2012 NFL Playoffs: Eli Manning Asserts Himself, Proves His Worth Again

On paper, it looked like a mismatch. On one side of the field was Eli Manning, a Super Bowl winner who's continued to face questions about his ability to be the superstar. On the other was Aaron Rodgers, the man who led his team to a Super Bowl title last season, then broke the NFL record for yardage in a single season this year. Green Bay boasted a high-powered offense while New York quietly went about its work.

More from SI.com: Grading the Packers and Giants.

But instead of Rodgers winging the ball all over the field, carving up the Giants' defense in the process, it was Manning who took over the game with his arm. He threw for 330 yards, three touchdowns and a pick, taking over the game while his counterpart, Rodgers, struggled with turnovers and inaccuracy.

And in Sports Illustrated's David Hack's opinion, Manning proved himself yet again.

After proclaiming himself an elite quarterback earlier this season, Manning has left no doubt that he is. His calm in the pocket, accuracy on the move and feel for the big moment have coalesced into a magical season that marches on for at least one more week.

Thanks to a strong performance from Manning and the offense, the Giants are one step away from returning to the Super Bowl. But the task doesn't get any easier next weekend as the Giants head to San Francisco to face a 49ers defense that's built a reputation on its toughness throughout the season.

For more on this game, visit Packers blog Acme Packing Company, Giants blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.

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