Eli Manning will always be the younger brother of Peyton Manning. No matter what Eli does in his career, he will always be compared to big brother Peyton. Both players are at different stages in their respective careers as Peyton’s is coming to an end while Eli’s still has some years left in the tank. Usually, Peyton plays better than Eli during the regular season, but this year is different as Eli is the better of the two Manning brothers through the first five weeks.
The team records of the two differ in favor of Peyton as the Denver Broncos are 5-0 while the New York Giants are 3-2, but the stats category favors Eli. The younger Manning has completed 131 of the 197 passes he has attempted to go along with 1,417 yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He has also been well protected, being sacked only four times. Peyton has thrown for 1,234 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Yes, you read that right, Peyton Manning has more picks than touchdowns through week five.
Week five went in different directions for the brothers Manning.
Eli had a big-time performance and a game-winning touchdown drive on Sunday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers. Manning got the ball back with 1:41 left to play after the 49ers took the lead after erasing a 10-point fourth quarter deficit. He got the Giants to the San Francisco 44-yard line in five plays then nearly cost his team the game. He threw what looked to be a game-sealing interception, but the play was reviewed and overturned as the ball hit the ground, giving new life to Eli and company. Four plays later he found tight end Larry Donnell in the back of the end zone to give the Giants the final lead of the game. Donnell went up over two defenders to snag the pass from Manning and secured the ball all the way to the ground. This capped off Eli’s fantastic night, notching his third touchdown to go with 441 passing yards and an interception. What makes the game even more memorable for Manning was the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. was hampered with hamstring injuries. Rueben Randle left the game with a hamstring injury of his own. Donnell was the lone veteran target Manning was used to on the final drive until Beckham Jr. came back into the game and drew a huge pass interference penalty in the end zone setting up the winning play.
Peyton did not have a good week, despite his Broncos improving to 5-0 against the Oakland Raiders. Manning struggled throughout, throwing for 266 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns. This is the second game this season Manning has thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns. A late pick-six thrown by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr gave the Broncos the victory. Manning’s performance was one of the worst of the week in the NFL and some were questioning whether or not the future Hall of Famer should be benched. That likely won’t happen unless Peyton goes into a huge slump. The bigger question is whether or not this will the final chapter of the legendary career of the older Manning. Many are saying it very well could and should be his last season as Father Time is catching up and everyone knows that Father Time is undefeated.
No matter how the rest of the seasons or careers go for either brother, they will always be linked. Peyton will have the edge in regular season statistics and accolades while Eli will hold the advantage when it comes to Super Bowls. Eli has two to his elder brother’s one. At this point in the season, Eli, not Peyton, is the better Manning brother.