Peyton Manning or Eli Manning: Who Is The Bigger Surprise In 2013?

By Michael Netter
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After four games of the 2013 NFL season, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning have been off to surprising starts. Obviously, the brothers are shocking the NFL community in two completely opposite ways. If you’ve been sitting under a rock for the past month (or in jail like Aaron Hernandez with no access to the outside world) , Peyton is undefeated with a 4-0 record and Eli has yet to record a win in an unforeseen 0-4 start.

Peyton and his Denver Broncos are undoubtedly the best team in the league. His record shattering stats are the underlining reason of their success. Just four games into the 2013 season, Peyton Manning has thrown for 1,470 yards, 16 touchdowns, with zero interceptions! Before yesterday, the record for passing touchdowns in the first four games of a season was 14, held by Kurt Warner. If No. 18 were to remain on this track (which will be close to impossible, even for him), he would finish the season with 5,880 passing yards (current record is 5,476 by Drew Brees) and 64 touchdowns (current record is 50 by Tom Brady). No wonder the Broncos have defeated every opponent thus far by an average of 22 points.

Peyton Manning 18
Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, there is younger brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants. As most younger brothers get picked on during their childhood, this trend unfortunately carried into the 2013 season, and it’s not even his brother committing the act. Eli has been picked off a league high nine times, and defenses are having their way with him. Thus far, opposing teams have sacked Eli 14 times after he was sacked only 19 times last year. This could be a combination of his offensive line and decision making. If Eli and the Giants continue their poor habits, an interception record is possible. Eli is on track to throw 36 interceptions, which would be short of the single season record by just six. He will probably turn things around at some point, but the schedule doesn’t get much easier.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

If someone told me the New York Giants were going to be 0-4 heading into Week 5, I would say there was no chance. On the flip side, it would have been much more realistic to believe that the Denver Broncos would be 4-0 at this point. Although the struggles of Big Blue are probably more surprising than the success of the Broncos, I believe Peyton Manning is the bigger individual shock between the two brothers. Anyone could make a case for either side, but Peyton’s on track for ridiculous numbers that might leave a permanent mark in history. Even if Peyton Manning can break single season records this year in passing yards and/or passing touchdowns, his main goal is to win another Super Bowl ring.  Thus far, this might be the only piece of bragging rights Eli brings to the table during family dinners. Eli 2, Peyton 1.

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