Manning Needs To Beat Vikes For Himself

Eli Manning is 0-4 lifetime against the Vikings. But he's perfectly willing to leave that history in the past to move his team forward in this critical month of December.

Eli Manning doesn't go much for history.

That's a good thing this week. Not only do the Giants head back to the scene of their 44-7, season-ending no-show in Minnesota, but Manning has some even longer-standing personal history with the Vikings that is better off forgotten.

See, he's 0-4 against the Vikings. Doesn't matter where. Mall of America Stadium, Giants Stadium, Oshkosh. Wherever he's played them, the Vikings have tormented him no end.

In those four games, he's thrown nine interceptions against just two touchdowns. The Vikings twice recorded four-interception games against him in 2005 and ‘07.

Last year's 44-7 no-show in the season-ender may have been the Giants' most embarrassing loss of the bunch, but Manning hasn't need a team-wide quit job to fall against these guys.

But to the quarterback, who Sunday joins his brother, Peyton, as one of just six quarterbacks in NFL history to start 100 games, this is a brand new chance.

What happened in the past will remain in the past.

"You go in each year and know your game plan," Manning said. "You have different guys and different things going on, so you're worried about this game and going out there and playing well."

Coach Tom Coughlin knows Manning would like nothing better than to put up a "W" here, not just for personal reasons, but because the 8-4 Giants have hit the most critical time of year. The always-important need to win in December is magnified now that the Giants sit tied with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead. Any misstep now could seriously impact their playoff chances.

So in taking care of the personal business, Manning would also allow his team to keep pace.

The 5-7 Vikings would seem ripe for the taking, what with a busted-up old quarterback in Brett Favre, and a minus-11 takeaway differential. They don't blitz a lot, with most of their pressure coming from the front four. The patched together offensive line has done its job against all comers, however, as Manning hasn't been sacked the last five games, a team record.

The 17 interceptions, however, is reason for concern. He threw an end zone interception last week as he looked for Kevin Boss in triple coverage. If he does that again Sunday, it could trigger an avalanche.

It wouldn't be a first for Manning, certainly not against the Vikings. But he'd rather leave history to the past.

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