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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning drew criticism when he said he was an “elite” player in August. Now it appears that the freshly-minted two-time Super Bowl MVP might have just been ahead of the curve.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin certainly thinks any doubts about Manning’s status can be put to rest.

“I thought, again, that this business about elite quarterbacks, I think that question’s come and gone,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said at a Monday news conference. “I don’t think we’ll hear much about that again.”

Coughlin’s comments came a day after Manning threw for 296 yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 21-17 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Manning also connected with receiver Mario Manningham on a clutch 38-yard pass in the fourth quarter that enabled the Giants to score the game-winning touchdown.

Manning joined Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Bart Starr as the only players to have won multiple Super Bowl MVPs, prompting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to pointedly say Manning is now part of “a pretty elite group” as he introduced the quarterback at Monday’s news conference.

Coughlin said he was impressed with Manning’s modesty.

“I congratulated Eli,” Coughlin said Monday, “and, of course, being Eli, he said to me, after winning the MVP, that ‘All I want to do is help our team win,’ which is so consistent with the way he is.”

Manning also refused to crow about having one more Super Bowl ring than his brother, Peyton Manning.

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