Between Eli Manning and Tom Brady, it is clearly Eli's legacy that would benefit more with another Super Bowl win.
While another ring obviously wouldn't hurt, Brady is already considered by most pundits as one of the top five greatest quarterbacks of all time. However much it pains this Buffalo Bills die-hard to admit, Brady has performed so consistently throughout his career that it is difficult to argue against his prowess. Sure, winning this year's Super Bowl would move the Uggs for men model up a few spots on the all-time list, but there really aren't many more rungs for Brady to climb on the ladder of success.
Eli's legacy on the other hand, will take a profound leap forward with a second Super Bowl victory. Manning has been an above-average quarterback for most of his career, but has never been a regular season MVP candidate or led the NFL in any notable quarterbacking statistic – other than interceptions, which he did twice.
If Eli can combine this past regular season, his most consistently successful ever, with a win this Sunday, an improved legacy will undoubtedly be solidified. Many experts have always undervalued Eli, likening him to a Trent Dilfer-type quarterback, who rode the coattails of a great defense to a championship. Eli's subdued, borderline dull personality may have played a part in that unfair opinion.
Another reason why Eli's legacy would benefit more from another ring than Brady's would is that he will no longer just be "Peyton's little brother." For those who rate athletes and their legacies solely on the number of championships they have won, Eli will be clearly seen as the greater of the two brothers. At this point in his career, Eli is nowhere near the quarterback his older brother is and has been since his sophomore season in 1999. While another Super Bowl victory won't change my opinion, the question will undoubtedly be ubiquitous on ESPN for the next few weeks; with Peyton and his creaky neck getting the short end of the stick.
The opportunity for Eli's legacy to vastly improve is coming at the perfect time. The Colts coming off an embarrassing season, the discomfort of undermining a legend's talents by drafting a quarterback and the uncertainty of brother Peyton's neck injury are creating the perfect storm for Eli's legacy to skyrocket. This all comes as a dark cloud has overcast the in-city rival New York Jets' organization. Once regarded as the next great, the stock of quarterback Mark Sanchez has fallen as much as Eli's has risen over the past months.
While Brady could improve his all-time standing with another ring and be appropriately compared to the likes of Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas, Eli still has more to gain. If the Giants fall short this Sunday, Eli will have missed out on the greatest of opportunities to secure his place in the Hall of Fame.