What I saw was a guy putting the team on his back in crunch time numerous times en route to a SB win. Take Eli off of the giants 2011 team and they're not elite. If you admit that team was elite, then the factor that made them so(Eli) must also have been elite.
So in my opinion, the correct way to put it would be that what made that giants team elite was the fact that a certain elite quarterback helped them overcome many obstacles on their way to the promised land. The 2009 jets were only a qb away from winning it all and reaching elite status, I bet if Eli had played on that team they would have won the SB.
So if Eli wasn't elite in 2011, neither were the giants, who rode him to a SB win. If the 2011 9-7 giants weren't elite, then neither were the 2009 jets.