Eli Manning said there probably won’t be time for a sibling get-together this week in Indianapolis, where the New York Giants quarterback is seeking his second Super Bowl title in the city his older brother, Peyton, has called home for the past 14 years.
“I don’t have any plans, right now, to see Peyton,” Manning said after the Giants arrived yesterday. “I know I won’t be going over to his house any time this week.”
The Giants meet the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 in the National Football League’s championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s the home of the Colts and Peyton Manning, who was drafted first overall by the franchise in 1998 and has won four NFL Most Valuable Player awards and a Super Bowl title while becoming the city’s most celebrated sports figure.
Eli Manning, who at 31 is four years younger than Peyton, now has a chance to win a second Super Bowl title before his big brother does. Manning and the Giants four years ago beat the Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
“The last Super Bowl I played in, he was in Arizona starting on Wednesday or Thursday and I never saw him then,” Eli said of Peyton. “I’ll talk to him throughout the week, like I always do. Besides that, I am going to keep my normal routine and probably will not see a whole lot of family throughout the week.”
Six of the 13 questions Eli was asked by reporters at the team’s hotel yesterday involved Peyton.
The Giants arrived in Indianapolis about 24 hours after the Patriots did because it was the same schedule they had in Arizona during their championship season four years ago.
“I thought it was very good for us the last time we did it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said at a news conference. “We tinkered with it a little bit here and there, but for the most part, the schedule remains the same.”
Eli Manning passed for a career-high 4,933 yards during the regular season and 15 of his 29 touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, helping him break Peyton’s single-season NFL record. He’s helped the Giants to five straight wins, including three in the playoffs, to reach the Super Bowl.
The Colts lost the Super Bowl two years ago. Their chances of becoming the first NFL team to play the game in their home stadium were dashed when Peyton Manning missed the 2011 season following neck surgery.
Indianapolis went 2-14 without the quarterback and missed the playoffs for the second time in 13 years.
Instead, it’s the Patriots representing the American Football Conference in the Super Bowl for the fifth time in 11 years. And while a Manning may end up winning the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, it would be Eli instead of Peyton.
“I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis,” Eli said. “It’s not really a time to reflect right now on that. It’s just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots. We’ll look back on playing the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts.”
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