One of college football's top quarterbacks at Ole Miss, Eli Manning was chosen first overall in the 2004 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers and immediately traded to the New York Giants. Following a slow start to his NFL career, he earned accolades for guiding the Giants to wins in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
College Football Career
Eli Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1981. In 2000, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where both his father and brother Cooper went to college. He played quarterback for the Rebels for four years while at Ole Miss, and put up outstanding numbers, including 10,119 passing yards (fifth on the SEC career list), 81 touchdown passes (third on the SEC career list), and a passer rating of 137.7 (tied for sixth on the SEC career list). During his senior year he won several awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation's best all-around player and the SEC Player of the Year award.
The Move to the NFL
In 2004, six years after his brother, Peyton, entered the NFL as the Indianapolis Colts' QB, Eli Manning was drafted first overall by San Diego. But Manning had said all along that he would not play for the Chargers, and the team traded him on draft day to the New York Giants.
Manning had a rocky rookie year, and was benched at one point in favor of Kurt Warner, longtime NFL quarterback. But Warner soon retired, and in 2005 Manning was named the Giants' starter once again. Under the Giants' new head coach, Tom Coughlin, Manning led the team to average results over the next three season, compiling a 25-23 record with two playoff appearances—both losses.
Super Bowls XLII and XLVI
The Giants made the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, and they finished 2007 with a record of 10-6. Manning led the team through the playoffs that year and into the Super Bowl, where they were huge underdogs to the undefeated New England Patriots. The Giants won the game, 17-14, and Eli Manning was named the game's MVP. He completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards (152 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter), and threw two touchdown passes.
With the victory, Eli and Peyton Manning were the first brothers to become back-to-back Super Bowl winners and MVP quarterbacks, Peyton having achieved the feat the year before, with the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2011, Manning finished the regular season with 29 touchdown passes and a team-record 4,933 passing yards. Although the Giants barely made the playoffs with a 9-7 record, they beat powerhouse teams such as the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers to gain entry to Super Bowl XLVI. Once again, Manning carried Big Blue to victory over the favored Patriots, completing 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown to win game MVP honors.
Manning's performance fluctuated over the next few years, as he followed his Pro Bowl campaign of 2012 by leading the NFL in interceptions in 2013, but he usually gave his team a chance to win with his strong arm and veteran confidence.
Beyond the Gridiron
Off the field, Eli Manning has been active in the efforts to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and to raise awareness in conjunction with the Gulf oil spill of 2010. He also hosts Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Golf Classic, an annual charity event, and has undertaken a campaign to raise $2.5 million for the construction of the Eli Manning Children's Clinic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's children's hospital.
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