Peyton Manning was understandably proud of his younger brother Eli after the NewYork Giants 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title.
The Indianapolis quarterback had a a quick chat and embraced Eli before he headed to the team bus for the flight back to New York and ultimately a trip to Indy for a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots on Feb. 5..
"Go Giants," said Peyton. "It's all about the Giants now,"
If the two siblings never get a chance to share the stage at MetLife Stadium— as Giants and Jets quarterbacks respectively— this might be the closest scenario.
And it sounds like big bro is more than happy to let Eli get the spotlight in Peyton's adopted hometown of Indianapolis.
Peyton had a lot to puff out his chest about.
This season, Eli stepped out of the shadow of his big brother— who was sidelined after neck surgery—in a big way. The younger Manning will actually have as many Super Bowl appearances under his belt as the "elite" Peyton and is one win away from having one more championship ring.
"I'm just proud as a quarterback to watch him compete," Peyton said after watching his brother get battered by the fierce Niners defense and still win. "And the way he's played, I'm even more proud of him as a brother."
While Eli's game yesterday wasn't a thing of beauty, it was a testament to his toughness.
Eli threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns with out any turnovers against a swarming San Francisco defense. There didn't seem to be an easy throw for Eli all day and he was hit 20 times. It seemed like he had a 49ers player draped on him during every play.
"It's what I expected him to do," said Peyton. "I'm just proud of Eli and how well he's played this year. He's been awesome. he's been clutch."
It's twice as ironic that Eli could win his second Super Bowl title in Peyton's adopted hometown— where fans have waited and hoped for four years to see their own Manning win in their home stadium—and against Peyton's arch-nemesis Tom Brady.
"Yeah, it's my home town," said Peyton. "I've just been proud of all year. I've really gotten to see a lot more of his games since I've been injured. It's fun to watch him play. he's been clutch all season long. Fourth quarter comebacks. when they needed him, he was always there."
Peyton had little to say about the prognosis for his injury or where he'll be playing. When asked about the possibility of playing for the Jets, he laughed, "Nahh. Giants, man. Go Giants."
For now, he's seems happy that in Super Bowl XLVI, at least one Manning is playing in front of the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd.