John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants have been locking up the run the past two months. No team has been able to run on them. But stopping the pass has been a challenge. San Diego QB Philip Rivers completes 70% of his passes. That worries me. Rivers has a full compliment of weapons to choose from, especially two very capable TEs. The Giants have had some issues covering TEs if you haven’t noticed….
RB Danny Woodhead has been a constant for the Chargers catching the ball out of the backfield. He is the key to this ballgame. If the Giants’ can limit him from bleeding them, they have a shot in this game.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants should be able to have some success on offense. The Chargers allow 8.4 yards per pass attempt, 31st in the league. They are also down the bottom in INTs, too. San Diego is giving up nearly five yards per carry on the ground, which the Giants will certainly try to exploit.
I’m looking at a wide-open game Sunday, but I don’t see the Giants coming out on top. Chargers 30, Giants 24
Jim Mancari, Contributor
The Giants head out west to San Diego for a big game against the Chargers, but it looks like it’s a bigger game for the Chargers than for the Giants.
At 5-7, San Diego is hanging on to any sort of playoff hope for the final spot in the AFC.
The Giants also come into the game at 5-7, but with teams like the San Francisco 49ers and either the Carolina Panthers or New Orleans Saints well ahead in the wild card race, Big Blue’s only hope is the division and they’d need plenty of help.
But the Giants have no quit, and we saw that last weekend against the Redskins. Down 14-0, the Giants roared back to get the road win in Washington.
There is always a bit of tension when the Giants take on the Chargers, since Eli Manning openly admitted to not wanting to play there back in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Going on the road to San Diego for an east coast team isn’t an easy task. But if the Giants defensive line can force Philip Rivers into some bad decisions, I like the Giants’ chances in this game.
So what if it’s only playing the role of spoiler? The team is at the point where it likely won’t get one of the top few draft picks anyway, so you might as well go out there and try to win — though teams will never admit to trying to blow games into order to improve their draft status.
The Giants’ offense matches up well against a San Diego defense that has given up 386.6 yards per game.
Give me the Giants to continue their journey back to the .500 mark. Giants 27, Chargers 17
Always interesting to see a battle of draft classes, especially when one player was traded for another (which seems like it was yesterday), as Manning battles Rivers this week.
On this side of the country, we may not know it, but the San Diego offense is scary good and has a ton of weapons in their arsenal.
San Diego is averaging close to 300 yards through the air, 4th in the NFL (292.4 yards) so it will be crucial for the Giants secondary to contain a receiving core that contains the likes of Antonio Gates, Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen, who is having a breakout year.
Big Blue’s defense has proved to be the deciding factor in several games this season, and I have no reason to doubt they will fall apart this week.
Manning & Co. should be able to put some points on the board against a weak Chargers defense that allows a ton of yards per game, both in the air and on the ground. Look for Andre Brown to have stellar game running the ball, which should setup the play-action and allow Manning some time to make big plays.
It’s going to be a tough test for the Giants as they travel across the country and face a San Diego Chargers team that is still fighting for the final wildcard spot in the AFC, but I think they leave Qualcomm Stadium with a victory. Giants 28, Chargers 14