It's a Bad Week to be a Manning - but it's Worse to be Eli

Sarah BraunsteinCorrespondent INovember 22, 2006

IconRare is the week when Peyton and Eli Manning play on different days and can watch each other's games - and how unfortunate that this time they had to watch each other lose.
Yes folks, for this first family of football, it was a bad week to be a Manning.
It started with Sunday night's game, and the Cowboys capitalizing on the Colts' weaknesses where other teams could not.  Tony Romo, who won for the third time in four games, has established himself as a team leader and actually put a smile on Bill Parcells' face.  Manning uncharacteristically threw two interceptions, and failed to make big plays when he needed to.  Now that Peyton can't go undefeated, he can stop worrying about being perfect and concentrate on the playoffs - a more worthwhile endeavor and one he has struggled with in the past. For Tony Romo and the Cowboys, the win on Sunday propelled them to 6-4, and it became an even sweeter victory with the Giants' disaster of a game last night.

Cut to New York, where Eli Manning is struggling to make Giants fans believe that he was worth that first round pick.  This will now be an even tougher battle because his play Monday night was atrocious.  Certainly Plaxico Burress needed to put in more effort; when your only job is to catch a football, you can try a little harder.  And someone should tell him that when your team already seems to be playing with no emotion that it's probably a bad idea to pretend to faint when an official rightly calls back a pass that you didn't even catch.  Instead of getting back in it, he stood at the line of scrimmage shaking his head. 
Manning also needed more protection then he was given - but more often than not his throws were too low, too high, too hard, or poorly timed.  The announcers noted that Eli never looked comfortable, and as such the Giants lost to a team that has fallen twice this season to the Houston Texans.

Though both Mannings and their teams lost, it was clearly worse for Eli and the New York Giants.  With the Eagles suffering the loss of Donovan McNabb and the Redskins playing terribly, the Giants had the chance to secure the lead in the NFC East.  Instead, their loss combined with the Cowboys' victory ties the two teams and leaves the Giants with something to prove. 
This was an important game for Eli, whose season looks to be unraveling.  Maybe the pressure to be Peyton-esque is too great, or maybe he just isn't that good - but in a week where being a Manning was not synonymous with being a winner, it was still worse to be Eli.