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Giants Now: Eli Manning congratulates Drew Brees

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Eli Manning congratulates Drew Brees on stellar NFL career

It's been nearly 14 months since Eli Manning officially decided to hang up his cleats.

On Sunday, legendary quarterback Drew Brees announced that he would be moving on to the next chapter of his life as well, thus joining Manning in retirement from the NFL. He will end his playing career with the most passing yards (80,358) and the second-most passing touchdowns (571) in NFL history.

Brees and Manning faced off eight times throughout their careers, but one of those matchups stands out in particular.

On November 1, 2015, the Giants traveled to New Orleans to take on the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game went back and forth for four quarters, with the Saints finally emerging with a 52-49 victory. Despite the loss, the game has been etched in both Giants and NFL history.

Manning tossed six touchdown passes in the loss, while Brees matched the all-time NFL record with seven. The 13 combined passing touchdowns set a new NFL record at the time, beating the previous mark of 12 set back in 1969. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the only other game in which both quarterbacks tossed at least six touchdowns.

The 101 points combined between the two teams tied for the third-highest ever in the NFL, while the 49 points were the most the Giants have scored in a loss in franchise history.

Manning took to Twitter to congratulate Brees on a phenomenal career.

How tough is the Giants' schedule? Click to view each team's strength of schedule for the 2021 season based on the records of their opponents from 2020.

Nate Ebner eyes return to Olympics on United States National Rugby Team

Nate Ebner has played in and won three Super Bowls, but the sports spectacle that most captivated him was disconnected from football and took place in another hemisphere.

As a member of the United States National Rugby Team, the Giants' veteran safety participated in the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

"You're on a different continent in a country where they don't even really speak your language," Ebner said last week. "We're in a two-hour opening ceremony where all these countries come through – obviously, the United States is one of the last ones as a 'U.' When the United States came out, the roar that I heard in that stadium gave me chills, like nothing I've heard before. When you're in a different hemisphere of the world and they're cheering for you like that, it shows you what you represent and it's a lot bigger than you. To be a part of Team USA is extremely special and being from this country and what it means to be an American, and those things really resonated with me in the opening ceremony."

Ebner hopes to participate in another opening ceremony at the Olympics this year. Beginning today, he will join approximately 30 players trying out for the 12 spots on the U.S. team coached by Mike Friday that will compete in the XXXII Olympiad, which is scheduled to begin July 23 in Tokyo. The Games were postponed for a year because of the pandemic.

"We are very excited to welcome Nate back into the pack," Friday said. "He is not only a talented athlete, rugby player and Olympian, he is a durable individual who knows how to grind and is selfless for the cause.

"Nate is an authentic, good man who carries himself with humility, has a burning desire in his eyes to achieve and a passion to embed rugby and its values in the American sporting landscape. He is a Dawg, a Pioneer and will be up for the challenge as we look ahead to Tokyo."

The formal nickname for all USA Rugby National Teams is Eagles, but Dawg and Pioneer each has a special meaning to the USA Men's Sevens. Dawg stems from a poem that signifies the unique differences of each individual where all work together as a pack to achieve a common goal.

Pioneer, stemming from a 2018 documentary series, illustrates the team's collective mission to cement the game of rugby in America and leave a legacy for future generations.

The Giants fully support Ebner, who played in all 16 games for the team in 2020, his first season with the team.

The Olympic rugby competition is scheduled for July 26-28. Training camp will begin around that time, so Ebner could theoretically miss just the first week or so – as he did five years ago, when he was with New England. Giants coach Joe Judge was then the Patriots' special teams coordinator.

"We are proud to support Nate in his effort to earn a place on the United States National Rugby team," Judge said. "This is the second time I have been with Nate while he tries to make the team to represent our country in the Olympics. We know that rugby has been an important part of Nate's life since he was a young man, and Dave (Gettleman) and I both encouraged him to pursue this opportunity. Nate's rugby training will keep him in great shape this offseason, and we will stay in touch with him as he goes through the process."

Ebner is one of just seven players in NFL history to participate in the Olympics and also win a pro football championship. He is the only player to accomplish that feat in the same year.

Former scout Matt Manocherian talks NFL Draft

Former NFL scout and Vice President of Football and Research at Sports Information Systems Matt Manocherean joins Giants.com's John Schmeelk on the Giants Huddle podcast to break down the 2021 NFL Draft class.

Check out the audio below to listen to Manocherian's full conversation with Schmeelk.

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