Eli Manning’s best – The moments that made him a Giants legend


It’s a career like no other.

Eli Manning finished with a .500 record in the regular season but won a pair of Super Bowl MVPs. Along the way, there were some other magical moments, such as his welcome-to-the-NFL moment his rookie year in the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys and his playoff win on the road in bitter cold Green Bay.

Those were just the appetizers, though. These are the biggest and best moments and plays of Manning’s legendary career.

The helmet catch

It’s a play that needs no qualifier. If someone mentions the helmet catch, you know exactly what they’re talking about.

It’s the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, and the Giants trail the undefeated New England Patriots. The play call is “62 Sail-Y Union” and David Tyree is running a post route after a week during which Manning said he could “not catch a pass” in practice.

Manning drops back but faces pressure from the left side. He steps up into two rushers up the middle, including New England’s Richard Seymour, who gets his hands on Manning but can’t bring him down. The Giants’ quarterback spins away and spots Tyree down the middle of the field. He chucks the ball, despite Patriots safety Rodney Harrison being in the area.

Tyree, mostly a special-teams standout, grabs the ball with one hand and pins it to his helmet. It goes for a 32-yard gain, and four plays later Plaxico Burress catches the winning touchdown pass (more on that later).

“History could have been a lot different for me,” Manning once said in an interview with his brother Peyton.

Instead, the Giants took down the undefeated Patriots, 17-14, and Manning won the first of his two Super Bowl rings and MVPs — all because of what Peyton called “arguably the greatest play in the history of football.”

The Manningham throw

This is again against the Patriots. The Giants trail in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI. They get the ball with 3:46 remaining at their 12-yard line. Patriots coach Bill Belichick tells his defense to make the Giants throw the ball to Mario Manningham.

The play is “streaks shallow,” according to Manningham. It is something the Giants ran over and over throughout the season. Manningham is the flanker out left who runs a streak along the left sideline. The window for Manning to fit the ball between cornerback Sterling Moore and safety Patrick Chung is minuscule. But Manning throws the ball to Manningham, who is the third option on the play.

“Oh, s—, he’s throwing the ball,” Manningham recalled thinking.

The whole game was on the line on this drive. Manning fit the ball over Moore’s outstretched fingertips and into the arms of Manningham, who tiptoed on the sideline to get his feet in bounds.

Source : ESPN