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Inside the Numbers: Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** What is the most frequently-contested regular-season matchup among active NFL quarterbacks?

No, it's not Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady (though it would be if postseason games were included). That distinction belongs to Eli Manning and Tony Romo, who will square off for the 15th time in the regular season on Sunday night, when the Dallas Cowboys visit MetLife Stadium.

The top four head-to-head matchups among active quarterbacks:

Quarterbacks Regular-season meetings Postseason meetings
Eli Manning/
Tony Romo
14 1
Ben Roethlisberger/
Carson Palmer
13 1
Peyton Manning/
Tom Brady
12 4
Drew Brees/
Matt Ryan
12 0

The Giants lost in Dallas, 31-21, on Oct. 19, leaving Manning 6-8 against his NFC East rival. He is, however, 1-0 in the postseason vs. Romo, winning a 2007 NFC Divisional Playoff Game in Dallas.

Tied for No. 2 on Manning's list are the now-retired Donovan McNabb, against whom Manning was 5-4 (plus 0-1 in the playoffs), and Michael Vick, who Manning defeated four times in nine games (one of the losses was in Manning's debut 10 years ago Friday).

Manning's six victories against Romo are tied for his highest total against a single quarterback. He is 6-0 against Jason Campbell, who is now a reserve in Cincinnati.

  • The Giants 16-10 loss to San Francisco on Sunday ended a streak of 11 consecutive victories in games in which they allowed fewer than 20 points. Their last loss had been a 17-16 defeat at Washington on Dec. 3, 2012. Under Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 61-7 in games in which they hold the opposition to less than 20 points.
  • The game Sunday countered other statistical norms. The Giants lost despite scoring first. They are 3-1 this season and 62-26 when they score first. Coughlin is 111-46 in his career when his teams score first.
  • The Giants were the last NFL team to have a game decided by seven points or less. They are 37-29 in such games under Coughlin.
  • In the last two weeks, the Giants lost to Seattle and San Francisco, which completed 10 and 15 passes, respectively. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants last lost back-to-back games to teams that completed no more than 15 passes from Nov. 7-21, 2004, when the dropped three straight to Chicago (eight), Arizona (12) and Atlanta (12).
  • The Seahawks and 49ers totaled 160 and 185 net passing yards, respectively. The Giants last lost consecutive games to teams with fewer than 190 net passing yards on Dec 5-12, 2004, when the opponents were Washington (168 passing yards) and Baltimore (184).

The Giants are 0-3 this season when they hold the opposition to less than 200 yards passing, but in 11 years under Coughlin, they are 45-22 in such games.

The Giants committed five turnovers Sunday. This is not a shock, but teams that cough up the ball have a difficult time winning. In the 10 years since the start of the 2005 season, teams that have at least five giveaways are 12-164.

  • All of those turnovers were Manning interceptions. During that same time (2005-present), starting quarterbacks who throw at least five interceptions are 2-20. The last team to win with a starting quarterback throwing at least five picks was Atlanta, which defeated Arizona despite Matt Ryan's five interceptions.
  • The Giants scored zero and three points in the second half of their last two games, the first time they've scored so few points after halftime since Sept. 22-29, 2013, when they were held scoreless at Carolina and Kansas City.
  • Dallas had a bye last week. The Giants are 8-5 since 1990 when their opponents are coming off a bye and the Giants are not.
  • Manning's touchdown pass to Larry Donnell on Sunday was the 247th of his career, tying him with Boomer Esiason for 16th on the NFL's career list. Drew Bledsoe is 15th with 251.
  • Manning's 5,374 pass attempts tie him with McNabb for 14th on the all-time list. Hall of Famer Joe Montana is 13th with 5,391.
  • This season, the Giants are 3-1 when they rush for at least 100 yards, 0-6 when they don't.
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