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Eli Manning

Elisha Nelson "Eli" Manning (born January 3, 1981) is an American football quarterback for the New York Giants of the National Football League. Eli Manning is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the younger brother of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Eli Manning played college football at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) after attending prep school at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. Eli Manning was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and immediately traded to the New York Giants, who in return gave up a package highlighted by fourth overall selection Philip Rivers.

Eli Manning won the Most Valuable Player award in Super Bowl XLII in 2008 after leading the Giants to victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots. On February 5, 2012 Eli Manning again led his team to victory in Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch with the Patriots, in which Eli Manning again won MVP honors and also set a new Super Bowl record with nine consecutive completions to start the game. Eli Manning is one of five quarterbacks who have won multiple Super Bowl MVP awards.

Eli Manning is also a former member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.[2]

College career

Eli Manning during his tenure at the University of Mississippi.
Prior to deciding which college to attend, Eli Manning received a call from David Cutcliffe, formerly the offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee.[3]

During his years with the Rebels at Ole Miss, Eli Manning set or tied 45 single-game, season, and career records. His career numbers include 10,119 passing yards (fifth on the SEC career list), 81 touchdown passes (third on the SEC career list), and a passer rating of 137.7 (tied for sixth on the SEC career list). Eli Manning also led the Rebels to a 10-3 record and a 31-28 SBC Cotton Bowl Classic victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2003. Eli Manning was invited to play in the 2004 Senior Bowl, but chose not to play.[4]

As his senior year came to a close, Eli Manning won many awards including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best all-around player, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award, the Sporting News Radio Socrates Award, and the SEC Most Valuable Player Award. Eli Manning was also a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, finishing third in the voting after winning quarterback Jason White of the University of Oklahoma and University of Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.[5]

Eli Manning graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in marketing and a GPA of 3.44.[6]

Awards

2001, 2003 Conerly Trophy
2002 Independence Bowl MVP
2003 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
2003 Maxwell Award
2003 National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete
2003 Sporting News Radio Socrates Award
2003 Southeastern Conference Football MVP
2004 Cotton Bowl Classic Offensive MVP

Professional career

2004 NFL Draft

The San Diego Chargers originally held the rights to the overall first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft due to their 4-12 record in 2003. With Eli Manning being the most coveted player in the draft, it appeared that the Chargers' intentions were to draft him first overall. However, Eli Manning (echoed by his father) stated publicly that Eli Manning would refuse to play for the Chargers if drafted by them. The Chargers selected him with the first pick overall nonetheless as the team had a deal in place with the New York Giants, whereby the Giants would draft and then trade Philip Rivers and draft picks (used to select Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding) to the Chargers for Eli Manning.

Quarterback class of 2004

Eli Manning was one of four quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft along with Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and J.P. Losman. Eli Manning, Roethlisberger, and Rivers have all been voted to the Pro Bowl since becoming starters, none has produced a season with a losing record (although each has had an 8-8 season), and Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have each won two Super Bowls. They have been compared favorably to the Quarterback class of 1983, which included Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino, John Elway, and Jim Kelly.[8]

2004 Season

Eli Manning made his first career regular season start against the Atlanta Falcons at Giants Stadium on November 21, 2004. In his fourth start, against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 12, 2004, Eli Manning ended the day with a 0.0 passer rating and was benched in the second half in favor of Kurt Warner, but remained the Giants starter through the end of the season.

2005 season: NFC East champions

See also: 2005 New York Giants season

Following 2004, Warner left the Giants,[9] and Eli was named the starter for 2005. Eli Manning led the Giants to a 2-0 record with victories against the Cardinals and Saints,[10][11] before traveling to the West Coast for a test in San Diego. Chargers fans did not forget the snub, and on September 25, 2005 when Eli Manning and the Giants made their first trip to San Diego for a game since that draft day, the crowd booed Eli Manning loudly every time Eli Manning touched the ball. San Diego defeated the Giants,[12] 45-23, but Eli displayed what may have been his most impressive performance of his young career, going 24-41 for 352 yards and two touchdowns.[13]

