*Eli Manning gives his take on the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Eagles and Patriots: *
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. –For many Giants fans, choosing a team to root for in Super Bowl LII is an easy decision. They're not going to back the hated Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants' ancient rivals. And should the Patriots win, the Giants, who conquered New England in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, would remain the only franchise to defeat the Bill Belichick Pats in the title game.
Inherent in that, of course, is that Eli Manning would remain the only quarterback to defeat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. So, has Manning become one of those temporary Patriots fans?
"I don't think of it in those terms," Manning said at an appearance today in Minneapolis. "I'm not rooting for one team over the other. I'm going to watch the game just as a fan of football, not a fan of either team."
Asked directly if he cares who wins, Manning flatly said, "no."
Manning played some of his best football of the 2017 season against Philadelphia. In two games against the Eagles, Manning threw 104 passes and completed 72 for 800 yards. All three figures are Giants records for a single season against an opponent. And all three were also the high totals for any quarterback against any team in 2017. Manning threw six touchdown passes against the Eagles, tying his second-highest total against an opponent in a single season.
Despite his knowledge of the Eagles, Manning said from a strategic standpoint, he doesn't know who will win the game.
"I know the Eagles better than I know the Patriots just from having played them twice a year for the past 14 years," he said. "You know their schemes a little bit more. The Patriots, we didn't play them this year, so I haven't seen them as much. Can they slow down Tom Brady and get a pass rush? The Eagles have a great pass rush. They kind of have the tools, you would think. That is the reason they are here. They are playing great football. It is just a matter of can they play it in the fourth quarter? Can they get the ball and keep Tom from having those two-minute drives to win the football game? Can the Eagles have a two-minute drive to win? I think it will come to that."