If there is anyone that knows how to be a thorn in Tom Brady’s side as he tries to win a Super Bowl, it’s Eli Manning. The former Giants quarterback prevented Brady from adding two more Super Bowl rings to his already record-breaking six, including that infamous upset over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII that prevented New England from going a perfect 19-0. While Manning certainly could flash his two rings and gloat at “The GOAT,” he doesn’t pull those arrows out of the quiver. That said, those games do come up from time-to-time whenever the quarterbacks meet up, but it’s TB12 who starts that conversation.
“It’s one of those things, it’s not something I ever say or ever think a lot about,” Manning told The New York Post on Tuesday. “I’ve been around Tom numerous times, and I’ve never brought up a Super Bowl or our games versus them. He actually brings it up. It still bothers him a little bit, especially the ’07 one when they had the chance to go down as the greatest team of all time. But I don’t have any bragging rights with Tom. This is his 10th Super Bowl, and I’m so impressed with his whole career.”
As crazy as it sounds, two missed titles thanks to Manning is a drop in the bucket for Brady, who, as he noted, is heading to the 10th Super Bowl of his career and is looking for his seventh title. If he is able to lead his new Buccaneers club over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, Brady would then have more Super Bowl titles than any other franchise in league history.
“It’s really impressive what Tom’s been able to do,” said Manning. “Just the fact, changing teams after 20 years, with one team where you’ve had so much success and going to a new team, new city, new state during a pandemic, where you have a shortened off-season and different rules and kind of get the same results. Getting back to a Super Bowl, at age 43, yeah, it’s so impressive. It was hard to think that was going to be possible. He’s obviously got a special demeanor and a special ability to get guys to rally around him.”
Brady maintaining that historic level of success this late in his career is absolutely bonkers when you put it in this context: Since turning 35, Brady has more playoff wins (17) than any other quarterback in NFL history. With 33 total playoff wins and six titles, he already may have two separate Hall of Fame careers, which likely — in part — is why Manning isn’t quick to jab Brady about those two losses to the Giants.
However, falling just short of immortality and such an immaculate record to add to his résumé during that 2007 season, as Manning noted, unsurprisingly keeps Brady up at night — even if he is flush with other Lombardi Trophies.