Super Bowl 2012

Super Bowl 2012: Who's Top Manning If Eli Wins Super Bowl XLVI?

INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants and Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts embrace following the Colts 38-14 win at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Brett StephenAnalyst IIJanuary 27, 2012

Eli Manning will attempt to win his second Super Bowl next Sunday, a feat that his brother Peyton has not accomplished. However, would winning this game make Eli the top quarterback in the Manning family?

NFL quarterbacks are generally rated based on their wins and losses and ultimately the Super Bowl rings that they own at the end of their career.

Eli has been a relatively quiet quarterback throughout his time in the league, never really gaining recognition as one of the game’s elite. It would be a stretch to say that his career has been a disappointment, but it almost feels that way with the lack of respect he gets outside of New York.

While he has been a really good quarterback—even winning a Super Bowl—the non-flashy, non-commercial way he goes about his job has always put him in a backseat behind his media-friendly brother Peyton.

Peyton has also won a Super Bowl, but the way he has led the Colts and directed the offense as if he’s a coach on the field has made him one of the most elite quarterbacks to ever play the game. 

It was very obvious how important his role in the Colts’ offense was as the team went 2-14 without him in 2011, securing the first overall pick in the 2012 draft and by all accounts Manning’s ticket out of the organization.

However, who is the better Manning quarterback if Eli were to win his second Super Bowl title next weekend?

Is it Peyton, who revolutionized the no-huddle offense and the overall way quarterbacks lead an NFL offense? Is it Eli, who despite his lack of flash and overt confidence has quietly won two Super Bowls?

From an organizational viewpoint of success, it has to be Eli. Super Bowls are the ultimate goal of any franchise. That’s why they draft these franchise quarterbacks and pay them tremendous amounts of money.

Media-friendly guys like Peyton, who draw tons of attention and endorsement deals, are great for selling jerseys and putting butts in seats. However, if they don’t win championships, can they be considered truly successful?

The fact is, Peyton did win a championship, so even if Eli were to have a one-ring advantage on him, he still goes down in history as the better quarterback. If he had never won a Super Bowl and Eli had a 2-0 advantage on him, the story may be different.

Despite this “what if” scenario, if Tom Brady leads the Patriots to a victory in Super Bowl XLVI, both Mannings take a proverbial backseat to him as the greatest quarterback in the NFL Super Bowl era.

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