The last time the New York Giants met the New England Patriots in the title game, quarterback Eli Manning was just starting to discover his own identity as an NFL quarterback while his counterpart, Tom Brady, was chasing history. Next Sunday, they enter Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face off again, but this time as equals.
In four years, Manning has grown from average game-manager to elite NFL quarterback. He has led the Giants to seven fourth-quarter comeback victories and carried the team on his back for much of the season, hitting career highs in both passing yards and completions.
Despite blazing through the playoffs as the NFL's hottest passer, even Easy E is susceptible to the unexpected pitfalls that come with any NFL game.
To remain perfect in Super Bowl appearances and defeat Brady once again, Manning will have to hope he doesn't fall prey to any misfortune beyond his control. If he does, even the Manning Magic might not be enough to save New York.