Peyton Manning’s favorite Super Bowl memory is watching Eli beat the undefeated Patriots

"I think people don't really believe me or are surprised."

Eli Manning got the better part of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl twice. The first time was Peyton's favorite Super Bowl moment.
Eli Manning got the better part of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl twice. The first time was Peyton's favorite Super Bowl moment. – (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning had an illustrious NFL career, winning two Super Bowls and appearing in four during his 18-year NFL career.

However, those accomplishments aren’t Manning’s favorite Super Bowl moments.

With Eli Manning announcing his retirement from the NFL on Friday, Peyton reflected on his little brother’s career in an article on DenverBroncos.com.

One of the things the elder Manning revealed is that his favorite Super Bowl memory is watching Eli take down the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

“I think people don’t really believe me or are surprised [when I say] my greatest Super Bowl memory is watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in a two-minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that,” Manning told Aric DiLalla of DenverBroncos.com. 

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In that game, the Giants trailed the Patriots, 14-10, with 2:39 remaining when New York got the ball back with one last shot to win the game.

Eli Manning led the Giants to an 83-yard touchdown drive (with huge help from David Tyree on his 32-yard helmet catch) to give them a 17-14 lead with just 35 seconds left.

For Peyton, the moment wasn’t so special because Eli defeated his chief rival, but because Eli was his little brother.

“Maybe I wasn’t as happy as the ’72 Dolphins, who I promise you were celebrating and they’re on record saying that, but I was pretty close,” Manning said. “It was just pride and he’s five years younger than me and you kind of reflect on the times growing up.

“It was just [Eli] and I…He was a quiet, calm and cool kid. So you sort of have those memories when you watch something like that happen in front of you. There in Arizona, it was kind of surreal.”

Eli threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns in that game, earning him Super Bowl MVP honors.

And for Peyton, that means a lot, because that can’t be taken away.

“There’s a famous Bill Parcells quote after he tells their team: ‘Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you couldn’t do it, because you did it,'” Manning said. “He did it, and he did it the right way for a long time.”