Manning brothers face similar challenges in 2009

Just spoke with the Manning boys, and it’s so refreshing to see the pride Peyton has in little brother Eli. It’s also interesting to see the similarities in their situations. Both players have lost their defensive coordinators in Ron Meeks for the Colts and Steve Spagnuolo for the Giants. Peyton, of course, also has lost a future Hall of Famer in coach Tony Dungy.

More importantly, both might lose their top receiver. For Peyton, Marvin Harrison‘s skills have eroded to the point that he will either have to take a pay cut, or his pride will get in the way and he will part ways with the Colts.

Eli, on the other hand, most likely will be without his No. 1-with-a-bullet, Plaxico Burress, unless his lawyer can work a miracle. (Here’s an interesting footnote. I have talked to a couple folks in the know who believe Plax will not serve any time; one of the sources seems to feel there is precedent for giving Plax community service, because he is a first-time offender.)  Either way, the commissioner likely will slap Plax with a suspension in addition to the Giants’ four-game suspension.

As I look at both situations, I’m trying to figure out which QB will miss their guy more. On the surface, it seems the obvious answer would be Eli because of the missing dimension we saw without Plax in the playoffs. However, we have not seen Peyton be as successful without Marvin as when Marvin is in the lineup and at 100 percent.

Which Manning will be more affected in 2009? What say you?

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