New York Giants quarterback and Eagles foe Eli Manning announced his retirement publicly Friday morning at a news conference in East Rutherford, N.J. Manning played 16 seasons, ending his career with 366 touchdowns, 57,023 passing yards, and two Super Bowl MVP awards.
“I choose to leave this game with only proud memories,” Manning said. “Why harp on the not-so-proud moments? Where’s the value in that? If there are going to be endless echoes, choose the good ones.”
The 39-year-old finished his NFL career with a 117-117 record. He faced the Eagles more than any other NFL team but didn’t have much success against them.
Manning went 10-21 in the regular season vs. the Eagles and lost 10 of the last 11 meetings. He also went 0-2 in the playoffs against the Birds, with the losses coming in 2007 and 2009. His final stats against the Eagles: 54 touchdowns, 34 interceptions, and 7,994 passing yards. Each number is Manning’s most against a NFL team.
“For now I’ll focus on the touchdowns, the wins, celebrations with teammates, family, friends, and sharing a cold beer in the back of a bus after a big game,” Manning said. “I’ll remember the special people that make this organization what it is.”
The four-time Pro Bowler was known for his durability — 210 consecutive starts at one point — and clutch performances in the playoffs. Manning led the Giants to two improbable Super Bowl runs. The first included derailing the hopes of the 18-0 New England Patriots of becoming the second undefeated team in NFL history. The second run involved a dominant performance against the one-loss Green Bay Packers and yet another victory over Tom Brady and the Patriots.
“When you win championships, you have a special unbreakable bond with teammates. You see them, you give them a hug, and you hold it just a little bit longer because of that unique connection with those special people," Manning said.
Brady congratulated Manning on the retirement, and included some humor, on Twitter.
“Congratulations on your retirement, and a great career Eli! Not going to lie though, I wish you hadn’t won any Super Bowls,” Brady said.