Let's get a couple things straight first.
This is not a knock on Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham or any of the other receivers on this 2011 Giants team.
Nicks has been solid since his debut in 2009, but he's still very young in his career, and it remains to be seen what he can do throughout the rest of his career.
The same with Victor Cruz—he's been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year, but now that people know who he is, can he put up big numbers on a consistent basis?
Meanwhile, Peyton, as fantastic of a quarterback as he is, has also been fortunate with some fantastic and even HOF-worthy receivers over the course of his career. These include Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Marcus Pollard. That's not even including the newer, younger players like Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon.
Eli, while he has depth at the wide receiver position now, didn't have a whole lot, until guys like Nicks and Cruz came along.
Between 2005 and 2008, he had Plaxico Burress, who caught the winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl 42, but he wasn't the greatest receiver in the world, despite being 6'5".
During that same time, he also had Amani Toomer, who owns just about every Giants' receiving record in the book. However, by the time Manning debuted, Toomer wasn't the same guy who was posting 1,000-plus-yard seasons that he was in the late 1990s, early 2000s.
Tight end Jeremy Shockey was decent but nothing spectacular. It also didn't help that he was brash and suffered from injuries.
There's David Tyree, best known for the so-called "Helmet Catch" that helped save the game in Super Bowl 42. However, Tyree hardly caught balls at the receiving position and was more relegated to special teams.
Tim Carter? Sinorice Moss? Darcy Johnson? Anyone?
You get my point. Despite not having the quality receivers Peyton has had over the years, Eli has still manged to put up numbers and win games regardless.