It's definitely a tail of two people who came into the NFL on different tracks when comparing the two starting quarterbacks in this year SuperBowl. While Eli Manning, born into a pedigree of quarterbacks that will go down as the greatest quarterback bloodline of all time, was drafted with the number 1 overall pick, Tom Brady had to do some waiting before he was selected in the 6th round as the 199th pick.
Brady is the ultimate feel good story of the little QB that could who finally got his shot and never looked back, amassing a career that will definitely land him in the Hall of Fame, if not as the greatest to ever the play the game at his position. When people talk about gems late in the draft, this guy's model catching smile is the poster-child for that kind of talk.
Eli, though drafted and immediately started, has had to work into his stardom in the NFL and out of the shadow of his more esteemed older brother Peyton. While the guy isn't always pretty behind center, the fact that he has led the giants to two SuperBowls proves his worth beyond a shadow of a doubt.
As far as overall skill goes, Brady has the edge because of his ability to elevate the play of those around him. He has made stars out of names that nobody would touch and continues to be a consistent winner in a league where parity is supposed to be the norm.
Don't be mistaken by that last comment though, Eli is a very skilled player in his own right and just seems to be finally evolving into the elite status he claims he's in. It's just that compared to Brady, there isn't a player in the league today that stacks up to what he brings to the table, and the rings he has on the shelf.
By The Numbers
Tom Brady, Patriots: Had a 65.6% in completions while passing for 5235 yards with 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Career Highlights: 7x Pro Bowls, 3x SuperBowl Champ, 2x SuperBowl MVP, 2x NFL MVP, 2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Eli Manning, Giants: Had a 61.0% in completions while passing 4933 yards with 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Career highlights: 2x Pro Bowl, 1x SuperBowl Champ, 1x SuperBowl MVP, NFL Record most 4th quarter touchdown passes in a season (15), Tied NFL Record longest pass completion and touchdown (99 yards), NFL Record most road playoff wins by a quarterback (5).
The Edge: Tom Brady
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS