Another HOF signal-caller completed 8 of 9 passes for 87 yards before capping his off with a touchdown pass and only :34 remaining on the game clock.
Their names, of course, were Elway and Montana. Their drives are the stuff of NFL legend. Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not even close to discussing Eli Manning in the same quarterback conversation with #7 and #16. But how about his drive?
In Super Bowl XXII, the Niners were seven-point favorites. Montana took over with 3:10 left on the clock and his team down by a field goal against the Bengals. He then engineered a 92-yard drive missing on only one pass attempt. The 49ers faced only one third down (third-and-two), which they converted on a four-yard run by Roger Craig. Montana finished the march with a touchdown pass to John Taylor that sealed the deal.
John Elway’s Broncos were trailing by a touchdown to the Cleveland Browns in the 1986 AFC Championship game with 5:32 to play in regulation. Elway would march his team down the field on a 98-yard drive that forced the game into overtime before again leading the Broncos to a score in overtime earning a trip to Super Bowl XXI. His fourth-quarter effort is immortalized by two words: The Drive.
Eli Manning took the ball with 2:42 remaining against an 18-0 Patriots team looking to make history. His Giants were a huge dog and had just watched their lead slip away. Manning wasn’t perfect on his drive. In fact, he missed on four of nine throws. Yet he converted on three third downs of 10, 5 and 11 yards respectively, including a 32-yard pitch and catch to David Tyree that some are discussing as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history (and we wouldn’t argue).
Combine the stage, the opponent, the circumstances and the cast…and we think Eli’s 12-play, 83-yard drive to win Super Bowl XLII has to go down among the legendary drives in NFL history.
WE CANNOT BELIEVE WE JUST WROTE THE LAST SENTENCE.
Have we completely lost our minds? Tell us. Certainly there have to be countless drives that could be considered “bigger” or “more memorable.” Right? Please?Because, honestly, nothing makes a bit of sense to us anymore. And if you hear the slight bitterness of a jaded Jets fan coming through in these last words…well, you aren’t hearing things…
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About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.