OK, maybe those “Manning Brothers at the Super Bowl” story lines were a tad premature, but it’s not too early to start making comparisons between Peyton and Eli, one the undisputed statistical champion at the NFL’s most visible position, and the other a bona fide rising star.
Peyton had another fantastic season in 2005, although he ended up short of his supreme goal of the Super Bowl. Eli, entering just his third pro season, has displayed astounding fourth-quarter magic.
The scions of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning have helped to make this the First Family of Pro Football, a fact not lost on one long-time NFL official who called Manning Mania “mind-boggling, almost unfathomable.” Just consider how hard it is to play quarterback in this league, and you have two brothers this talented. And Archie — he was a really terrific player who got stuck on some really bad teams.
The brothers Manning currently are traveling on highlight-filled parallel paths. If those paths ever intersect, look out world! “I don't compare myself with Peyton,” Eli said after a victory over the 49ers on Nov. 6. “He's at a different level of play than I am right now. He's at the top level. I'm learning. I'll let everybody else analyze and compare us, if they want to.”
NBCSports.com decided to do just that. Here’s our comparison of Peyton and Eli in a variety of categories that comprise the essentials of being an NFL quarterback.