Peyton Manning, like any good older brother, was quick to congratulate Eli Manning on a successful career. But in doing so, it’s clear the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback hasn’t lost his competitive edge, especially when it comes to the New England Patriots.
Prior to Eli announcing his retirement Friday, Peyton reflected on his brother’s career with the New York Giants. And there’s one night that not only stands above the rest in Eli’s career, but also in Peyton’s.
February 3, 2008: When Eli led the Giants to victory over the previously undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
“I think people don’t really believe me or are surprised (when I say) my greatest Super Bowl memory is watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in a two-minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that,” Peyton told Broncos reporter Aric DiLalla.
Peyton managed to win not just one but two Super Bowl titles during his career — with the Colts in 2006 and the Broncos in 2013. But still, watching Eli defeat the Patriots — in the same season Peyton’s own team lost to the then-San Diego Chargers in the playoffs — was a sweeter victory.
“It was just pride, and he’s five years younger than me and you kind of reflect on the times growing up,” Peyton said. “Cooper had gone off to college. It was just he and I … So you sort of have those memories when you watch something like that happen in front of you.”
Of course, that wasn’t the only time Eli defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He also led the Giants to a 21-17 win over New England in 2012.
Tom Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion, certainly remembers those defeats, evidenced by his own fitting tribute to Eli on Friday.