Tiki Barber was never a huge fan of Eli Manning, his quarterback when he retired with the New York Giants. Nevertheless, Barber now has high praise for the signal caller, declaring him better than his older, more highly regarded brother, Peyton.
“The expectation was that he was never going to be Peyton.” he said. “I rememberhaving 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.”
Barber, the man who once vocally criticized his quarterback for lack of leadership, went on to site Eli’s ability in the clutch as better than his brother’s.
Over the course of his career, the younger Manning has compiled an 8-3 playoff record and won two Super Bowls. Meanwhile, Peyton is only 9-11 in the playoffs with one Super Bowl victory.
Statistically and in the minds of most people, Peyton still outranks Eli. The current Broncos signal caller appears in the top five of most all-time rankings and sits at third all-time in passing yards at the age of 37. Eli still lags behind in public opinion and is 26th all-time in passing yards; however, he has more time to catch up.
The key in determining the outcome of this debate long term will be if the “clutch” factor continues to ring true. Peyton is now at the helm of a Broncos team that many consider the favorite to win the Super Bowl. If he can add another ring, or even two, later in his career, he could avoid awkward comparisons to his younger sibling while also cementing his status in the conversation for greatest of all-time.
On the other hand, Eli, at age 32, has more time to continue to build on that reputation and gain on Peyton statiscally.
As is the case with many, this sibling rivalry may remain undecided for years to come.