American Football: Eli's fine start upholds Manning tradition

Click to follow
The Independent Online

While elder brother Peyton continues his relentless assault on the record books, Eli Manning took his first steps towards a stellar career in the NFL on Sunday, when he made his first start for the New York Giants in a losing effort against the Atlanta Falcons.

While elder brother Peyton continues his relentless assault on the record books, Eli Manning took his first steps towards a stellar career in the NFL on Sunday, when he made his first start for the New York Giants in a losing effort against the Atlanta Falcons.

Manning, the first player selected in this year's collegiate draft, is the subject of intense speculation. His father, Archie, excelled during the 1970s, while his brother has already established himself as one of the game's élite passers during his seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Could Eli uphold the family's tradition of excellence? The youngster made an uncertain start, not helped by team-mates dropping his passes, but although his side failed to overcome an early 14-point deficit, the signs during a second-half rally were encouraging.

The Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick, another first-round draft pick who has learned to live in the spotlight, was impressed. "He came out and played with poise," Vick said. "He made some plays you can't expect a rookie quarterback to make. I told him he's going to be just like his brother in due time."

The younger Manning threw two interceptions and added a touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey. With two minutes remaining, and the Giants trailing 14-10, he had a chance to lead his team on a game-winning drive. There was no fairy-tale ending, but Manning had shown a glimpse of the future.

Peyton Manning continued his prolific form, throwing four touchdowns in a 41-10 rout of the Chicago Bears. The elder Manning is currently close to unplayable, having thrown 19 scoring passes in his last four games. He now has 35 this season, a personal best, and looks certain to break Dan Marino's record of 48, set in 1984.

Comments