Following his performance at San Diego, Eli Manning returned home to throw for almost 300 yards and a career high four touchdowns against the St. Louis Rams at Giants Stadium in a 44-24 romp.[14] Two games later, Eli Manning led a last-minute drive against the Denver Broncos to secure a 24-23 victory for the Giants.[15] The drive culminated in a two yard touchdown to Amani Toomer with five seconds remaining.[15] Two weeks later, Eli Manning overcame a weak first half at San Francisco to help his team secure their first official road victory of the season, 24–6. Despite a poor performance at home against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing four interceptions, Eli Manning again led his team back to tie the game in the final minutes before the Vikings won on a late field goal.

Eli Manning finished among the top five quarterbacks in both passing yards and touchdown passes, while leading an offense that finished third in the NFL in scoring with a total of 422 points.[16][17] It was the most points the Giants scored in a single season since 1963. The Giants won the NFC East with an 11–5 record[18] and advanced to the postseason.

2006 season

See also: 2006 New York Giants season

Manning's second full season was reminiscent of his 2005 season. Eli Manning started off playing well and completed over 65 percent of his passes through the first four games. However, Eli Manning struggled in the second half of the season and his production diminished towards the end of the regular season. After losing a tough game to his brother Peyton and the Colts on opening day,[19] Eli and the Giants rebounded from a 24-7 4th-quarter deficit en route to a 30-24 overtime victory over the division rival Eagles in week two.[20] Eli Manning threw for a career high 371 yards in the win with three touchdowns including a game-winning pass to Plaxico Burress in overtime.[21] Following a poor performance against Seattle the next week,[22] Eli Manning and the Giants responded by winning five straight games including wins over the Redskins, Cowboys and Falcons to push their record to 6-2.[23]

Following this winning streak, key injuries including one to receiver Amani Toomer pushed Eli Manning and the Giants into a downward slide.[24] Playing against the Chicago Bears, Eli Manning started well, but the Giants' offense was derailed by the loss of left tackle Luke Petitgout to a broken leg.[25] Eli Manning was held to only 141 yards passing with two interceptions. Petigout's loss left a gaping hole at the crucial left tackle position, and Eli Manning was unable to repeat his first half success. Eli Manning struggled the next week at Jacksonville[26] and the week after that, a costly interception helped to culminate a huge collapse at Tennessee, with the Giants seeing a 21-point fourth quarter lead simply evaporate.[27] Eli Manning improved the following week, throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns, but the Giants lost again. Finally regaining momentum, Eli Manning threw three touchdowns in a win at Carolina,[28] but then Eli Manning stumbled badly in the final three games. Eli Manning threw two interceptions against the Eagles and tallied only 73 passing yards in a game against the Saints. Although the Giants battled back to 8-8 the following week at Washington, Eli Manning completed only 12 of 26 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. The Giants qualified for the postseason and met the Eagles. Although Eli Manning did significantly better in this game than the 2005 playoff game vs. the Carolina Panthers, completing 16 of 27 passes and two touchdowns, the Giants lost on a last-second field goal by the Eagles.[29]

For the year, Eli Manning threw for 3,244 yards, 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.[30] Eli Manning completed 57.7 percent of his passes, a five point improvement from 2005, but Eli Manning again struggled badly in the second half of the season. Eli Manning finished the season with a quarterback efficiency rating of 77.0 (18th in the league) with 6.2 yards per attempt.

