There is plenty of speculation that Super Bowl 50 will be the final game of Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame career. After all, the Denver Broncos quarterback is 39, he’s played in the NFL for 17 seasons — sitting out another after multiple neck surgeries — and, let’s face it, he looked this season like a guy without a lot left in the tank.

Oh, and there’s also the matter of what Manning said to Patriots Coach Bill Belichick after defeating New England in the AFC championship game: “Hey listen, this might be my last rodeo. So, it sure has been a pleasure.”

On Wednesday, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning offered his thoughts on Peyton, his older brother. It’s clear that, if Peyton makes like the man who now runs the Broncos, John Elway, and announces the end of his legendary career after a Super Bowl win, Eli won’t be surprised.

“I think I kind of think like everybody else where you see this as possibly being the last game [for Peyton],” Eli Manning told reporters in a conference call (via “I don’t know if he knows himself or if he’s thought about it. When you get to year 19 and kind of deal with some injuries and things going on, it’d be a good way to go out.
“I don’t know if it is, but because of that possibility, I hope that he can win this game and if he decides to hang it up, go out on top.”

Whether or not it is Peyton’s last game, some feel that, after winning just one in his career (in three trips), the Broncos quarterback needs another championship to cement his legacy and truly place himself among the all-time best at his position. His younger sibling didn’t quite see it that way.

“Peyton, his impact on the game of football, will not be determined based off this one game,” Eli said. “He’s kind of changed the game, and the no-huddle offense they had in Indianapolis for so long, and doing things at the line of scrimmage, and changing plays and getting out of bad plays and getting into good plays. … He’s played at a high level for a long, long time.
“I hope he can win, but his impact has already been made. His legacy, whether it will or not, I don’t think it should be affected by this one game.

Of course, among the few quarterbacks who have won multiple Super Bowls is Eli himself, with two in New York. But he downplayed having one over his more statistically successful brother, saying, “There’s no bragging rights just because we both know that it’s a team effort.”

Eli will certainly be a big part of Team Manning over the next couple of weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. He said that, having played the Carolina Panthers this season, he’d be happy to offer some scouting tips, and he’ll make sure Peyton need not concern himself with matters such procuring and distributing tickets for the Big Game.

Eli himself will be at the Super Bowl, cheering his brother on — possibly for the final time.