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Tiki Barber: Eli Manning is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning

Peyton-Manning-Eli-ManningThe general consensus among football fans is that Peyton Manning is a much better quarterback than Eli Manning. Prior to the New York Giants’ Super Bowl campaign in 2007, very few people believed Eli would ever be on the same stratosphere as his older brother. Two Super Bowl rings have made the conversation more interesting.

Because of Eli’s success in the postseason, former Giants running back Tiki Barber believes he has surpassed Peyton.

“The expectation was that he was never going to be Peyton,” Barber said while co-hosting The Morning Show on CBS Sports Radio Network Wednesday, via Eye on Football. “I remember having these conversations with people who watched Eli in college, saying, ‘He’s good, but he’s never going to be Peyton, he’s not Peyton.’ Guess what? I think he’s better than Peyton. Because of clutch. What matters in sports? It’s winning and losing. You get to the stage and what do you do? Eli’s gotten there and he’s won.”

Not only that, but Barber believes Eli could get himself into the discussion of the top-five quarterbacks of all time with another championship.

“For Eli to crack the top five of all time, he’s got to have a 2011 [type] season a couple more times and win another Super Bowl and be Super Bowl MVP, and then I think he’s in the discussion for the top five [quarterbacks] of all time,” he said.

Eli is 8-3 in his playoff career and Peyton is 9-11. Aside from the 2007 playoffs with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton has ultimately struggled in the postseason. He threw a pick-six that lost the Super Bowl for the Colts against the New Orleans Saints in 2010 and threw another interception to seal Denver’s fate in the playoffs last year. Eli has not had as many crucial mistakes in the clutch.

While I personally still feel that Peyton is — and always will be — a much more talented quarterback, Barber has a point. Hardware speaks for itself, and Eli is only 32 and has more of it than his brother. Maybe these latest comments from Tiki will finally give him a chance to reconcile with Coughlin and company.

Eli Manning caressing Chris Mortensen’s head could be the offseason’s best GIF

Eli

The Manning brothers always make for a good interview, in addition to being great spokesmen for Oreo Cookies. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen caught up with Peyton Manning and Eli Manning while they were working out at Duke earlier this week, and his interview with them led to one of the greatest GIFs you will see this NFL offseason.

Eli appeared to become bored with how many questions Mortensen had for Peyton at one point during the interview, so he decided to screw with Mort. As you can see from the phenomenal animation that Deadspin put together, Eli got the urge to caress Mortensen’s head and chose not to fight it.

What a couple of jokesters, huh? Between Peyton’s epic prank on Eric Decker on Wednesday and Eli’s stroke of Mort’s head, it appears the Manning brothers are enjoying themselves this offseason.

Eli Manning: Bad loss to the Ravens was ‘shocking’ and ‘confusing’

After an embarrassing loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the New York Giants will need a ton of help next week in order to make the playoffs. The G-Men have to beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home and have the Dallas Cowboys lose or tie, the Minnesota Vikings lose and the Chicago Bears lose. Stranger things have happened, but the chances are looking slim.

As for that 33-14 loss in Baltimore, Eli Manning was baffled that his team has put itself in the position it is currently in.

“It’s shocking,” Manning said according to the NY Post. “It’s one thing to lose and it’s one thing to be in there and something happens at the end of the game and [another to] not give yourself a chance. To get down early and getting no momentum, get no spark that can get us going and consistently not making plays that are there and not executing to our ability, it can be confusing.”

Since starting out the season 6-2, the Giants have lost five out of their last seven games. They have been outscored 67-14 in their last two games, during which Manning posted a passer rating of 58.5. The only thing New York can do now is attempt to take care of the Eagles and hope for the best.

“All we can do is go out and try to get back to playing better,” Manning said. “Whatever happens after that, you can’t worry about it. … So whether we make the playoffs or we go into the off-season, at least we go into that last regular season game and … we have a sense that we played well and ended on a good note.”

The Giants have stumbled into the playoffs and gone on to win the Super Bowl twice in the past five years, so in a way this is their style. They seem to enjoy digging themselves out of a hole, but the one they’ve created this year could be too deep to crawl out of.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Eli Manning asked Peyton Manning for advice on playing the Ravens

Eli Manning has the benefit of having more than just game film at his disposal to prepare for the New York Giants’ game against the Baltimore Ravens this weekend. He has an older brother. The Denver Broncos defeated the Ravens in convincing fashion last Sunday, which means Eli’s next opponent is fresh on Peyton Manning’s mind.

