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Eli Manning: 'Elite' NFL QB indeed

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning is what he said he was: an elite NFL quarterback.

The Giants QB capped off a record-breaking regular season by throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-14 playoff-clinching victory over the hated Cowboys on Sunday night.

“He’s had a lot of great seasons,” coach Tom Coughlin replied when asked if this was Manning’s best. “We will wait and see and talk about that one.”

But here’s why there’s no need to wait and see:

• Manning shattered his own franchise record by throwing for 4,933 yards.

• He broke the NFL record for fourth-quarter touchdown passes with 15.

• He threw 29 touchdowns -- the second-most of his career.

• Even more impressive, he threw 16 interceptions in 589 attempts -- nine fewer INTs than last season.

• He also completed 61 percent of his passes and finished with a 92.3 QB rating.

And if that isn’t enough, Manning backed up his words heading into the season when he put himself in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s class.

Many laughed at Manning. They doubted him. They were wrong.

“We have been through a lot, definitely some ups and downs,” Manning said. “But to keep our poise, to keep our confidence, the guys that stick together, not to turn on each other or have doubts, our coaches being confident in us, and we came together and knew what we had to do to win the NFC East and we got it accomplished.”