Sunday, September 19, 2010

AZ's Slant on Sunday - Sibling Rivalry: Manning vs. Manning

(In my best Don LaFontaine voice)
IN A WORLD...where the gridiron settles the score, TWO BROTHERS will take the stand.... And only one will survive.

Ladies and gentlemen, AnimaniacZero, the National Football League, and OREO Cookies are proud to present:

We only get this match in legitimate fashion once every few years or so. Tonight, things just got real. These two QB's have a huge history in this sport, coming from two powerhouse teams, a football family (their own dad was a quarterback too), and both have a Super Bowl Championship under their belts. After much excitement and hype about both teams and their capabilities this year, we're finally going to get a clash of the titans on the gridiron tonight.

Let's look at the Tale of the Tape: [Stats from]



Let's look at literal terms. For those of you who are most familiar with the playing styles of each team, the Giants have always been a mixer team, combining their running and passing, where for Indy, it's more of a passing-oriented kind of play with a run thrown in here and there. You can tell what is most relied on with each team when looking at the passer ratings and the artillery of running backs and wide receivers on each side. Peyton is seen to be the stronger quarterback--although if I showed his stats pre-2004, you wouldn't really think that. At his age, Eli looks about similar to what Peyton was doing at that age as well. Does that mean good things for little Manning? Let's just hope he has the receivers to prove that he has some "mad skill."

Speaking of, let's take a look at the other men helping the Manning tykes out tonight. Both teams have a stellar amount of big names and beefy power to boost their morale and make their fans much more proud of calling them "my boys." After watching their games last week, I really liked what I saw coming from both sides.

For example:
The Giants have an excellent defensive line and loads of blockage. They might not have Jeff Feagles anymore (Side note: I laughed when the fans started chanting "We Want Feagles"), but they have the ability to play the small ball and make productive drives. Last week gave us a good view of how everything was ruling out on the team, as they dished out some decent plays and pain. The only thing that worries me about them is their ability to protect Manning and run their routes. They can and will get burned if they aren't careful. Three interceptions last week isn't a great sign for Mr. Eli and his receivers.

The Colts had an excellent passing game last week, but the defense...not so much. The Texans brought it last week and scared the crap out of everybody on the Colts' coaching staff. I'm currently on the fence about how the offensive line is going to handle a Giants defense that is riding on a good omen from last week. If they've learned their lesson, tonight won't be tough to watch for the Indy fans. One thing I'm worried about is the consistency of the special teams department. They were letting some easy runs through last week, and we wouldn't want to see that again this week, now would we?

Tonight, both teams will be riding on pride and bragging rights. Who will come out on top?
My Pick: This is tough, but I'm going to go with the Colts. I'm thinking that there's going to be some vengeance tonight. Yay for the older siblings? Okay.