In 2007, Tom Brady was on his way to claiming the title of best quarterback ever.
The former Michigan star won three titles in his first six years as a starter and was on his way to claiming a record-tying fourth Super Bowl victory.
Brady was not only winning but was finally putting up incredible statistics. In that 2007 season, Brady had perhaps the best season of in NFL history, throwing for 50 touchdowns and just eighth interceptions. By leading New England to a perfect regular season, he had elevated his status to one of the greatest quarterbacks in history.
That's when everything changed.
Eli Manning led the Giants to a win in Super Bowl XLII and altered the course of two careers.
Since the near perfect season, the perception of Brady has changed course. He has become more known for big statistics than for big wins.
Brady threw for the second-most yards in regular-season history in 2011. In 2010, he finished the year with a record-setting nine-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio.
He also has two home playoff losses and no championships since that Super Bowl four years ago.
Brady is what Peyton Manning used to be. He puts up incredible numbers in the regular season, but hasn't been able to exceed expectations in the postseason.
With Brady as the new Peyton, Eli Manning has stepped into Brady's role.
Eli Manning picked up his second Super Bowl ring in four years on Sunday. It isn't always pretty, but all the Giants star does is win nowadays.
The younger Manning is now the golden boy of the NFL that Brady used to be. He is considered one of the best in the league, even though he doesn't match up statistically with the NFL's top quarterbacks.
Eli Manning led the league in interceptions last year, and threw 29 touchdowns in 2011. Meanwhile, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Brady threw 39, 45 and 46 respectively this past season.
But with Eli Manning, stats don't matter.
Four years ago, Brady seemed invincible while the former Ole Miss star was just an average quarterback. Now, Brady's legacy has taken a hit with two Super Bowl losses and now his nemesis is the most clutch player in all of football.
Brady is still an all-time great, but no longer has the chance to be considered the best ever. Like his rival Peyton Manning, the second half of his career has been more about stats than wins.
We didn't know it at the time, but Eli Manning took the torch from Brady in Super Bowl XLII.
Many in the media have already dubbed him better than his brother and a Hall of Famer, even though his career isn't near being finished.
Peyton Manning may be the best regular season quarterback of all time, and some are now saying that Eli Manning is better.
That may be all that is needed to be known about the youngest Manning brother, who has firmly stepped out of the shadow of both his older brother and mediocrity.