Statistically there isn’t much of a comparison between Eli and Peyton Manning through their age-30 season. Peyton had 275 touchdowns, a QB Rating of 94.4 and was named the league MVP twice at that point in his career. He also won his one and only Super Bowl during that season.
Through age-30 Eli Manning’s statistics pale in comparison. He’s thrown 185 touchdowns, has a QB Rating of 82.1, and yet to win an MVP trophy. The early years of Eli’s career were uneven, but he’s been “Peyton-esque” at times the last three seasons. Unlike Peyton, it took him about five years to find his way into the class of elite quarterbacks in the league. The difference is that “Peyton’s little brother” has played his best on the biggest stage in the biggest city.
Despite the fact that Peyton is statically dominant, there can be a case that Eli’s playoff heroics have surged him ahead in terms of career accomplishments. Peyton has too many awards and records to list, but the big stat is Super Bowls; 2-1 in favor of Eli. Don’t forget the 5 playoff road wins- an NFL record- that has seen Eli win two games in Lambeau Field, one in Dallas, and one in San Francisco. In each of those scenarios the Giants were considered underdogs. Of course, Eli has slayed the ultimate dragon by destroying the Patriots perfect season in 2007 and breaking their hearts again this past January. If not for the younger Manning, the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady duo would be undefeated in Super Bowls; perhaps cementing them as the greatest coach/QB tandem in NFL history.
It’s hard to compare Peyton vs. Eli because their careers don’t completely overlap. They also have gone through different growing pains, learning curves and play in completely different markets. At their best, you probably can’t go wrong. I, however, boil it down to one thing: how they perform when the lights are the brightest.
You want a great quarterback? Give me Peyton. You want a championship quarterback? Give me Eli.