He oi ma ka maikai.
That’s how you say “elite” in Hawaiian. It’s a phrase that may come in handy for Eli Manning as he was voted to his second Pro Bowl after posting the best passing numbers of his career. Manning and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul were both named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday evening.
“It’s a real honor,” Manning said. “Obviously, when you make it to the Pro Bowl it’s because your team, the offensive line, my receivers are doing a great job protecting me, getting open, making plays. It is an honor. Considering some of the other quarterbacks in the NFC who have had outstanding seasons, I’m really thrilled and truly honored to be named to the Pro Bowl team.”
Through 15 games Manning has already set a franchise record with 4,587 passing yards. On Sunday night he needs 13 pass attempts and 5 completions to break the franchise records in those categories.
“It’s a great time, just to see some of the other athletes, guys you compete against, guys that you respect and watch them play and get to hang out with them, get to talk to them, get to see their personalities outside of football,” Manning said. “It’s a very laidback and fun time. Obviously, with the new way that the Pro Bowl has gone, you don’t really want to be playing in the game. You’d rather be getting ready for the Super Bowl. So hopefully that’s the case and we’ll see what happens.”
For that to happen, the Giants will have to first beat the Cowboys on Sunday just to get into the playoffs. Then they’ll have to win three games – two of them likely on the road – to get to the Super Bowl.
“I think I have thrown the ball well, but again, I think the receivers have done a good job,” Manning said. “We had some guys step up, so a lot of credit goes to them. I feel like I improved on some things. There are still some improvements to be made, and obviously my whole mindset is the team having success and us winning games. At this point right now we have a chance to make it to the playoffs and win this last game versus Dallas. That’s the mindset right now. I’m not losing focus. I’m not going to be planning any reservations in Hawaii right now. I’m trying to get ready for Dallas and get ready to play that game.”