A Former teammate of Eli Manning in New York, Tiki Barber believes that he has surpassed his brother Peyton’s abilities. Once a critic of Eli’s leadership, he has changed his mind and believes that Eli has developed his game throughout his career, and at 32 years old is now a better player than his 37 year old brother.
In 2006 when Tiki Barber left the Giants, he questioned whether or not Eli was a good enough leader to develop into a player on a level anywhere near Peyton. He now feels that he has done that and more.
Acknowledging the attitude many fans take in discussing the abilities of Eli, Barber explained that “as much as you want to try and diminish what he’s done, you can’t. Every stat and conversation point supports what he’s done.”
When looking at career stats, it is clear that Peyton is head and shoulders above Eli. Through nine seasons, Peyton completed 64 percent of his passes for 37,586 yards and 275 touchdowns. He also had 139 interceptions.
Eli on the other hand completed just 58.6 percent of his passes for 31,527 yards and 211 touchdowns. All significantly less than what Peyton was doing. His 144 interceptions were close, but still worse than his brother.
However in the most important stat, Eli is a step ahead of his big brother. When it comes down to Super Bowl victories, Eli has two to his name after defeating the Patriots twice in the big dance. Peyton on the other hand only has one Super Bowl victory after his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears.
In an interview with CBS Sports, Barber explained why he felt that Eli was the superior Manning.
“The expectation was that he was never going to be Peyton. I remember having these conversations with people who watched Eli in college, saying, ‘He’s good, but he’s never going to be Peyton, he’s not Peyton.’ Guess what? I think he’s better than Peyton.
As far as the biggest reason for Eli being better than Peyton in his mind, Tiki explained that it was “because of clutch. What matters in sports? It’s winning and losing. You get to the stage and what do you do? Eli’s gotten there and he’s won.”
Tiki Barber took the ‘how good is Eli Manning’ conversation to another level in his interview with CBS Sports. He started the discussion as to what Eli has to do to find himself in the top five of all time. That is a conversation usually reserved only for one Manning brother, and that is Peyton not Eli.
“For Eli to crack the top five of all time, he’s got to have a 2011 [type] season a couple more times and win another Super Bowl and be Super Bowl MVP, and then I think he’s in the discussion for the top five [quarterbacks] of all time,” Barber said as he began the Eli as a top five all time quarterback conversation.
As to who actually is the best Manning quarterback, that is up for debate. Tiki Barber believes that Eli is better than Peyton, however many would disagree with his statements. Perhaps the only way to settle the debate once and for all would be for the Giants and Broncos to meet in the Super Bowl this year.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express