2007 season: Super Bowl Champions

Preparation for 2007

Eli Manning during the Giants 2007 training camp.
Eli Manning trained in the Meadowlands with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and new quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer.[31] For the first time ever, Plaxico Burress[32] and Jeremy Shockey[33] practiced in the off-season with Eli Manning to perfect their timing and chemistry rather than training alone in Miami as they did in previous years.[34]

Regular season

Eli Manning opened the 2007 season with an outstanding personal performance against the Dallas Cowboys, completing 28 of 41 passing attempts for 312 yards, 4 touchdowns, and an interception,[35] but suffered a shoulder sprain[36] and was removed from the game late in the second half. Although Eli Manning did play against Green Bay in week 2 while throwing for 211 yards with one touchdown,[37] the Giants defense performed poorly again and the team dropped to 0-2 with Green Bay winning, 35-13.[37] In week 3 Eli Manning got a come-from-behind victory as the Giants defense improved, pitching a shutout in the second half and stopping the Washington Redskins on a fourth and goal situation, winning the game 24-17.[38] The Giants defense then shut down the Philadelphia Eagles with an NFL record-tying 12 sacks,[39] holding the Eagles offense to one field goal. The Giants won with a score of 16-3.[40] The following week, Eli Manning overcame a dismal first half to throw for two second-half scores[41] in a 35-24 win over their in-city rivals, the New York Jets.[42]

Following two straight home victories, Eli Manning and the Giants obtained their fourth consecutive victory with a 31-10 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Monday Night Football.[43] Eli Manning performed well, completing 27 of 39 passes for 303 yards along with a pair of touchdowns while giving away two interceptions.[44] Behind a dominant defensive effort, the Giants improved to 5-2 the next week with a 33-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers.[45] Eli Manning played well again, throwing for two touchdowns in the effort. In week eight of the season, the Giants played a road game against the Miami Dolphins on October 28, 2007, in London's Wembley Stadium.[46] Eli Manning only threw for 59 yards in the rain and mud, but Eli Manning scored the Giants' only touchdown on a 10-yard run.[47] This touchdown was the first in an NFL regular season game that was played outside of North America. The Giants defeated the Dolphins, 13–10, bringing the Giants to a 6–2 record at the mid-way point of the 2007 season.[47]

After losing to their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys in week 9,[48] New York Giants co-owner John Mara publicly questioned Manning's ability to lead the New York Giants in 2007 but more importantly in the future:[49]

The only thing we evaluate is 'Can we win with this guy?' That's the one thing. When we talk about any player at the end of the season, the No.1 question is 'Will Eli Manning help us win?' And to take it one step further, 'Can we win a championship with this guy?'

After a week of criticism in the New York media and being outplayed by Tony Romo, Eli Manning had a bounce-back victory versus their conference wildcard competitors the Detroit Lions.[50] Eli Manning managed to throw for 283 yards and 1 touchdown but most importantly, no interceptions in a critical road game.[51][52]

The following week in a 41-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Eli Manning threw four interceptions and had three of them returned for touchdowns.[53] Eli Manning continued to struggle until the last game of the season, against the 15-0 New England Patriots. With a playoff spot secured, the Giants could have rested their starters for the playoffs, but they instead chose to keep in the regulars and attempt to stop New England's quest for an undefeated regular season.[54] The Giants lost 38-35, with Eli Manning completing 22 of 32 passes for 252 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception.

2007 playoffs

On January 6, 2008, Eli Manning went 20-of-27 for 185 yards playing on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The underdog Giants won 24-14, and Eli Manning had two touchdown passes.[55]

"Eli had a great game today," receiver Amani Toomer said. "Eli Manning took what was out there and didn't force anything. Eli Manning doesn't get real excited; there is more than one way to lead a team ... and Eli Manning showed that today."[56]

On January 13, 2008, Eli Manning led the Giants to an upset victory over the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, the number one seed in the NFC.[57] For the third straight game, Eli Manning played well, completing 12 of 18 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.[57] The Giants were the first team to beat an NFC number one seed in the divisional round since the start of the 12-team format in 1990.[58] This victory secured an NFC Championship berth against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 20, 2008. In the championship game, the Giants beat the Packers in overtime, with a score of 23-20.[59] The dramatic victory secured Eli Manning and the Giants a trip to Super Bowl XLII.[60] This was the first Super Bowl appearance for the New York Giants since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001,[61] and their first Super Bowl victory since Super Bowl XXV.

Super Bowl XLII

Main article: Super Bowl XLII

Eli with the Lombardi Trophy during the Giants Super Bowl victory rally at Giants Stadium.
In front of a record-setting American television audience[62] and on the strength of a late fourth-quarter drive led by Eli Manning, the Giants beat the 12.5 point-favored, undefeated New England Patriots 17–14.

Eli Manning takes the snap, back to throw, under pressure, avoids the rush and he's gonna...fight out of it, still fights out of it, now throws it deep down field, wide open Tyree who... MAKES THE CATCH! AT THE 24-YARD LINE! What a play by Eli Manning!

Trailing 14-10 with 2:42 remaining, Eli Manning led the Giants 83 yards on a game-winning touchdown drive. On a crucial third-and-5 at the Giants' 44 yard line, Eli Manning connected with David Tyree on a play in which Eli Manning avoided several near-sacks and Tyree caught the ball off his helmet for a large gain. Four plays later, Plaxico Burress caught a 13 yard touchdown pass with just 35 seconds remaining for the winning margin.[64] Eli Manning became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw two go-ahead fourth quarter touchdowns in a Super Bowl (Joe Montana being the first).[65] Eli Manning also became the first quarterback to throw a last-minute, championship-winning touchdown in the NFL title game (including the pre-Super Bowl era) when a field goal would not at least tie the game.[66] Following the Giants' monumental victory, Eli Manning and the coaching staff spoke briefly with President George W. Bush.[67]

Eli Manning was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLII.[68] Eli Manning and his brother Peyton are the only brother combination to play at quarterback in the Super Bowl and the only set of brothers to win Super Bowl MVP, doing so in successive years.[69]

For winning Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning was given his choice of any 2008 model Cadillac, and Eli Manning chose an Escalade Hybrid.[70] The Wednesday following the Super Bowl Eli Manning appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.[70]

2008 season: NFC East champions

Eli Manning and the Giants opened the 2008 season with a win over their division rivals, the Washington Redskins, 16–7.[72] "It was a great opening to the season," said Eli Manning, who completed 19 passes of 35 for 216 yards, and had one rushing touchdown and one interception. "There was a lot of emotion, a lot of excitement. You could feel it in the crowd."[72] In the Giants' second game of the year against the St. Louis Rams, they won again, 41–13, behind a stellar Eli Manning performance.[73] Eli Manning finished the game with 20 completions, 260 yards passing and threw three touchdowns to three different receivers.[73] The victory also marked the team's fourth straight victory over the Rams. The following week, Eli Manning rallied the Giants to more fourth quarter magic, overcoming a late deficit to throw the go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Boss, and then in overtime, throwing a clutch 31-yard pass to Amani Toomer in the Giants' 26–23 win over Cincinnati.[73] The fourth week of the season saw the Giants score on each of their first six possessions and dominate the Seattle Seahawks, 44–6. Eli Manning threw for two touchdowns, completing 19 of 25 passes for 267 yards as the Giants totaled 523 yards on offense, their most since 2002.[74]

Following a poor team performance in a 35–14 at Cleveland,[75] Eli Manning and the Giants responded with a 29–17 win over the 49ers and battled to a hard earned 21–14 win over the Steelers at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.[76][77] Eli Manning completed 19 of 32 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown in the crucial win, which pushed the Giants to a 6–1 record.[77] The following week, the Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys at home 35-14 to get to 7–1 at the midway point of the regular season. Eli Manning threw three touchdowns in the game. New York improved to 8–1 with a 36–31 win at Philadelphia. Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in the victory, but the crucial play occurred in the third quarter. With the Giants trailing by four, Eli Manning appeared to make an illegal forward pass to tight end Boss. After review, it was determined that the pass was legal. The Giants scored a touchdown two plays later. Week 9 pitted the Giants in a battle with the visiting Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens had come into the game with the league's third-ranked defense; nevertheless, Eli Manning led the Giants to a decisive 30–10 victory, improving to 9–1, which included a 200-yard rushing effort by running backs Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw.

