Eli Manning Reveals the 1 Rams Player He’s Most Proud Of

Eli Manning

Getty Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a halftime ceremony that honored the Giants' 2011 Super Bowl team on October 17, 2011.

Eli Manning knows all about the pressure and demands of leading a team to the Super Bowl, since he did it twice for the New York Giants including being in his early 30s when he won his second title in the 2011 season.

On Sunday, February 13 at SoFi Stadium, the former Giant will join the rest of the world in watching the Los Angeles Rams be led by 34-year-old Matthew Stafford in Super Bowl 56 versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

Manning, the two-time Super Bowl winner and named the game’s Most Valuable Player in both wins, spoke with Heavy on Rams at “Calle de Crunch” sponsored by Frito-Lay held at L.A. Live on Friday, February 11 about his thoughts on the longtime quarterback Stafford witnessing his first big game appearance.

‘I’m Proud of Matthew’

Manning has not only gotten the first-year Rams quarterback as a guest on the Monday Night Football Manningcast alongside his older brother Peyton Manning, but the former Giant has befriended Stafford over the years.

And in watching Stafford overcome his personal tribulations from his previous NFL employer the Detroit Lions including not winning a single playoff game, Manning wasn’t shy about praising Stafford’s perseverance.

“I’m proud of Matthew,” Manning told Heavy. “Obviously, 13 years in Detroit and having success…but nothing to this extent. But they (the Rams) brought him here to win a Super Bowl.”

Manning himself noticed the higher scrutiny Stafford was receiving — since he was not only being lured in to bolster the Rams’ offense, but also playing in the big city lights of Los Angeles.

“It was a lot of pressure on him this season to go out there and produce, especially during the playoffs and it was like ‘Hey, if you don’t win this playoff game, it’s like a failed year,'” Manning said. “And here he is, in the Super Bowl.”

Manning Happy for Another Ram

Stafford isn’t the only Ram Manning has taken a liking to.

In fact, this Ram missed his first Super Bowl experience during the team’s last run of 2018: Cooper Kupp.

The wide receiver has since gone from tearing his ACL to becoming the league’s triple crown leader in receptions (145), receiving yardage (1,947) and touchdowns (16).

How much fun would Manning have throwing it to a guy like Kupp? Turns out, Manning has a previous background in feeding the Rams’ top wideout.

“I’ve thrown to Cooper Kupp before, when he was in college and he would come out to the Manning Passing Academy as a counselor,” Manning said. “I’ve thrown it to him many times for a long time. He’s a great kid, great football player and so proud of him also.”

Manning’s Involvement With ‘Calle de Crunch’ & Final Stafford Thoughts

As part of his endorsement deal with Frito-Lay, Manning was among the guest appearances at the Super Bowl-themed event held outside of Crypto.com Arena in L.A. Manning already has a widely popular commercial spot featuring brother Peyton, NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl 40 winner Jerome Bettis and many others.

He also did that commercial with his Super Bowl winning teammate Victor Cruz and singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo.

“Anytime you do these commercials with your brother and then throw in Victor Cruz and the ‘Bus,’ you get to sing a little Olivia Rodrigo, what can go wrong? It’s really exciting,” Manning said.

Manning joined Bettis, Cruz, Deebo Samuel, Anthony “Booger” McFarland, George Kittle, Carson Palmer, Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliot and Peyton as the NFL lineup for “Calle de Crunch.”

But back to Stafford. Again, the Rams quarterback took advantage of his change of scenery by reversing his previous postseason record, leading to his first Super Bowl game. How ready does Manning believe Stafford will be under his first Super Bowl lights?

“He’s done great, he’s played outstanding in the playoffs and I know he’ll be ready to go out there and perform at a high level,” Manning said.