East Rutherford, N.J. — It was Peyton Manning versus Eli Manning, and Peyton’s Denver Broncos defeated Eli’s New York Giants 41-23 Sunday in a highly anticipated NFL matchup between the two brothers, the third such meeting of their careers.
Peyton is now 3-0 all-time against his younger brother, all of them regular-season games.
What makes this matchup unusual is that both are elite NFL quarterbacks, and both have won Super Bowls. Peyton won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts following the 2006 season, but lost one at the end of the 2009 season. Eli has won two, both with the New York Giants when they defeated favored New England Patriots teams in Super Bowls following the 2007 and 2011 seasons.
So while Peyton is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, younger brother Eli is ahead in Super Bowl rings 2-1. But when it comes to head-to-head meetings between their teams, Peyton has taken them all.
Peyton finished today’s game 30 for 43 for 307 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Eli was 28 for 49 for 362 yards and 1 touchdown, but threw 4 interceptions.
Denver got a spectacular 81-yard punt return for a touchdown from Trindon Holliday, and 93 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Knowshon Moreno.
The game was close until Denver pulled away in the 4th quarter. The Broncos led 10-9 at halftime, and just 17-16 near the end of the 3rd quarter, but then Denver scored 21 points in a 5-minute span to increase their lead to 38-16, and the game turned into a rout.
Peyton became just the third player in NFL history to pass for over 60,000 career yards, reaching the milestone on Denver’s opening drive.
With the victory, Denver is now 2-0 on the season, while the Giants dropped to 0-2.
The Broncos are widely regarded as one of the favorites to get to Super Bowl 2014 this season, which will be played on February 2 at this same site – in the Giants’ New Meadowlands Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey.
NFL teams from different conferences only play each other once every four years, and with Denver being in the AFC and the New York Giants in the NFC, this was likely the brothers’ last meeting – barring a Super Bowl matchup.
“I think both of us are glad that it’s over with,” said Peyton after the game, adding that he doesn’t think he’ll make it to the next regular season meeting in four years. He is 37 years old and is expected to retire sometime in the next few years.
Peyton had several serious neck surgeries that forced him to sit out the entire 2011 season, and it was feared he would never be able to play again.
But after signing with the Denver Broncos, he had a spectacular comeback season last year, leading the team to the NFL’s best record.
The Broncos then appeared to be on a Super Bowl run, but were upset by the Baltimore Ravens at home in a dramatic playoff game when a last minute desperation touchdown pass by the Ravens snatched victory from the Broncos. Baltimore went on to win last year’s Super Bowl.
Concerning today’s meeting with his brother Eli, Peyton said, “I think this’ll be the end of it. So I’ll be happy about that. And the family will”. Image/denverbroncos.com