Stellar season from Eli Manning makes him elite NFL quarterback

It all started before the 2011 season began for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Coming off arguably his worst season in 2010, in which he threw a career-high 25 interceptions, Manning was asked in a radio interview if he thought he was in the group of elite quarterbacks in the league.
Manning answered in his usual calm, confident way with a resounding “yes.”
Manning’s answer drew a lot of flack from the media who could not understand how Manning could honestly think he was an elite quarterback in the NFL. They saw Manning as the shy, underachieving little brother of Peyton Manning who was still living out his NFL career in his shadow. And to a degree, the critics were right.
Eli Manning had not yet escaped the shadow of his brother, but that was before this season.
The 2011 edition of Eli Manning was a completely different quarterback. Whereas as the old Manning would rush throws under pressure or force passes into unecessary windows, this year, Manning was patient.
He was also more confident than in years past.
In the fourth quarter of this season, Manning threw 15 touchdowns, which led the NFL, and led the Giants to six comeback-wins. All of Manning’s success was almost all-for-nothing as the Giants found themselves 7-7 overall, their playoff hopes almost completely vanished with two games remaining in the regular season.
But Manning and the Giants were able to win their final two games to earn their division title.
The playoffs were not an easy task, two of their three playoff games coming on the road against the top two seeds in their conference, one being the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
One-by-one Manning and the Giants made their way past each opponent. Once the Super Bowl XLVI matchup was set with a game between the Giants and the New England Patriots, many saw it as a chance for the Patriots to avenge the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII win against them, which ended the Patriots quest for an undefeated season.
Many thought Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would show Manning, once and for all, what an elite quarterback looked like, but at the end of the night, Brady should have been taking notes from the guy wearing number 10 for the Giants.
Manning was spot on all night long, and guided his Giants to another Super Bowl victory and another Super Bowl MVP award in the process.
With this win I think it is time for all the Eli haters to shut up once and for all. Many saw the first title as luck, but Eli’s second title proves there is no luck about it.
Manning deserves the respect more than any quarterback in the league. His brother Peyton has been the marquee quarterback of the Manning family and many have viewed Eli as an afterthought as an NFL quarterback.
Manning’s performance in Super Bowl XLVI should show even his worst critic that he is, without a doubt, an elite quarterback.
Almost assuredly knowing he will still have critics, Eli said it best after the game by saying, “The whole ‘elite’ deal will probably still be in question, but all I know is I’m world champion tonight and that’s really the title you want.”

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