Super Bowl 2012: What Eli Manning Gains from a Second Ring

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15:   Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on against the Green Bay Packers during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Eli Manning isn't the best quarterback in New York Giants history. He isn't even the best quarterback with his own last name.

But both these notions are temporary, and with a second Super Bowl ring he'll be damn close to changing them.

A second ring won't elevate Eli above Phil Simms' passing marks in the Giants record books—he still has plenty of time to do that—but it will tie him with Simms' two Super Bowl rings.

It is true that No. 11 wasn't on the field for the Giants' memorable Super Bowl XXV win, but he did start 14 regular season games and turn in one of his finest statistical seasons before going down with injury that year. Jeff Hostetler led the Giants to the Bowl, but Simms played a major role in that season.

11 Nov 1990:  Quarterback Phil Simms of the New York Giants looks to pass the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California.  The Giants won the game, 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell  /Allsport
Mike Powell/Getty Images

Eli is well on pace to knock the Giants legend off the top spot in New York's record books, but Super Bowl rings are the most important statistic.

If No. 10 were to equal (virtually pass No. 11's two rings because of the injury) he will eventually be known as the best quarterback in Giants history. It is inevitable that Eli will pass Simms in the books; adding a second ring puts him ahead regardless. 

As for brother Peyton, well, it would become an interesting debate.

Quarterbacks are judged, first and foremost, by winning. All the statistics in the world are great, but they pale in comparison to Super Bowl rings. Peyton's career is not over yet (we believe) and he is easily one of the best to ever line up under center. The things he's done with the Indianapolis Colts—evidenced even further by his absence this season—are nothing short of remarkable.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Imag
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

But he does have a 9-10 career postseason mark with one Super Bowl win and one Super Bowl loss.

Another ring won't put Eli ahead of Peyton, but it will close that once insurmountable gap between the two of them.

And remember, Peyton has a full six more seasons in the league than Eli to begin with.

Should Eli continue to play at the level he has this season, he will have made a huge jump up the ranks of the current quarterbacks forever. If he adds another Super Bowl ring he'll join a list that includes: Joe Montana, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady, Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, Bart Starr and Ben Roethlisberger.

Eli Manning still has to get back to his second Super Bowl, but if he completes yet another run this year it will truly move him into elite company in his organization, in his family and in history.

 

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