The second Sunday of 2013 NFL action is in the books, and from Aaron Rodgers’ superhumanity to a gaggle of down-to-the-wire finishes, fans have plenty to talk about. (And if you missed any of the big moments, no matter: NFL Game Rewind’s Big Play Markers, which make the biggest moments easily accessible, have you covered.) But the top story of this week’s action was never going to be anything but the Manning Bowl, and given that this was not only a matchup of Mannings, but the first game in NFL history to feature two passers who both threw for over 400 yards last week, can you blame America for caring? No. No, you cannot. And I cared too – so much that I did a Manning vs. Manning tale of the tape sponsored by NFL Game Rewind, which lets you relive every NFL game online in HD. See the breakdown below, and don’t miss a moment.
Best Job Feeding The Hype Machine: Peyton threw for 462 yards and Eli for 450 in Week 1, and both Mannings went exactly 27-for-42, but otherwise the numbers weren’t close. Eli threw four TD passes but also three interceptions. Peyton? All he did was have one of the greatest games in NFL history, tying a league record with seven touchdowns through the air, all without turning the ball over once. As a result, his Broncos crushed the Ravens 49-27, while Eli’s Giants came up short against the Cowboys, falling 36-31. The Manning Bowl was amply hyped as it was, but a matchup of 1-0 teams would have had even more juice behind it.
Edge: Peyton. Relive both Mannings’ Week 1 performances with NFL Game Rewind’s full game replays.
Best Job Backing Up The Hype Machine: It wasn’t like last week’s onslaught – how could it have been, really? – but Peyton got the job done, completing 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards and two scores – and, critically, turning in his second straight turnover-free performance. Eli was a much different story: he finished with 362 yards, but was bitten badly by the interception bug again, getting picked four times. Granted, since he was playing from behind throughout the second half he had to take more risks downfield, which resulted in a couple of those picks (plus another that came on a fluky play where a defender accidentally kicked the ball, allowing it to remain in the air long enough for the Broncos to intercept), but ultimately, four turnovers is four turnovers. Peyton’s ruthless efficiency won the day.
Big edge: Peyton.
Best Big Playmaker: Eli’s deep ball has more pop on it than Peyton’s does these days, so it’s no surprise that he had the longest completion of the day (a 51-yarder to Victor Cruz), or that he averaged more yards per completion (12.9, compared to 10.2 for Peyton). Additionally, his one touchdown pass on the day came on a nifty flip to Da’Rel Scott, after he did a Roethlisberger-esque job evading pressure.
Edge: Eli. Use NFL Game Rewind’s Big Play Markers to catch every critical moment.
Best Solo Pitchman Performance: I never understood Peyton’s need to steamroll “Papa” John Schnatter and make him give away an extra million free pizzas in this commercial. Will his need to wield total control over every situation never let up? Contrast that with Eli in his Dunkin’ Donuts ads: holding the product and sporting a goofy smile. Simple. Time-tested.
Edge: Eli. Alas, NFL Game Rewind’s Coaches Film feature, which lets you watch the action from exclusive camera angles, doesn’t extend to commercials.
Best Manningface: You had to know this category was coming. Eli offered this (h/t Sportspickle):
And Peyton, despite once again not having much to be disappointed about, came up with this (h/t Getty Images):
Edge: even. Eli almost certainly made more faces on the day, but Peyton’s dedication to the Manningface, making it even when his team wins going away (he did it last week, too) is commendable.
Overall: Glad as I am to have both Mannings around, it’s blindingly obvious which of the brothers stands out based on early 2013 returns. Eli’s on pace to throw 56 interceptions through two games, while Peyton looks as good as ever. He’s not much of a downfield throwing threat, but it doesn’t matter: he’s picking teams apart with pinpoint accuracy on short and medium-length passes, and the majority of the league looks powerless to stop him. Next up for the Broncos: the Raiders. Good luck with that, Oakland.
Edge: Peyton. And if you’re itching to revisit the last Manning Bowl, which took place in 2010 when Peyton’s Colts topped the Giants 38-14, NFL Game Rewind’s archive, which covers all NFL games from 2009-2012, has you covered.Side-by-side photos via Getty