New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is hanging up his cleats. The two-time Super Bowl champion announced his retirement in January 2020 following his 16th season in the NFL, all of which he spent with the Giants.
Manning orchestrated two comeback victories in the Super Bowl against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, making important plays towards the end of those games that has cemented him as one of the NFL’s great clutch quarterbacks. Manning’s legend first started to grow in Super Bowl 42, which saw Manning connect with David Tyree on what many see as one of the best plays in NFL history.
Men’s Journal detailed that Super Bowl victory in this list of the best all-time underdog sports stories and this list of the most exciting Super Bowl games of all time. The game is also featured on this list of every Super Bowl ranked from worst to best—Manning’s Super Bowl wins are close to the top of the list.
Here’s a look at that pass play from Manning to Tyree:
— NFL (@NFL) January 30, 2019
While Manning wasn’t considered in the same athletic group as fellow quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and Donovan McNabb, Manning was extremely durable and tough through his career, starting 210 consecutive games at one point. Manning played through numerous injuries in his career, including fully torn plantar fascia during the 2009 season.
— New York Giants (@Giants) January 23, 2020
Manning previously spoke with Men’s Journal about the way he trained and took care of himself in the offseason, which enabled him to start so many consecutive games without missing any.
“I think a lot of [staying in shape] is the weight training, making sure your legs are strong,” Manning said. “I do a lot of squats and kettlebell stuff. For a quarterback, [I do] a lot of band work for the arm, rotator cuff and shoulder. A lot of it is continuing to get your strength back but also the conditioning. I do my own version of power cleans and get some explosive lifts in there as well, and a lot of core exercises.”
Take a look back at some of Manning’s all-time best moments on these lists from Men’s Journal:
Manning was replaced by Daniel Jones as the starter for the Giants during the 2019 season, and while he came back to start when Jones was injured, the team was likely not planning to have Manning back on the roster in 2020. Manning expressed some interest in continuing to play, but made the decision to retire after playing his whole career for one team.
“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer said in a release. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”
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