So anyone who knows me at all knows how hard of a column this is to write for me. I have to swallow my pride and actually give credit to a quarterback who I flat out despise. However, something clicked in the New York Giants locker room after that narrow 38-35 loss to the New England Patriots to end the regular season. Maybe Manning found some type of confidence in himself that he could finally play with those elite teams in the NFL. Maybe they feel they aren't as intimidated to the New York media anymore. Maybe his older brother Peyton said something.
Still Can't Get Over Draft Day Four Years Ago.
Ok so for the people who don't know me, here is the reason why I dislike Eli Manning as much as I do. Four years ago when Manning was coming into the league, the San Diego Chargers had the #1 pick in the draft. Considering Manning was the number one NFL prospect that year, the Chargers were planning on using their pick on him. When he learned this he went and had a press conference begging the Chargers not to pick him, and told San Diego if they did pick him that he would not sign with them. I really couldn't believe it. Now I am not a Chargers fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought what he did to the Chargers was rather snobbish. That and I absolutely hate players who think they are "too good" for a team. I mean really who do you think you are Eli, your not Joe Montana or Dan Marino. You are the younger brother of Peyton Manning, that doesn't give you the right to choose where you get to play at. I mean you should be privileged to even be getting a chance to play in the National Football League.
Now some say Eli's dad, Archie Manning, had something to do with Eli's decision. While that might be true, this is what I have to say to Eli. Are you going to let your daddy make every decision for you? Freaking grow a pair, and just accept that you were going to be riding the bench for the Chargers for a couple of years. Basically for all of you who don't know what happens the Chargers do pick Manning, but eventually trade him to the Giants for Phillip Rivers and 3 other draft picks, which the Chargers used to draft Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding (the other they traded away for left tackle Roman Oben). So far it looks like the Chargers ended up with the better part of that deal. Until this season, heck until three weeks ago Manning has never lived up to his potential. Both in their fourth season in the league, Rivers and Manning are both one game away from the Super Bowl. The kicker is that Rivers did it in his second year as a starting quarterback, Manning did it in his fourth.
Eli's Chances Of Getting To Super Bowl 42.
The Giants are 9-1 in ten road games this season, while the Packers are 9-1 at home. Something has got to give. If the Giants have a chance to win they will have to limit the turnovers like they have been, and make sure that Brett Farve doesn't get comfortable in the pocket. Ultimately the game is being played in Brett Farve's ice kingdom aka Lambeau Field, and with the tempature expected to be in the teens I think the Packers will pull it out. I do want to bring up that Green Bay won the regular season meeting at the Meadowlands 35-13, and that was without Ryan Grant being the primary running back. If Grant played like he did after the first five minutes of last weeks game, it is going to be hard for the Giants to compete. Bottom line Eli is going to have to pull some of his big brothers heroics if he is going to win on Sunday. Who knows maybe he can. If he does he will lead the Giants to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2001, and that will keep his critics (including me) speechless.
Nate Gonner is a guest writer for The Sports Flow. He writes his columns every Monday and Thursday for Gonners View. Check his site out here