Tom Uddo, Contributor
It has been a rollercoaster season for the New York Giants defense. From a time when they were the laughing stock of the league as they rattled off six straight losses to start the season, to the turnaround that kept them in contention in the NFC East.
With a struggling offense that has had a hard time putting points on the board, the Giants defense has been the deciding factor in a majority of games and as of late, they have been the only bright spot of the this New York Giants team, but that brightness was dimmed and shut off completely yesterday.
With basically nothing on the line, as they would need a miracle to make the playoffs; the Giants left Qualcomm Stadium yesterday with no chance of the playoffs, no hope for a future and no pride in their 37-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
From kickoff, the Giants defense looked lost, and from their on out, each and every drive, Big Blue showed their weaknesses….at almost every defensive position. In a game that was over by halftime with the Chargers leading 24-0, the box score does more than enough justice to tell the story.
San Diego finished the game with 388 yards of total offense, they were able to move the chains a whopping 25 times for first-downs and for the first time since week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, the Giants allowed a 100-yard rusher in Ryan Matthews (103 yards, 29 carries). Even worse, Philip Rivers made the Giants secondary look like a practice squad, completing 21-of-28 passing for 249 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Nothing went right for the Giants yesterday. They couldn’t stop the run down low in the trenches, they had a difficult time generating pressure, even though Justin Tuck racked up another two sacks that were meaningless and their secondary couldn’t lockdown on San Diego’s receivers.
Rivers spread the ball around at his convenience, sitting comfortably in the pocked, he completed passes to seven different receivers and found receiver Keenan Allen in the endzone twice in their rout of New York. With more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter and a victory sealed up, Rivers was able to take a seat on the bench and allow backup Charlie Whitehurst to take some snaps.
Ryan Matthews complemented Rivers and the San Diego offense carrying the ball close to 30 times and had his biggest games in terms of yardage since their week 10 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Not one Giants defensive player finished the game with double-digit solo tackles, the one turnover recovered by Cullen Jenkins didn’t lead to any points, they were poor in the redzone, and other than Tuck, the defensive line allowed Rivers to setup a lawn chair and take the San Diego sun while he picked apart the defense.
The loss to the Chargers is the final nail in the coffin in this LONG New York Giants season that officially knocks them out of playoff contention. But honestly, did we really think they were that good and could make a run or were we just kidding ourselves?