Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

No Bragging, Just Results for Eli Manning

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

No Bragging, Just Results for Eli Manning

Article excerpt

The New York Giants quarterback is not boastful, but he has become adept at guiding his team to success in the Super Bowl.

Unlike a small number of boisterous New York Giants, Eli Manning rode the high road to championship heaven, officially making it a habit of besting Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. No brag, just fact.

Manning set a Super Bowl record by completing his first nine passes. Brady bettered him with a record 16 straight. But Manning had the ball late in the fourth quarter, and that, Brady knew, was going to be trouble.

"Eli's had a great season," Brady would say, softly, disconsolately, referring to the seven fourth-quarter comebacks engineered this season by Manning, including the biggest of all, Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. "He made some great plays in the fourth quarter."

Manning to Mario Manningham was the one to remember in Super Bowl XLVI, down the left sideline, into double coverage. Manningham somehow managed to make a magnificent catch and stay inbounds. The 38-yard connection was part of Manning's masterpiece, 88 yards in nine plays of a title-winning drive, sending New York to a 21-17 victory and its second title in four years.

"It was tough to get into the end zone," Manning said, failing to acknowledge the paradox of New England having let Ahmad Bradshaw score from 6 yards to leave Brady 57 seconds to come up short, just as he did in Arizona four years past. All Manning knew was that the Giants survived Brady's heave to the end zone while he tried to push the memory of his own desperation pass caught by Hakeem Nicks last month in Green Bay in an earlier playoff game, a Hail Mary pass that succeeded.

It all happened, just the way a handful of Giants had predicted, though none of the boasts came from Manning, or his coach, Tom Coughlin. And there is a difference when the talking is done by the most recognizable faces of an N.F.L. team as opposed to a comparatively anonymous lineman or a cocky defensive back.

Here in Indianapolis, Coughlin and Manning stayed true to themselves, close to the vest, tied to each other, a tandem in weeklong tedium. Both have loosened up considerably over the years, growing more comfortable in the pressurized environment and deservedly secure with their burgeoning standing in Giants' history, all the while dismissing most talk that reflected on them. …

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