When you’re the younger of two brothers, it’s never fun losing to your older brother.
But, at least it was competitive four years ago, when Peyton Manning beat younger brother Eli, 26-21, at Giants Stadium.
This time, Eli Manning had one more second-half touchdown pass than his older brother.
And, that was the only thing that the 29-year-old Eli Manning and his New York Giants were even close to claiming over the 34-year-old Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts in the second ever NFL meeting of sibling starting quarterbacks at Lucas Oil Stadium, before a national television audience on Sunday night.
Yes, Manning vs. Manning: Round 2 was over early, as the Colts (1-1) scored a touchdown off of the game’s opening kickoff and never looked back, in a 38-14 thumping of the Giants (1-1).
Eli Manning (13-24, 161 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 4 sacks, 85.6 QB rating) was as badly overshadowed by Peyton Manning (20-26, 255 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack, 145.5 QB rating) as the Giants, in general, were outplayed by the Colts.
Indianapolis got started early, as Peyton Manning was a perfect 5-for-5 for 52 yards during a game-opening 12-play, 80-yard drive that took 6:39 and was capped with a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Donald Brown (16 carries, 69 yards), which gave the Colts a 7-0 lead with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
The Giants gained a total of just 40 yards, punting on all three first-quarter possessions, but they were able to force consecutive three-and-outs after the Colts’ first touchdown.
During the second quarter however, Indianapolis put the game away, scoring on all three possessions while the Giants turned the ball over twice.
Three straight eight-play Colt drives for scores put the game out of reach.
Pin the Colts at their 2 yard-line with a great punt?
No problem. Running back Joseph Addai (20 carries, game-high 92 yards) got the Colts plenty of room for Peyton Manning to work with, rushing four times for 30 yards over a span of five plays.
Three plays later, the elder Manning found tight end Dallas Clark (5 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD) beating the Giants’ secondary for a 50-yard touchdown that put Indianapolis up 14-0 with 9:33 to go in the first half.
On the next play from scrimmage, the younger Manning was intercepted looking deep down field for wide receiver Steve Smith (4 catches, 35 yards), but the ball, thrown into traffic, was deflected into the arms of cornerback Jerraud Powers.
The Colts then kept the ball exclusively on the ground, with Addai rushing three times for 34 yards and Brown carrying four times for 16 yards to set up an Adam Vinatieri 38-yard field goal that stretched Indianapolis’ lead to 17-0 with 5 minutes left in the half.
With less than 3½ minutes left in the half, the Giants’ Manning was just 1 of 6 with only a single passing yard coming on a first-quarter, one-yard completion to tight end Travis Beckum.
Manning finally completed two more passes for modest gains, and the Giants moved out to midfield, but defensive end Robert Mathis (2 sacks) sacked Manning, causing a fumble with 1:07 remaining in the half.
Just 58 seconds later, the Colts’ Manning threw a 3-yard touchdown to wide receiver Austin Collie (4 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD), to put Indianapolis ahead 24-0, nine seconds before halftime.
Eli Manning closed the first half just 3-for-8, for 17 yards, and a quarterback rating of just 6.3, while his brother was 13-for-18, for 154 yards, and a 135.0 rating.
The start of the second half gave the Giants a ray of hope, as Eli Manning connected on a 3rd-and-8, 54-yard strike to wide receiver Mario Manningham (team-leading 75 yards on 4 catches) to get the Giants on the board and to within 24-7, 4:16 into the third quarter.
New York then forced an Indianapolis punt, but two plays later, Eli Manning was sacked by defensive end Dwight Freeney (2 sacks) and defensive tackle Fili Moala recovered and returned the ball a yard for a touchdown that iced the game, 31-7, with 6:27 left in the third quarter.
In the final period, Peyton Manning threw his last touchdown of the game, a 10-yard toss to Reggie Wayne (7 catches for a game-high 96 yards, 1 TD), putting the Colts up 38-7, with 9:11 left in the game.
The Giants later took advantage of the Colts’ only turnover, turning a fumble into an Eli Manning 31-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD), to close the scoring with 1:46 remaining.
Coming off of a 13-point, season-opening win over Carolina, it was a very frustrating night for the Giants in Indianapolis, as evidenced by a bizarre helmet throwing incident from running back Brandon Jacobs (4 carries, 8 yards).
Just prior to the Giants’ third-quarter score, Jacobs came off the field and attempted to fire his helmet toward the New York bench, but his middle finger got caught on the helmet causing it to fly about 10 rows up in the stands. Jacobs apologized to the Indianapolis fans and to the Giants’ organization after the game, but it was another example in a long series of events over Jacobs’ career of the oft-disgruntled running back being unable to adequately keep his cool and thus finding himself in trouble.
The Giants will look to regroup next Sunday, at home, against Tennessee (1-1), at 1pm EST.