Eli Manning and his older brother Peyton have a lot in common. They're both quarterbacks in the NFL. They're both Super Bowl champions and MVPs. They're also extremely competitive, especially when it comes to each other.
That is not to say that they don't want the other to succeed. Peyton was shown often in a luxury box during the Giants' Super Bowl game last year pacing and clapping for his little brother.
Every year the Manning brothers make a trip to visit with their college coach, Dave Cutcliffe who coached Peyton at Tennessee and Eli at Ole' Miss. The brothers have private sessions with Cutcliffe to go over things they need to work on before training camps get underway.
Most people would probably think that at this stage in their careers, Eli and Peyton would talk shop often. However, Cutcliffe will be the first to set that story straight.
They have separate sessions with their former coach that can last up to four hours because they don't want to share secrets with each other. While they do share the same blood lines, they are also each other's competition and the brothers are not willing to give any kind of advantage to the other.
On September 4th, the Giants played their first game of the season against the Redskins. Eli was 19-35 with a 54.3% completion rating. He threw for 216 yards with zero touch downs, one interception, and ran one ball in for a touch down.
The defending Super Bowl Champions won the game 16-7 and notched their first win of the season. Eli was looking good in the eyes of many people around football.
Peyton and the Colts played their first game on Sept. 8. Peyton was 20-49 with a 61.2% completion rate. He threw for 257 yards with no interceptions and one touchdown pass.
It was also his first real game since having an infected bursa sac removed from his left knee over the summer, which forced him to miss much of the pre-season. The Colts lost to the Bears 29-13 leaving the older Manning without his first win, and caused many to wonder if Peyton could get back to his old form.
Alright, one loss, no big deal. If your last name is Manning one loss is quite a big deal. I'm willing to bet that Peyton is feeling responsible for not being able to lead his team to victory, and more so he is feeling the heat from his little brother's victory.
What makes Eli and Peyton so successful is their drive for perfection. Neither acts like one loss is no big deal (especially Peyton) because they always want to be the best even if that means beating each other.
Eli is looking good after his win especially since the Giants are without Osi Umenyora, their Pro-Bowl DE for the remainder of the season and Michael Strahan who is enjoying his retirement.
Peyton is dealing with not only the team's first loss in September in several years, but an offensive line without Jeff Saturday for at least a few weeks and is playing under more pressure than he has in a long time.
Eli is 1-0 while Peyton is 0-1 this season. Score one for the baby brother. But you can bet that even though the brothers support each other, Peyton will be amped up for the game on Sunday so that he can join Eli in the win column.
Once that happens the battle will be on between the two Super Bowl Champion brothers to set out to prove just who the best Manning is. Right now, Eli has a slight advantage, but given how talented and driven Peyton is, I'm sure Eli can hear his brother's footsteps not too far behind.
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