Retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning discusses the first time he faced Peyton Manning and the Colts back in 2006.
It was Eli Manning‘s third year in the league and second as a full-time starter when he first suited up against his older brother. In a game dubbed “The Manning Bowl,” Eli and the New York Giants took on Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the 2006 campaign.
In a primetime Sunday Night Football matchup to kick off the year, Peyton and his eventual Super Bowl-winning Colts team ousted the Giants 26-21 at Giants Stadium. It was the first of what was three meetings between the two brothers, and despite losing each one, Eli was nice enough to reflect on the inaugural matchup with Peyton on NBC Sports’ “The Mike Tirico Podcast.”
“Peyton, obviously, had proved himself, he already had an MVP, he had been a starter for a long time, one of the best players at the time, and I’m just trying to get a feel for how to get back to the playoffs and winning games and getting things organized,” Eli said on Tirico’s recent episode released on Monday. “I was still a young player at the time, so this was a great challenge for the Giants to be going against a team that was always in the playoffs. That’s the way we looked at it.”
The year prior, Eli and the Giants finished the regular season 11-5 en route to an NFC East title. Sadly, a 23-0 wild-card loss to the Carolina Panthers ended a potential run through the postseason. Indianapolis, on the other hand, finished 14-2 but came up short in the AFC Divisional Round.
New York made it back to the playoffs in the 2006 season but suffered another opening-round loss, while the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears.
The 16-year Giants quarterback — who retired this past January — additionally pondered over a scenario in which he and Peyton show that game to their kids.
“I think Peyton would enjoy it better than I would,” Eli joked. “But I think I could [sit and watch the game] because you remember the game…but you can’t remember the whole outcome. My oldest is nine, she remembers seeing Peyton play, she remembers seeing me play, but never us playing against each other. I think she would enjoy watching that.”
Eli and Peyton faced off again in 2010 and 2013. During the former matchup, Peyton and the Colts ousted Eli and the Giants 38-14, again on Sunday Night Football. In 2013, while Peyton was in Denver, the Giants fell to the Broncos by a score of 41-23.