Tom Brady has consistently been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since he started winning Super Bowls many years ago. Brady was recently ranked as the best player in the entire NFL by his peers.
On the other side, Eli Manning doesn't look the part and his numbers certainly don't dictate it, but he and Brady are one and two in the NFL right now.
Say what you will about Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, but they didn't show up when their teams needed them most. Brees wasn't able to close out the 49ers and he's won just one playoff game the last two seasons. Sure, the statistics are there, but I'm not riding the Brees train anymore.
On the other hand, as for Aaron Rodgers, Manning marched into Green Bay and took down Rodgers' Packers. There will be comments on the article about dropped passes, bad offensive line play and overall ineptitude by the Packer defense, but the fact remains that Rodgers let the Giants march into Lambeau and win.
Rodgers won the Super Bowl last year and led his Packers to the NFL's best record this season, but against the Giants he was 26-of-46 for 264 yards and two touchdowns to one interception with much help from the referees.
As for Manning in that game, the Ole Miss graduate was 21-of-33 for 330 yards and three touchdowns to one interception, outdueling Rodgers and winning the ballgame.
Rodgers and Brees certainly will win whatever awards there are for MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, etc., but it will be Manning and Brady who play for it in the Super Bowl.
Other than Tom Brady, who is the best quarterback in the NFL?
The Giants leaned on Manning against the 49ers in the NFC Championship and he answered the call, throwing a whopping 58 passes (completing 32) and racking up 316 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions despite rainy conditions.
Brees may have beaten the Giants earlier in the year, but Manning was able to beat the 49ers in the playoffs. Don't give me stats about points scored or defensive numbers—the fact remains that Manning went into Candlestick Park and took down the 49ers after Brees failed to do so.
Maybe his statistics weren't that of Rodgers and Brees in the regular season, but Manning still threw a respectable 29 touchdowns to 16 interceptions and passed for a comparable 4,933 yards.
For me, the 3-0 playoff record of Eli Manning this season gives him the edge over Drew Brees (1-1) and Aaron Rodgers (0-1), stats and regular-season records notwithstanding.
After almost having to swallow a Joe Flacco or Alex Smith pill for the Super Bowl, it's refreshing to see the best two quarterbacks in the NFL playing for it all.
This summer, Manning said he was in the same class as Tom Brady, that he was elite. He will have the chance to prove that on Super Bowl Sunday. Eli Manning and Tom Brady are one-two right now, and we will know who is No. 1 in just two weeks.