First published on Examiner
The New York Giants face off against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. New York QB Eli Manning is a little familiar with Indy’s quarterback.
“Yeah, I know him,” Eli said on Monday. “He’s my brother.”
Sunday night will be the second time that Eli Manning and Peyton Manning play against each other in the NFL. According to Eli, the two brothers have not spoken about the encounter this week. “I haven’t talked to him this week,” Eli explained. “I might talk to him in the next couple days, I might not. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. We really just don’t know how many times it’s going to happen, and that’s really what it’s going to come down to. I think you have to try and enjoy it, and understand it is special to look over there and see your big brother on the sidelines. You have to enjoy these times and take advantage of it, and remember it. Once that game starts, I’m worried about the Colts defense. This whole week of preparation, it’s not Peyton that’s my concern. It’s that Colts defense. It’s Dwight Freeney and those guys who I’m trying to game plan and get ready to play.”
The last/only time Eli and Peyton Manning faced one another (in 2006), Eli was still at the beginning of his NFL career. A lot has changed since those days, Eli stated, saying “it was my first full season being a starter, and the first game of that season. There were a lot of things going on. With this one, I’ve been playing a little bit longer. Still, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a great environment, it’s my first time to play in the Indianapolis stadium. I’ve been there for a few games but never played in the stadium and I’m looking forward to that. They are always a tough team and it’s going to be a challenge for us, so we have to go out there and play great football.”
Eli Manning also talked about yesterday’s win over the Carolina Panthers. Manning’s receivers are getting some criticism from fans and journalists on Monday due to several drops that led to intercepted passes. Manning refused to throw his WRs under the bus, though, saying “Some (passes) I have to pull down. Really, the last one was the one that was way too high and should’ve been an easier throw. The one Hakeem had, I might have been forcing it a little bit, trying to throw it over a linebacker. I had to put it where it had to be and I have to be careful throwing it high over the middle. If the ball gets tipped, there is a good chance of getting intercepted. It’s a combination of both, me and the receivers. I just need to put it a little lower, and sometimes you need the receivers to come and make great catches for you. If they don’t have to make great catches, though, don’t try and make them.”
The “Manning Bowl” will always be over-hyped, due to the fact that there may not be many of these games yet. That is, unless the two brothers see each other in a Super Bowl or two. You can be sure that both Eli and Peyton will be focused on the task at hand this coming Sunday night. On a different note, Eli Manning showed both his class and maturity when talking about yesterday’s drops. Each year, Manning continues to show that he’s more than just a team player; he’s truly a team leader.
All quotes via New York Giants Communications Office
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