Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning guided his club to championship victories over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI but will be enjoying retired life when Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a Super Bowl LV matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7.
While Brady is a six-time Super Bowl victor and widely viewed as the NFL's G.O.A.T., Manning told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that the 43-year-old is still somewhat haunted by those losses to Big Blue.
"It’s one of those things, it’s not something I ever say or ever think a lot about," Manning explained. "I’ve been around Tom numerous times, and I’ve never brought up a Super Bowl or our games versus them. He actually brings it up. It still bothers him a little bit, especially the ’07 one when they had the chance to go down as the greatest team of all time.
"But I don’t have any bragging rights with Tom. This is his 10th Super Bowl, and I’m so impressed with his whole career."
The 2007 Patriots entered Super Bowl XLII holding a perfect 18-0 record but fell to the Giants 17–14 after Manning connected with wide receiver Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining.
"I don’t think I rooted for him or against him for that reason," Manning added about being the only quarterback to defeat Brady on two Super Bowl Sundays. "I still watch the game and usually root for the quarterbacks in certain situations, especially the fourth quarter — whoever has the ball I’m rooting for the quarterback and rooting for the offense to make plays"
Manning twice made the biggest plays versus Brady and the Patriots on football's biggest stage and, in the process, earned a pair of Super Bowl Most Valuable Player trophies.