When Eli Manning led the New York Giants onto the field for Super Bowl 42, few gave his team a shot against the New England Patriots. And when the undefeated AFC champions took a 14-10 lead with under three minutes left in the game, it seemed as if those predictions would turn out to be accurate. However, Manning and company answered by marching down the field to score the eventual game-winning touchdown.
The Giants’ victory that day was one of the biggest upsets in NFL history and earned Manning a place in the league’s annals — one that he added to when New York again beat New England in the Super Bowl four years later. Needless to say that the former first overall draft pick was therefore seen as a Patriots nemesis throughout the years, and a player who always seemed to challenge the team no matter the situation he found himself in.
However, this will happen no more: according to reports out of New York, Manning will announce his retirement at a press conference on Friday. The 39-year-old will call it a career after 16 seasons in the league — all of them with the Giants — and now kick off the debate whether or not he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His two championships are a solid foundation for that debate, but one also has to consider his at times erratic play as well.
From New England’s perspective, the move has little actual meaning on the upcoming season: Manning had already lost his starting spot to Daniel Jones early during the 2019 regular season, and the writing was on the wall for him to leave the G-Men this year. However, this week’s announcement is an opportunity to acknowledge the role Manning played in New York’s two victories on the game’s biggest stage and as one of the few men to somehow come through in the clutch against the Patriots.
Should Eli Manning make the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
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