- Associated Press - Thursday, December 9, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Brett Favre isn’t the only one with a streak of note heading into Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning has one of his own.

While many wonder whether a shoulder injury will prevent the Vikings’ quarterback from extending his streak of 297 consecutive starts, Manning will make his 100th consecutive start with much less fanfare as New York (8-4) tries to keep pace with Philadelphia in the NFC East.

Besides Favre and Manning, the only other NFL quarterbacks to start 100 straight games are Eli’s big brother, Peyton Manning of the Colts, Tom Brady of the Patriots, Ron Jaworski of the Eagles and Joe Ferguson of the Bills.

Miami’s Dan Marino would have qualified, but missed the lockout games.

“That’s good stuff,” Manning said. “In this league, you get hit. There have been a couple games where it’s been kind of iffy and come down to game-time decisions. It’s easy to get hurt in this game and I think part of it is a little luck and how you take care of your body on some things and trying to avoid the big hits.”

Eli Manning twice came close to having his streak end. He hurt his shoulder against the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener in 2007, but played the following week against Green Bay. Just last year, he nearly missed a game against Oakland with a foot injury, but started and played a half in a romp.

Manning, who is winless in four starts against the Vikings (5-7), said it’s impossible to compare his streak with Favre.

“For me, it’s one-third of my career, so I have another 14 years to go. That’s a long time,” he said. “That’s really the amazing part, how long he’s played and stayed healthy in consecutive starts and played at a high level. It’s very impressive.”

Long-running streaks require toughness, a good workout regime, intelligence and little luck, too, Manning said.

“I think you try to be smart and not take an unnecessary hits,” the 29-year-old said. “You’re going to take some hits and that has to happen. It’s about your preparation and knowing what’s going on with the defense.”

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Manning has come light years since being taken as the No. 1 overall pick in 2004. He got his first NFL start against Atlanta on Nov. 21, 2004. Gilbride, who also joined the Giants in 2004, says it seems like yesterday, and he can’t help but laugh.

There was a check in one of those first starts called “toss crack” that Manning had trouble remembering. So in the middle of the game, he turned to the running back and called out “toss here,” pointing to the spot where the play was to go.

“We picked up a first down,” a laughing Gilbride said. “Sometimes, we give the defense too much credit.”

Playing the Ravens later that season in Baltimore was a different story. Manning completed 4 of 18 passes for 27 yards, two interceptions and a zero quarterback rating.

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