Peyton Manning couldn’t resist.
Manning was a guest on the “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, and talk of Eli’s emotionless stare (in Super Bowl 50 as Manning’s Broncos were putting the game away) inevitably came up.
Peyton didn’t hold back on the subject, revealing just how often Eli’s now-infamous stare comes up.
Although Eli’s emotionless reaction amid the celebrating Manning family was likely more because he was just thinking about the next play and not wanting to celebrate victory too early, he would have had plenty of sibling-rivalry reasons to root against his older brother.
Even though both brothers were No. 1 overall picks (Peyton in 1998, Eli in 2004) it’s Peyton that has the five NFL MVP trophies, seven All-Pro selections, and 14 Pro Bowl invites. Not too mention he’s the NFL’s all-time leader in both passing yards and TDs. He also owns single-season records in both categories as well.
Up until the Broncos 24–10 Super Bowl 50 win over Carolina though, Eli’s lone bragging rights over his older brother was his 2-to-1 advantage in Super Bowl rings. Now they’re tied.
Eli still has some hope to gain the advantage back though—so long as Peyton retires this offseason, as expected.
Eli turned 35 in January and would appear to have 3-4 good seasons left. Plus he’s still in his prime as his 2015 statistics suggest.
The four-time Pro Bowler threw a career-best 35 TD passes this past season while accumulating 4,436 yards passing (second-best season total) and achieved a quarterback rating of 93.6—also a career-high.
His high numbers are partly the result of being able to throw the ball to rising star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. But he’s going to need a much-improved defense if the Giants are going to make some noise and help him get a third Super Bowl ring.
While Peyton’s career-worst season was partly covered up by the team’s top-rated defense, Eli’s great season was conversely undermined by the NFL’s worst-rated defense.
The Giants front seven had trouble generating a consistent pass rush that seemed to haunt them at the end of close games. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was the team’s best player on that side of the ball and he missed half the season after part of his hand was lost in a fireworks accident.
In addition, the offense doesn’t have a consistent running threat in the backfield and the offensive line is in an era of transition.
Given all the obstacles the Giants have to winning another championship, it may be Peyton with the stunned-face reaction should they do it.