Two weeks later, the Giants faced the Redskins at Washington in their second encounter in the season. Eli Manning threw his first 300 yard game of the season going 21/34 with an INT and a 40 yard touchdown pass to Toomer. The Giants beat the Redskins 23–7.

In November, Eli Manning was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. For the month, Eli Manning threw for 1,036 yards and 10 touchdowns, and compiled a 94.9 passer rating while leading the Giants to a perfect 5–0 record.[78]

Eli Manning was named to his first Pro Bowl on December 16, making him the first Giants quarterback to earn the honor since Phil Simms in 1993.[79]

In week 15 Eli Manning and the Giants visited Texas Stadium, where Tony Romo battled through a lower back contusion and connected with nine different receivers, finishing 20-of-30 for 244 yards and two touchdowns leading the Dallas Cowboys to a 20-8 victory.

In week 16 against the Carolina Panthers with NFC homefield advantage on the line, Eli Manning had a passing day of 17 of 27 for 181 yards and no interceptions. Eli Manning led the Giants back from deficits of 21–10 and 28–20 to tie the game with just over three minutes left, including a bullet pass to Domenik Hixon for a key two-point conversion to tie the game at 28. The game was played in freezing conditions.

After becoming the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Giants had a first playoff round bye week and home field advantage through the rest of the playoffs. In the divisional round, they faced their arch rival Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium with its signature windy conditions. Philadelphia went on to win the game 23–11. Eli Manning completed 15 out of 29 passes for 169 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.[80]

2009 season

Eli Manning and the Giants opened the 2009 season with a win over their division rivals the Washington Redskins, 23-16.[81] Eli Manning played well completing 20 of 29 passing attempts for 256, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Eli Manning and the Giants traveled to Dallas to play the Cowboys in the opening of their new Cowboys Stadium on Sunday Night Football. Eli Manning played outstanding completing 25 of 38 passing attempts for 330 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions which resulted in a 33-31 win for the Giants on a last second field goal. In week 3 Eli Manning and the Giants played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where Eli Manning completed 14 of 24 passes for 161 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions and as the Giants had a big lead Eli Manning was taken from the game at the start of the second quarter, the Giants ended up winning 24-0.

In week 4, the Giants played the Kansas City Chiefs. Eli Manning was playing well up until the start of the fourth quarter when on a play action fake Eli Manning injured his heel while passing downfield to Steve Smith. Eli Manning stayed in for the next play completing a 54 yard touchdown to Hakeem Nicks. It was discovered that Eli Manning had plantar fasciitis (inflammation of connective tissue within the soles of the feet) and there was speculation Eli Manning would not play against the Oakland Raiders in week 5. However, in week 5 Eli Manning played well, completing 8 of 10 passes for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns with the Giants winning 44-7. This was the first time in his career that Eli Manning had a posted a perfect passer rating.

After this five-game winning streak, the Giants fell to a four-game losing streak, losing to the New Orleans Saints, the Arizona Cardinals, the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Diego Chargers before winning again after a bye week on week 11 when they played the Atlanta Falcons, winning 34-31 in overtime. Against the Falcons, Eli Manning posted a career high 384 passing yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

On Thanksgiving the Giants traveled to Denver to play the Denver Broncos where they lost 26-6. Eli Manning completed 24 of 40 passes for 230 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. In week 14 they played their divisional rivals, the Eagles, and lost 45-38, where it was a close game from the start. Eli Manning passed for a career high 391 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions but was not able to win the game. Next week, on Monday Night Football, Eli Manning and the Giants dominated the Redskins, winning the game 45-12. Eli Manning also beat his brother in the Pro bowl. That was his first experience

The next week, in the final game in Giants Stadium, Eli Manning and the Giants embarrassed themselves, losing 41-9 against the Carolina Panthers and repeated that feat the next week on the road against the Minnesota Vikings in the final regular season game, losing 44-7 while down 38 points in the 4th quarter. After the games Eli Manning apologized to the fans for their performance.

Eli Manning ended the 2009 season with a career highs including 4,021 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, a 62.3 completion percentage rating and a passer rating of 93.1.

