Every time I see a reference to a recent story in which two former New York Giants players say the team wasted Eli Manning's prime, I become angry all over again.

Sure, I'm watching this from the outside looking in (and have never played the game), but does anyone aside from Shaun O'Hara and Justin Tuck really believe this?

Manning has been a durable, above-average, mistake-prone quarterback who put together two amazing four-game runs — culminating in two Super Bowl wins over the Patriots! — but who otherwise has largely been the master of his own undoing.

He led the NFL in interceptions three different years and in the Giants' four other playoff berths that didn't culminate in a Super Bowl, Manning is 0-4 with three TD passes and seven INTs.

If anything, getting two Super Bowls out of a QB of his caliber is the opposite of a wasted prime. It is squeezing every ounce out of it.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.