A win Sunday wouldn't just give Eli Manning his second Super Bowl ring, thinks Plaxico Burress. It would clear out a space for Manning in Canton, Ohio.
"He's one win away, I think, from being a Hall of Famer. I really believe that," Burress said Friday on "The Scott Van Pelt Show" on ESPN Radio.
"If he goes out and wins this game," Burress said of his former teammate, "I really believe he's gonna be a Hall of Famer."
Manning certainly has come a long way since this summer, when NFL pundits widely criticized the quarterback for calling himself elite during an interview with ESPN New York's Michael Kay. He threw for 4,933 yards with 29 touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions during the regular season, and has been lights out in the playoffs, throwing for more than 300 yards per game with eight touchdowns and just a lone interception.
Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII, added that Manning has run the offense with plenty of confidence and command this season, then gave his Super Bowl prediction.
"I think the Giants win." he said. "I'm not going for the Patriots, that's for sure. The Patriots broke my heart too many times when I was in Pittsburgh, all of those AFC championships. Me and Tom Brady have been going at it ever since the Michigan-Michigan State days, so he's been a thorn in my side for the last 12 to 13 years.
"As far as from the Giants standpoint, I've built some great relationships over there and I'm still great friends with some of these guys outside of football. We hang out, even during the season when I was playing for the Jets. I'm running with Big Blue."