2010 season

Eli Manning against the Houston Texans in October 2010
On August 16 during a preseason game against the New York Jets, Eli Manning was hit by Brandon Jacobs, then by Calvin Pace which knocked off his helmet, then went face first into Jim Leonhard's face mask. As a result, Eli Manning had a large gash that needed 12 stitches. Eli Manning left the game.[82]

The Giants ended the season 2010 NFL Season 10-6 with losses coming against the Indianapolis Colts, the Tennessee Titans, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. Eli Manning led the Giants to a 17-14 win in the last game of the season against the Washington Redskins, however, because of Green Bay Packers 10-3 win over the Chicago Bears, the Giants did not make the Playoffs. The Packers went on to win Super Bowl XLV. Eli Manning ended the season with 4,002 yards, another 4,000-yard season, a career high 31 touchdowns, but also a career high 25 interceptions, which marked the most by a quarterback in the 2010 season, finshing with a 62.5 completion percentage.,[83][84]

2011 season: Second Super Bowl Championship

Preseason

In August 2011, Eli Manning generated mild controversy in the sports media during a radio interview on The Michael Kay Show. When asked by host Michael Kay whether Eli Manning was an elite "Top 10, Top 5" quarterback in the same class as Tom Brady, Eli Manning responded:

I consider myself in that class. Tom Brady is a great quarterback... I think now he's grown up and gotten better every year and that's what I'm trying to do. I kind of hope these next seven years of my quarterback days are my best.[85]

Eli Manning received criticism for the quote for trying to inflate his own status and skills, with critics pointing out his past inconsistent stats, including his 25 interceptions in the previous season, as evidence contradicting his claims.[86][87] However, Eli Manning also received support for his comments from Giants coach Tom Coughlin and teammates such as receiver Hakeem Nicks.[88] Later in the season, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan also commented on the quote, agreeing with Eli Manning that Eli Manning was an elite quarterback "for sure."[89]

Regular season

The Giants opened the 2011 season with a slow start, losing to the rival Washington Redskins 14-28 in an emotional game for both fanbases on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.[90] Eli Manning completed 18 of 32 passes for 268 yards but threw a costly interception in the 3rd quarter to Ryan Kerrigan, who returned it for a touchdown and swung the momentum of the game. However, the Giants would recover and win their next three games, including over the arch-rival Philadelphia Eagles. During this streak, Eli Manning improved, throwing for 8 touchdowns and 1 interception.

After a 6-2 start, including a 24-20 last-minute comeback by Eli Manning over the New England Patriots that evoked comparisons to Super Bowl XLII,[91] the Giants then entered a tough stretch of their schedule, facing off against the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers, the respective eventual NFC West, South, and North champions. The Giants would lose all three games as well as falling to the Philadelphia Eagles at home, leading them into a 4-game skid and once again putting their postseason hopes in jeopardy. However, unlike the previous three seasons, the Giants would finish strong, winning 3 of their last 4 games. This included a key win over their crosstown rival New York Jets as well as a sweep of their fellow division rival Dallas Cowboys. In the final regular season game against the Cowboys, Eli Manning threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns, allowing the Giants to win the NFC East title and secure a playoff berth for the first time in 3 years.

2011 playoffs

The Giants entered the 2011 postseason as underdogs, with the lowest winning record of any NFC team. However, Eli Manning and his team would once again demonstrate their endurance and durability late in the year. The Giants first easily routed the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 in the Wild Card round and then stunned the defending Super Bowl champions and top-seeded Green Bay Packers to advance to the NFC Championship Game. In the win, Eli Manning completed 21 out of 33 attempts and threw 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.[92] The following week, the Giants would also avenge their regular season loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a dramatic 20-17 overtime win in the NFC Championship Game.[93] This victory secured Eli Manning and the Giants a second trip in five years to the Super Bowl, setting up a highly anticipated rematch against the New England Patriots. The Giants also made history on being the first ever team to have been outscored by their opponents in the regular season (394 points scored, 400 points allowed) and then reached the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVI

In the most-watched program in the history of United States television,[94] Eli Manning once again led the Giants to an upset victory over the 2½ point favored Patriots 21-17, his second Super Bowl win and the fourth overall for the franchise.[95]

"I was yelling to [Bradshaw], 'Don't score, don't score,' " Eli Manning said. "Eli Manning tried to stop, but Eli Manning fell into the end zone."

