Eli Manning and the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots once again in the NFL’s biggest stage: the Super Bowl. The stars aligned Sunday as the rematch of 2007’s Super Bowl was set for Tom Brady to get revenge on the Giants on his quest for his fourth ring. Eli Manning took the Giants from down 11 points to victory with his final touchdown drive with 4 minutes left in the game at his brother’s home stadium. He now has his second Super Bowl ring with only 8 seasons under his belt. The question now becomes, is he better than his brother Peyton? No, but he has been getting closer.

Peyton Manning deserves to be MVP this year, not Aaron Rodgers. The Most Valuable Player award should be renamed because Peyton Manning was most valuable player not to play this year. Yes, Aaron Rodgers was possibly the best quarterback in the NFL this year as he led the Packers to a 15-1 record, but we all saw what happened when the Colts lost Peyton to a severe neck injury. Peyton has been winning games with a high-powered and complex offense that has been his brainchild for quite some time. He has had some good defenses with the Colts that helped him get his only Super Bowl ring, but this year we saw that Peyton IS the Indianapolis Colts. Without him the Colts completely imploded this season as they had the NFL’s worst record at 2-14.

Eli Manning has dealt with plenty of expectations in his NFL career. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2004 but demanded a trade. Manning was traded to the Giants immediately as he voiced that he had no intentions to play in San Diego. As the number 1 overall pick in that 2004 draft, he had a ton of expectations: not only did he faces large expectations as the franchise quarterback, being son of legendary Saints’ All-Pro quarterback Archie Manning, but also being the other Manning in the NFL as his brother Peyton was doing big things as an Indianapolis Colt.

It seems as if every time Peyton does something big, Eli counters with something even bigger. This is your typical little brother trying to impress the big brother. When Peyton won the Super Bowl in 2006 against the Bears, Eli responded the next year and beat the Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl. There you go, back-to-back Manning Super Bowl MVPs: “How do you like me now, Peyton?” This year was supposed to be Peyton’s year as the Colts were coming off of a 10-6 season and the Super Bowl was coming to their home stadium. Well, something big happened to Peyton as he had a neck injury that left him out for the season. Flash forward 5 months and Manning is the Super Bowl MVP in Indianapolis: no not Peyton, yeah you know who. What will happen this season if Peyton comes back healthy, and possibly on a new team? Will it be called the season that “Peyton Strikes Back”? Yeah it sounds like a movie title, but what will Eli do in the sequel “Return of the Eli”? When, Peyton goes into the Hall of Fame, how will Eli do bigger? No matter what happens in the future, right now all we can say that Eli Manning is no longer in the shadows of his big brother.

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