By: Rich De Cicco
There are many things that have changed since the last time the Colts and Giants met in a regular season game. It was way back on September 10, 2006 at Giants Stadium and if you recall, neither Manning brother had even gone to a Super Bowl yet. The heavily favored Colts went on to win the game by a close 26-21 margin. At the time, the veteran Peyton was far and away the better quarterback. He eventually led his Colts to the Super Bowl XLI title later that year. Eli, on the other hand, was just getting used to being a starter and learning the ropes of the position. He was merely a baby, for lack of a better term. But 2006 was Peyton’s year, he was hungry, and he just wanted it more than anyone else, and it showed, as he became the first Manning to win a Super Bowl and was named MVP of the big game. It didn’t take brother Eli, however, very long to follow in his older brother’s footsteps. The following season, the New York Giants struggled to even make the playoffs. Once they did, however, they took the NFL by storm. Eli Manning did not put together the highest stats in the league and paled in comparison to the likes of Tom Brady who was the MVP of the 2007 season. He did though, manage each game very well and always made sure the G-men were competitive and within reach of victory. The Giants rolled off 11 consecutive road victories, four in the playoffs, including a Super Bowl XLII victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots, 17-14. The MVP? None other than Eli Manning. The Manning brothers had done something special as it was the only time in NFL history that two brothers won Super Bowls in consecutive seasons, let alone MVPs. This Sunday, however, all of the stats, memories, and championships of the last four years will be long forgotten. For Peyton and Eli, this is just another game. The last thing on little brother’s mind is to even the score of the head-to-head meetings with Peyton. He’s just looking for a win (no matter who the opponent is). The last thing Peyton wants to hear is that his little brother is a significantly better quarterback than he was four seasons ago. Peyton and the Colts are not concerned with sibling rivalries, they need a 1 in the win column. If the Colts somehow lose their home opener Sunday night, they will fall to 0-2 for the first time since the 1998 season. They are favorites once again to win their division and go far in the playoffs, but an 0-2 start might put a damper in those plans. The Giants are looking to start 2-0 for the third consecutive season. So put all the memories away. Forget about the fact that Peyton is still better than Eli. That won’t mean a thing if the Giants win. No doubt Sunday night will be a battle, but as much of a battle as it will be, it’s still just another game.