Despite the absence of Peyton Manning in 2011, the “battle of the Manning Brothers” did not die down one bit. There was a lot of focus on Peyton throughout the regular season as many speculated whether he would play or not.
From there the Colts announced that he likely would not play the rest of the year and with Indy sitting at the bottom of the league, it was time to do some more speculating. This time, however, it was about if Peyton and Andrew Luck could co-exist.
Left in the shadows was little brother Eli, who squeaked into the playoffs after a Week 17 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Little Manning and Giants also took a back seat in the postseason when it came to media attention as Tim Tebow and the Broncos stole that over the first two rounds.
Then Peyton was back at it again, as the rumors swirled about him being released. Even during media week at the Super Bowl, Peyton was the center of attention. That was of course until Eli knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots to win his second Super Bowl.
The battle of the Mannings is near the top when it comes to the fans and the media. Many believe that the two brothers could meet in the Super Bowl this year.
Only time will tell how Eli and Peyton perform this upcoming season, so for now, we will take a look at their schedules, who their targets are, and make a few predictions as to who will come out on top.
The Giants have lost two key weapons on offense so far this offseason. Both running back Brandon Jacobs (released) and wide receiver Mario Manningham (free agent) are heading west to play for the San Francisco 49ers. This leaves them with a need for a slot receiver and a running back that can complement Ahmad Bradshaw.
While finishing 9-7, Eli posted career highs in passing attempts, completions and yards in 2011 and was named the MVP of the Super Bowl. It will be extremely tough for him to increase his total yards after this year and I would not be surprised if there is a slight decrease in his production next year.
They start the year off against the Cowboys and outside of their six divisional games, they will face the Saints, Bucs, Browns, Steelers and Packers at home and travel to Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, Baltimore and San Francisco.
It will definitely be weird seeing Peyton Manning come out in a different uniform for the first time. He will no longer be throwing to Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon nor will he hand the ball off to Joseph Addai.
Peyton heads to Denver where he will be throwing to Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Joel Dreessen and handing it off to Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno.
The Broncos will face their division opponents (Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders) twice and their other 10 games will consist of hosting the Steelers, Browns, Bucs, Saints and Texans while travelling to New England, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Atlanta and Carolina.
Neither player will fall flat on their face like some are hoping. They are not going to put up the 5,000 yards or 45 touchdowns that you see from Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers; however they will still post pretty solid numbers.
Now, Papa Archie had Peyton stay away from San Francisco and Arizona in hopes of a Peyton vs. Eli Super Bowl. It has not happened in the seven seasons that both brothers have been active for and it will not happen in 2013.
Eli will edge out Peyton statistically and both brothers will finish second in their respective divisions, narrowly missing out on the playoffs.