The city of Philadelphia is welcoming Eli Manning to town the only way they know how. The Giants legend said this week that he would be attending Saturday's NFL divisional round playoff game between his former club and the Eagles, and expected to get a warm reception from Philly fans.
"I said when I retired I'd never go back to a football game in Philly," Manning said on ESPN's "ManningCast" last Monday night during the Buccaneers-Cowboys game. "But I think I have to break that promise. I can't wait to see the amount of double birds I get. Could break a record."
Well, it looks like Eli was correct in that assessment and we can already start counting toward that record. On Saturday morning leading up to the playoff matchup between these NFC East rivals, Manning himself posted a picture of a billboard in Philadelphia that gave the former quarterback the welcome he expected.
"Welcome back to Philly, Eli," the sign read. "We 🦅🦅 salute you."
This is the nicest thing you have ever said to me. pic.twitter.com/5rlsZRPPL6— Eli Manning (@EliManning) January 21, 2023
Manning, who went 10-21 against the Eagles in his career, will be cheering on his former Giants team to pull off what would arguably be the biggest upset of the weekend. The Eagles swept the season series against New York and outscored them 70-38.
However, these Giants do have a Cinderella-type of vibe that is reminiscent of Manning's championship clubs from 2007 and 2011 and are fresh off an upset victory over the Vikings where Daniel Jones dazzled to the tune of 301 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and 78 yards on the ground. As Manning can attest to, this Giants organization is very accustomed to pulling off improbable runs in the postseason.
In the event that does happen, expect even more double-bird salutes on the way out of Philly as there were coming in.