Tiki Barber made plenty of waves shortly after retiring when he ripped former teammate Eli Manning for not having what it takes to be a leader. But these days, the ex-Giants’ running back has nothing but high praise for Manning. In fact, Barber now says Eli is better than his older brother, Peyton.
On his CBS morning radio show Wednesday, Barber made the comparison by selecting Eli over Peyton because he has two Super Bowl rings to Peyton’s one.
“The expectation was that he was never going to be Peyton. I remember having these conversations with people who watched Eli in college, saying, ‘He’s good, but he's never going to be Peyton, he's not Peyton.' Guess what? I think he's better than Peyton.
"Because of clutch. What matters in sports? It's winning and losing. You get to the stage and what do you do? Eli's gotten there, and he's won,” Barber said.
Eli Manning, 32, won titles after the 2007 and 2011 seasons. His first Super Bowl came the year after Barber retired, and the former running back still gets criticized by Giants’ fans for tweaking Manning. Eli is 8-3 in the postseason.
Peyton, 37, has one title and a 9-11 playoff record. His Broncos team was eliminated last season by the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens in the AFC divisional playoffs in Denver.
Barber now thinks Manning can be one of the top five quarterbacks ... in NFL history.
“For Eli to crack the top five of all time, he's got to have a 2011 season a couple more times and win another Super Bowl and be Super Bowl MVP, and then I think he's in the discussion for the top five of all time,” Barber said.
Eli had 29 touchdowns and 4,933 yards in 2011. Peyton leads all active quarterbacks with 436 touchdown passes, while Eli’s 211 career TD throws rank fourth on the active list and 26th all time.