—Eli Manning recalling the game-winning touchdown by Ahmad Bradshaw, [96]

While trailing the Patriots 15-17 in the final minutes, Eli Manning led the Giants 88 yards down the field to a touchdown that many observers described as "accidental.".[97][98] With just over a minute of time left in the game, the Giants called a running play and Eli Manning handed off the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw with the hopes of stopping short of the goal line and forcing the Patriots to use their final time out, thus allowing the Giants to run out the clock. The Patriots, in turn, did not attempt to tackle Bradshaw in his run, and Eli Manning then fell over the goal line despite making an attempt to stop. However, the remaining time was not enough for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to lead a comeback and the Giants held onto the lead to win.

Like 4 years before, Eli Manning was again named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVI, becoming the third quarterback in a row to win the award.[99] The Giants also became the first team ever with fewer than 10 wins in a 16-game regular season to win the Super Bowl.[100]

For winning the Super Bowl, Eli Manning and the Giants received a victory parade in Manhattan and were honored with symbolic keys to the city by mayor Michael Bloomberg.[101]

Awards and accolades

College

2001: Conerly Trophy - Best College Football Player in Mississippi[102]
2001: Davey O'Brien Award (finalist) - Awarded to the Nation's Top Quarterback
2001: Honorable Mention All-America - The Football News[103]
2002: Second Team All-America - The Associated Press[104]
2003: Maxwell Award – Nation's Top Player[105]
2003: Conerly Trophy – Best College Football Player in Mississippi [106]
2003: SEC Most Valuable Back – Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club[106]
2003: Sports Person of the Year in Mississippi – The Clarion-Ledger [106]
2003: Mississippi Amateur Athlete of the Year – Jackson Touchdown Club[106]
2003: National Scholar-Athlete Class – Division I-A QB[107]
2003: Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award – Awarded to the Nation's Top Quarterback
2003: SEC Offensive Player of the Year
2004: SBC Cotton Bowl Classic Offensive Player of the Game[106]
Colonel Earl (Red) Blaik Leadership Award – All-America Football Foundation[106]
USA Today Player of the Year in Louisiana[4]
First Team All-America – The All-America Foundation[103]
Southeastern Conference Player of the Year[106]
SEC Player of the Year – The Commercial Appeal and the SEC Coaches[105]
First Team All-SEC – The Associated Press[105]
SouthEast's Top Offensive Back – Touchdown Club of Atlanta Wally Butts Award[106]

Professional

2011: Super Bowl XLVI Most Valuable Player[109]
2007: Super Bowl XLII Most Valuable Player[110]
2008: November NFC Offensive Player of the Month[111]
2008/2011: 2Χ Pro Bowl Selection[79]
2011: NFL Record most 4th quarter touchdown passes in a season (15)
2011: Tied NFL Record for longest pass completion and touchdown (99 yards)
Holds NFL Record for most road playoff wins (5)[112]
Most passing yards in a single postseason (1219 yards, 2011)
Super Bowl XLVI: Most consecutive completions to begin a Super Bowl (9)
Active leader for most consecutive starts by a National Football League quarterback (119, 3rd all-time)

NFL records

Most 4th quarter touchdown passes in a season (15 in 2011)
Tied NFL Record longest pass completion and touchdown (99 yards in 2011)
Most road playoff wins by a quarterback (5)
Tied NFL Record most game-winning drives in a season (8 in 2011)
Most road wins in a single regular season and postseason by a starting quarterback (10)
Most passing yards in a single postseason (1,219 yards in 2011)