“I talked to him a little bit and watched the game,” Eli Manning said on Wednesday according to the Baltimore Sun. “Our offenses are a little different. I tried to just watch the game and see what they were doing and see how the defense played certain looks. So I talked to him a little bit, but it’s really going to be a matter of our own preparation and trying to understand what type of scheme we’re going to run against them.”

Peyton didn’t exactly light it up (17-for-28, 204 yards, 1 TD), but he didn’t have to. Baltimore made so many mistakes that Denver’s offense had to do very little. However, Peyton is a known student of the game who can certainly pass on anything he saw to his little brother. Given the fact that the Giants are in a three-way tie atop the NFC East with two regular season games remaining, Eli will take all the advice he can get.

It should be noted that Eli also sought advice from Peyton earlier in the season after big brother lit up the Cincinnati Bengals. Eli wound up throwing for 215 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss to the Bengals, so hopefully Peyton’s wisdom has more of an impact this time around.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Phil Simms: Eli Manning not an elite quarterback

Just when you thought Eli Manning had ended the “elite quarterback” discussion by winning a second Super Bowl, analyst Phil Simms had to stir it back up again.

Simms, who played quarterback for the New York Giants from 1979-1993, said on CBS Sports Network’s “NFL Monday QB” that Manning is not elite.

“No, he is not one of the elites,” Simms said, via the New York Daily News. “Because when I hear the word elite, I’m thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves. There are very few quarterbacks in that category.

“I always bring up Aaron Rodgers. He is one of them,” said Simms. “So yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no.”

The debate about Eli’s ranking among today’s quarterbacks raged last year when Manning said on a radio show that he considered himself one of the elites. We laughed at him at the time, but then he proved us and his other critics wrong with a spectacular season.

Hall of Fame quarterback and current CBS analyst Dan Fouts disagreed with Simms.

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DeAngelo Hall: Eli Manning is a Hall of Fame player and super smart

DeAngelo Hall insists he did not mean any disrespect earlier this week when he said the Washington Redskins gave Eli Manning and the New York Giants a win last Sunday. When discussing New York’s game-winning 77-yard touchdown, Hall basically said anyone could have made the throw and that it was nothing more than a blown coverage. Several Giants players ripped him for the comments, and the Redskins corner backed off on Thursday.

“I think anybody who’s smart enough to watch football can sit there and see we blew that coverage,” Hall explained according to D.C. Sports Bog. “With that being said, the question I was asked was ‘Is Eli just the smartest guy?, some question the reporter asked me about that particular play. And I was like, nah, you didn’t have to be too smart to see a guy run down the middle and just throw it up.

“I’m not saying Eli’s not smart. You know, the dude’s super smart. He won two Super Bowls. I got drafted with Eli. I was able to get to know him and his family through that whole process. I respect his game a whole lot. I respect that football team, Coach Coughlin, all those guys a lot and what they’ve been able to accomplish up there in New York.”

As much as we like to rip on Hall for saying things like this and allegedly hitting opponents in the face, the explanation sounds pretty sincere. In his defense, it was very much a blown coverage by Washington. Anytime you let an opposing team’s best receiver run free down the seam with under two minutes to play, you’ve made an epic mistake. In that sense, the play was not all that difficult for the Giants to execute.

Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Eli Manning says life is easier now that he doesn’t have to force the ball to veterans

Early on in his career, Eli Manning struggled to establish himself as a leader of the New York Giants. When you take over as the quarterback of a team that has veterans on offense like Tiki Barber, Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey and Amani Toomer, it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. That’s why Manning is clearly enjoying life more now that people like the aforementioned players are no longer around.

“I think early on we probably had receivers who in practice, you’d try to force them to get them balls so they don’t get down or you keep them happy, and I think you create bad habits doing that,” Manning said according to the Newark Star-Ledger. “As I got older and we got younger, new guys in, it evolved to doing it the correct way, going through the reads, saying you’ve got to earn the right to get open.”

Some would argue that Victor Cruz has become Manning’s favorite target, but he says that has less to do with their personal relationship and more to do with Cruz’s ability to get open.

“As a quarterback you always want to trust your guys and I tell them that I don’t have favorites, I’m not going to force it to one guy,” he said. “I’ve got a read and a progression. If you want to know what my progression is, I’ll be happy to tell you. And I’m going to stick to that. If you’re my first read, it’s your job to get open. If you’re not, then I’m going on to the next guy.”

One of the things that makes guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees so effective is that their favorite receivers are the ones who are open. Manning has put himself near that class with his ability to succeed with a variety of receivers, many of whom are backups and no-namers. Most of the distractions have either retired or gone to other teams, and that has helped Manning’s growth tremendously.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE