Peyton Who?
NY QB silences critics by punching Super Bowl ticket
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 9:41 AM CST
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates with fans after his team's 23-20 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – No one expected this: the fifth-seeded Giants bound for Super Bowl XLII behind much-maligned quarterback Eli Manning, the last obstacle between the Patriots and immortality. Certainly no one expected Manning to go pick-less in three playoff road games, or to outsling Brett Favre 254 yards to 236. But here they are, and there’s no doubting them anymore, Harvey Araton writes in the New York Times.

The NFC final was ugly, played in bitter cold, with plenty of fumbles and missed field goals, but Manning “just willed himself to play well,” said coach Tom Coughlin, avoiding the critical mistakes his critics predicted. “We’re not saying he’s Phil Simms or anything,” dad Archie Manning said afterward. “I just never thought he was as bad as some people thought he was.”