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Eli Manning gets silly when asked about struggles against Vikings

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Eli Manning hasn’t enjoyed the best games of his career when the New York Giants have faced the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, he’s been downright abysmal. This might be why Manning decided to intentionally misinterpret a question concerning his profound struggles against them.

Manning was asked by a reporter about Minnesota “having his number.” That was all the Giants signal caller needed to get silly ahead of a showdown with the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday night.

“I don’t think, ah, I don’t think anybody has my phone number on the Vikings,’’ Manning said Wednesday, via the New York Post. “Maybe [former teammate] Linval [Joseph], I’m not sure. I’m trying to think if I have anybody’s number. Maybe somebody, I’m sure. Bradford! I think I got Sam Bradford’s number. He’s got my number. I can’t think of anybody else’s offhand. I’ll look in my phone and get back to you on that one.’’

While well played by Manning, his woeful numbers against the Vikings aren’t so amusing. The Giants have posted a 2-5 record against the Vikings during Manning’s career. He has completed only 54.1 percent of his passes, thrown five touchdowns to 14 interceptions while posting a horrible 54.7 rating.

Three of those losses were absolute blowouts, too. There was a 41-17 home loss, a 44-7 road loss and most recently, a 49-17 shellacking in Week 16 last season.

Manning also reacted as if he had no idea of his profound struggles when playing the Vikings and downplayed any significance to it heading into Monday night.

Given Manning’s games against Minnesota go all the way back to 2005, what’s most important is the defense he’ll face on Monday. And that doesn’t bode well for Manning, as the Vikings defense has been one of the most dominant and dangerous in the NFL.

“They’re 3-0 and playing great football,” Manning said. “Defense is playing outstanding. They’re getting turnovers and getting sacks. Teams aren’t moving the ball much on them and they aren’t scoring.”

In light of his past, Monday could prove to be a long night for Manning. But that doesn’t mean he won’t crack wise ahead of it.