As the 2012 NFC Championship game approaches, once again NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the "other" quarterback in the game. Last week when the Giants went into Green Bay and pounded the Packers, all eyes were on Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. This was Rodgers' time to shine and keep the Lombardi Trophy in its rightful home. No one gave that memo to Eli Manning.
Always living under the shadow of big brother Peyton, and never seemingly mentioned with quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger, Eli has quietly handled the intensity of a New York media market and produced under pressure by winning a Super Bowl and having the Giants back in the NFC Championship game this season.
So is Eli an MVP candidate?
Why not. Aaron Rodgers was the "can't miss" MVP just 10 days ago and Manning and the Giants went through the pack like sliced bread.
In Manning's last four games, he has thrown for 10 touchdowns and nearly 1,200 yards...and oh by the way he faced "better" or shall it be said, "more popular" quarterbacks in every victory (NY Jets' Mark Sanchez, Dallas' Tony Romo, Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers).
So what more can a QB do for an encore? Head into the NFC Championship game vs. San Francisco and see how their QB Alex Smith is coming of age. It's true, Smith is getting better, but time will tell if Smith and the 49ers are a one trick pony or here to stay.
Eli ManningÂ—the true Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL.