Eli Manning makes plays with his legs

Getty Images

We always thought Eli Manning got a little too much credit for the team’s Super Bowl run in 2007, and not enough credit for improving as a player in the years since.

Yes, he took a step back in 2010. But his best two seasons as a pro were in 2008 and 2009. He just had less help around him then.

Manning has taken his development to another level this season. He’s always been a streaky player, but he’s been on a hot streak all season long. He’s survived a weak offensive line and we’d argue he was even playing well when the Giants were losing games.

The difference this year: Manning has made more plays with his legs. Really. For my column Thursday on NBCSports.com, I looked at Manning’s newfound ability to extend plays, take a beating, and keep coming back for more.

While I’m pointing towards the fine folks over at NBC, here were my 11 reasons the Giants can win Sunday, and the 11 reasons the Patriots can win.