Giants franchise records

Most passing attempts (season): 589 (2011)
Most completions (season): 359 (2011)
Most passing yards (season): 4,933 (2011)
Longest completed pass: 99 yards (2011)
Most interceptions thrown (season): 25 (2010), tied
Most 4th quarter touchdown passes, season: 15 (NFL record)
Most consecutive starts by a quarterback: 119
Most consecutive pass completions, game: 21 (2011)
Most comeback wins in the 4th quarter (season): 5 (2007, 2011), tied
Most game-winning drives in the 4th quarter/overtime (season): 6 (2007, 2011)
Most career playoff touchdowns: 13 (2011)

Eli Manning in popular culture

Eli, his brothers Peyton and Cooper, and their parents Archie and Olivia all appeared in an ESPN This is SportsCenter ad from 2006.[113][114]
In a 2006 commercial for NFL Sunday Ticket, Eli Manning and Peyton came home to find Archie giving tips to Matt Leinart, confessing that Eli Manning "always wanted a lefty".
Eli, Peyton and Cooper made a cameo appearance in an episode of The Simpsons where Bart dreams about the fun of having brothers.
Eli Manning has also co-starred with Peyton for NFLShop.com and Oreo.[113]
Eli has begun appearing solo in his own commercials, and is a spokesman for Citizen Watch Co.,[113][115] Toyota of New Jersey[114] and Reebok.[113][116] Eli Manning reportedly received several more endorsement offers after reaching Super Bowl XLII.[114]
Eli Manning appeared on stage with Conan O'Brien at Radio City Music Hall for the former Tonight Show host's Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour on June 2, 2010.
Eli Manning hosted the May 5, 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live. Eli's brother Peyton appeared on Saturday Night Live in March 2007, after winning Super Bowl XLI.[117]

Personal life

Eli Manning (center) reviewing plays with a teammate and a member of the Giants coaching staff in October 2010
Eli Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Olivia (nιe Williams) and NFL quarterback Elisha Archibald "Archie" Eli Manning III. Eli Manning is a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and was named Sigma Nu Athlete of the Year in 2001 and 2003.[118]

In 2007, Eli Manning proposed to Abby McGrew of Nashville, Tennessee.[119] McGrew studies fashion in New York City,[120] and has been with Eli Manning since their days at Ole Miss.[121] Eli Manning and McGrew married in a private ceremony held in San Josι del Cabo, Mexico on April 19, 2008.[122][123] Eli and Abby have one daughter, Ava Frances.[124] During the season, they reside in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Eli and Peyton Manning volunteered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Mannings assisted in the delivery of 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of water, Gatorade, baby formula, pumice, and pillows to the people of New Orleans.[125] After touring the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, Eli Manning undertook a 5-year campaign in 2007 to raise $2.5 million for the construction of "The Eli Manning Children's Clinics" at the children's hospital. Eli Manning said in 2007, "I am humbled by the work they do and am honored to make this five-year commitment to help raise funds to build this state-of-the-art clinic that will serve Mississippi families for years to come." Eli Manning's father, Archie, also has worked to raise funds for Katrina relief efforts.[126]

In 2009, Eli, Peyton, and Archie co-authored a children's book entitled Family Huddle, which describes in simple text and pictures how the three Eli Manning brothers played football as young boys (Scholastic Press; illustrations by Jim Madsen).

In 2010, as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Eli Manning appeared in a commercial to raise awareness for the spill. Also starring in the commercial were Sandra Bullock, Peyton Manning, Jack Del Rio, Drew Brees, Terry Bradshaw, Emeril Lagasse, James Carville, Blake Lively, and John Goodman.

Beginning in February 2011, Eli appeared in an Oreo commercial with other popular athletes.

Eli Manning has for five years been the host of Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Golf Classic, the oldest and largest charity golf event in Westchester County, NY. Guiding Eyes is a nonprofit guide dog school serving the blind and visually impaired from around the world, as well as children on the autism spectrum. Eli hosts the event because of the participation of a close family friend, Patrick Browne, Jr., who became blind as an adult and who participates in the blind golfer tournament held the day before the sponsor-support charity outing. The Golf Classic raises more than $500,000 annually.