The Patriots and Giants will meet on Sunday for the first meaningful time since ... well, you know.
But don’t expect to see many of the faces from Super Bowl XLII this week — those days are long gone. Two main ones, however, will remain: Tom Brady and Eli Manning.
Manning made headlines prior to the start of the regular season, when he said he was in the same “elite” class as Brady.
Eli Manning? In Tom Brady’s class? Ha!
But maybe he was on to something. The Giants are sitting at 5-2 — the same record as the Patriots — and their quarterback is a huge reason why.
Taking a look at the numbers, Manning appears to very much so be in Brady’s class this season.
Manning ranks third in the NFL in passer rating?(102.1), just behind Brady’s second-best 104.4.
Brady sits fourth in the league in yards (2,361) and completion percentage?(67.6). Manning is fifth in both categories (2,127, 64.7).
And the Giants QB has thrown three fewer interceptions than the Patriots’ signal-caller.
“I think any player in the league, they always feel confident in their ability,” Manning said. “Whether you just played a great game or you just played a poor game — you feel that next week you’re going to go out and play great and make every throw and make every play and put your team in situations to win games. I think that’s the attitude that most athletes have.”
In the grand scheme of things, Manning will never be Brady. But he’s proving that he’s capable of hanging around with the big boys.
And against a secondary like the Patriots, just hanging around may be enough to get the job done.