Eli vs Phillip will be the main attraction on Sunday afternoon but the true story is its a time of desperation for the Giants team. Phillip Rivers leads the San Diego Chargers to NY where both teams need to win the game.
Both teams are headed in opposite directions with the Chargers on a two game winning streak defeating NFL bottom dewellers KC Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. The Giants are coming in on a three game losing streak having been blown out by the Saints, and Eagles and losing a close one to the Cardinals at home.
This weeks match up is another carbon copy of what the Giants faced against the Saints, Cards, and Eagles as the Chargers bring in the NFL 4th ranked passing offense to the Meadowlands.
The Chargers have plenty of weapons for Phillip Rivers to throw the ball to. Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson are his two primary choices down the field. Rivers will also use RB Darren Sproles on varies screens and short throws allowing him to use his speed in space. Malcom Floyd is another deep threat that the Chargers will try to get the ball to.
When Passing the football the Chargers use alot of max protection to allow for deeper throws down the field. Tightends and running backs will both be used as well in protection. The Chargers do struggle in the running game. LaDainian Tomlinson has battled injuries this year and is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Darren Sproles isnt doing much better on the ground either but is a threat to go at anytime.
Look for the Chargers to use max protection against the Giants front four allowing Vincent Jackson to work down the field. The Giants will struggle to keep Antoinio Gates in check. Neither Pierce, Clark or Blackburn can single cover Gates so look for the Giants to double him most of the day. Corey Webster will draw the assignment of keeping Jackson under wraps.
Norv Turner loves to throw alot of playaction passes between 15-20 yards down the field. With the Giants missing several starts on defense look for another air raid from the Chargers, with an occasion run by LT.
When the Giants have the ball, look for Brandon Jacobs to get the ball early and often. With the Giants passing game struggling, the Giants offensive line can take control of a questionable Chargers defensive line. Shaun Merriman and Larry English are the Chargers two rush ends but can be run at. With Probowl NT Jamaal Williams lost for the year the Giants OL can control the game. Look for the Giants to run behind Snee, O'Hara and Kareem McKenzie.
Eli Manning will face yet another 3-4 defense in this game. The Chargers will blitz LBs, from all angles and as well as safties. The Chargers have two very good cover corners in Jammar and Cromratie. Both play bump and run and look to make a big play themselves. Cromratie had 10 interceptions back in 2007.
With the passing game struggling the last couple of weeks, look for the Giants to use Kevin Boss against the Chargers. Boss coming off a big game against the Eagles will soften up the middle of the field allowing Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks to catch the ball down the field. Expect the Chargers to play man coverage against the Giants which will allow the Giants to match up Steve Smith against one of the weaker corners. Smith's ability to get open should allow him to have yet another big game.
Special teams has been a disaster for the Giants as of late. Poor coverage on both kicks and punts and inconsistant kickers hasnt helped either. Who will be returning kicks this week will be a mystery. Jeff Feagles should kick away from Dareen Sproles. The same for Lawrence Tynes on kickoffs.
This game has that playoff feel for the Giants because they need a win. The Giants cant afford to go into the bye week with 4 straight losses. With that said look for the Giants to play inspired football. The additions of Chris Canty and Michael Boley will help to spark the defense. I think the Giants win a close battle with the Chargers with a final score of 24-20.