Giants (0-4) vs Chargers (0-4)
Sunday the Eagles took an early lead over the LA Chargers playing in StubHub Center,
their temporary home. The Chargers chipped away and came close, cutting the lead
to just two points twice in the fourth quarter, and ended up with a 26-24 loss.
Giants were playing at Tampa Bay and held the lead twice during the game. Then,
for the second week in a row they watched a kicker on the final play of the game
hand them another loss, this time 25-23.
- Tampa Bay Wrap-Up
The Chargers had won only four
games in 2015 and then five in 2016. Now they're in a new town with a new head
coach. Anthony Lynn was a former running back's coach with the Buffalo Bills,
and his influence in that area can only help. The running game has been a problem
for the Chargers for a number of years.
Quarterback Philip Rivers has been
with the Chargers since 2004 and he isn't slowing down. Rivers has started 180
straight games, and in eight of the last nine seasons has thrown for over 4000
yards. Since 2006 when he became the Chargers full time starter, he has completed
at least 60 percent of his passes in each year, and has a 64.4 career average.
Chargers brought back their old kicker this week and waived rookie Younghoe Koo
who had missed on three of six field goals. Nick Novak kicked for the Chargers
from 2011 to 2014, and made 101 of his 117 field goal attempts, and 156 of his
157 extra-point attempts.
of the Chargers top three wide receivers averaged at least 14 yards per catch
last season. Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin were on the
receiving end of half of Philip Rivers total completions (349 for 4386 yards and
33 touchdowns). Tight end Antonio Gates caught 53 passes, and this year he passed
Tony Gonzalez for the tight end touchdown record
with 112. For this game Williams is nursing
a neck injury and is listed as questionable, but will likely play. Inman had core
muscle surgery in the offseason, and hasn't seen much playing time.
back Melvin Gordon played well last year coming off a poor rookie start the season
before that. Gordon was just shy of 1000 yards rushing (997) and had 10 touchdowns.
This year his average per carry has dropped a bit as well as the number of carries,
with the Chargers finding themselves playing from behind in the second half of
games. Meanwhile, their second leading rusher Branden Oliver is out for this game
with a hamstring issue.
ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be up against a struggling offensive line.
Ingram has 5.5 sacks on the season, and Bosa has 2.5. The Giants will definitely
try to get a running game going to keep these two at bay. Other teams have been
successful, as the Chargers are giving up
163.5 rushing yards per game, and have allowed five rushing plays of 40-plus yards.
Rookie Wayne Gallman finally gave the Giants a spark with running last week with
11 carries for 42 yards, and he caught two passes for 8 yards, including a touchdown.
Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley
is in the same mindset as his counterpart on the Giants. He's looking for improved
tackling and to shore up the defense against the running game. Cornerback Casey
Hayward led the NFL last season with seven interceptions, and will be hoping that
the pass pressure on Eli Manning will lead to him getting his first this season.
His gameplay against the Eagles last week was outstanding. Overall the Chargers
have allowed just 192 passing yards a game, putting them near the top area, and
have given up just one passing play of 40-plus yards.
The Giants have had problems all
season (and last season) long with their offensive line. They could be worse off
this week having to make more changes, as center Weston Richburg suffered a concussion
last week and will not play in this game. Richburg had started in the last 26
games and will be replaced by Brett Jones, making his first NFL career start at
that position. Jones had played in the Canadian Football League as a center for
two seasons. Meanwhile, guard John Jerry, a starter in the last 20 games, was
added to the injury report on Friday and is listed as questionable. Right tackle
Bobby Hart sould be back, which would allow Justin Pugh to return to left guard.
Eli Manning takes all this in stride as he works behind the ever changing front
line. He keeps himself frisky enough to avoid sacks while completing just about
seventy percent of his passes (69.9). That number would be even better if Odell
Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall had managed to hang on to some catchable balls,
and so too might the win-loss record. GM Jerry Reese in the offseason indicated
that Manning was "on the back nine" as he put it, but maybe it goes the other
way as for his ability to draft properly to protect a quarterback and establish
a running game.
Things have not been going as well as they
had in 2016. The defense was tough against
the run last season, but now is allowing 4.6 yards per carry, and 142.8 rushing
yards per game. Last week seemed better for overall yards (111), but the Bucs
lead running back Doug Martin was not playing, and the second leading rusher,
Jacquizz Rodgers, averaged 5.2 yards a carry. Now they're up against the Chargers,
a team that has much the same problems as the Giants, and has been averaging just
67.5 yards a game.
As far as the pass defense goes, Jason Pierre-Paul is dealing
with a shoulder injury, Olivier Vernon had to leave the game last week in the
second half, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins is working with an ankle injury. The
Giants struggle against tight ends and have
allowed the second most yards and the most touchdowns to them. Facing Antonio
Gates is no picnic for any team. Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson is a boost returning
from his shin injury.
careers of Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, two very durable quarterbacks, will
always be tied together. These teams rarely play each other and this could be
the last time they face off. The numbers are close this season with both teams
sporting 0-4 records. Manning has thrown for 1113 yards and Rivers 1107, and both
quarterbacks have each thrown for 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
a tie game, one of these teams will have notched their first win of the season
and will leave the stadium with the feeling that they have changed the course
of their season. A win against an 0-4 team could be fools gold, but just maybe,
it could really be the start of something. For this game you have to factor in
west coast to east coast travel, and the early start time. I'll call on Odell
Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall to hang onto the football on crucial drives,
and for the Giants running game to work against the Charger defense to give the
Giants their first win.
Sunday at 1:00pm Chargers (0-4)
at Giants (0-4)
Sunday at 1:00pm Cardinals (2-2) at Eagles (3-1)
at 4:25pm Packers (3-1) at Cowboys (2-2)
The Giants, Eagles and Cowboys favored
to win in these games.
Eli Manning was drafted No. 1 overall in 2004 by the San Diego Chargers.
Eli Manning has the only rushing touchdown in this season.
Evan Engram leads all rookie tight ends with 19 receptions, 200 yards, and 10
receiving first downs.
Giants are the
only team in the NFL that has yet to reach 100 yards rushing.
have had nine straight losses dating back to last season.
in the last 25 games decided by one score, are 5-20 in those games.
Gates touchdown catch in game two was the 112th
of his career, and he surpassed Tony Gonzalez for the tight end record.
Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates
have connected on 85 touchdowns, the most in NFL history for a quarterback-tight
Only one team in NFL history
- the 1992 Chargers - ever made it to the playoffs after starting 0-4.
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