coverage
Jake Emen is a lifelong Giants fan from New Jersey. He also runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.
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