After the Superbowl, it’s time for fans to reflect on accomplishments

by Zach James

For a team that stressed the importance of finishing a game out throughout the season, it was the fast start which propelled the New York Giants to their second title in four years.

As the Giants made their journey throughout the postseason, it was how they ended their games that got them to Indianapolis. They shut down the Atlanta Falcons, took away the supremacy of the Green Bay Packers, beat the 49ers in the most entertaining game in the playoffs and finally dethroned the New England Patriots.

In Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants made it known they were there to take control of the game right away.

New York’s defense knew that in order to give themselves a chance, they would have to give Tom Brady the most hellacious three hours of his career. They didn’t waste any time doing that. They took full advantage of it on the first offensive play for New England.

Backed up near their own end zone, New England felt the pressure, and thus, Brady was forced to make a rookie-like pass to nobody except the large NFL logo sitting on Lucas Oil Stadium’s midfield.

For those of you who placed money (legally) on the game starting off on a safety, keep that crystal ball handy.

Now that the Giants are standing on top of the world, so is one little brother over his sibling who got more of the media attention throughout the week. The conversation can be ended about Eli Manning stature about being elite. He’s there.

Sibling rivalries will be always be a topic of discussion when it comes to competition. In this case, the discussion between Eli and Peyton will be as hot as ever. Eli now has two rings.

Peyton, on the other hand, only has one. Most would look at the preceding sentence and say that Eli has the upper hand. At this point in each other’s careers, I’d say that’s about right.

As much as Eli wants to say it’s a team effort, most of the credit will be placed squarely on him. During the big game, Eli was on all cylinders. For that matter, Eli was the most elite quarterback throughout the duration of the playoffs.

He never made a bad decision that cost his team in the playoffs. Fans can’t necessarily say that about Aaron Rodgers, Brady or even Drew Brees.

The irony of seeing Eli surpass Peyton in terms of rings is a bit surreal. Eli is on cloud nine right now, and all the doubters who were lurking over him in the past have gone back to hide in the woods, and this time, for good.

Peyton, however, can’t say that.

The older Manning, who could argue he has just as many titles as Eli does (if you count Tennessee’s national championship in 1998 into this argument), has no idea where his career is going.

Most of the media attention in the dull two weeks focused on Peyton’s bulging disk instead of dissecting how the third-string water boy for the Patriots would impact their play.

Peyton belongs in the city of Indianapolis. In fantasy Disney-like dreams, the feud between Colts ownership and Indiana’s posterboy would go up in pixie dust. Yet, a sport is a business. And for the Colts, having Peyton Manning in Indianapolis is more of a liability than an asset.

But, it wasn’t Peyton who got to play in his home stadium. It was his foe and his sibling. The little brother won out.

Leading up to the regular season, fans in New York (who are brutal enough as they come to begin with) were ready to throw in the towel to a season, which seemed like it had gone up in smoke. Just like that. The pessimists who fill most of the airwaves on most New York sports radio stations were moaning and groaning as they always do.

Not in that New York locker room. They knew they could finish out strong while other NFC East teams dwindled down the stretch.

The Giants finished off the Cowboys. After that, it was the beginning of the end for everyone else. Now, as the finish of the season is upon us, Giants players can start reflecting on what they have accomplished.