You’ve heard it a thousand times New York Giants fans, but back in the 2004 draft, the San Diego Chargers swapped quarterbacks in a draft day trade sending Eli Manning to the Giants, and Phillip Rivers to the Chargers. Ever since then, we continue to look back in time and ponder the “what ifs”, but we live in the now.
The Giants face a dangerous and unpredictable team in the Chargers. They have a losing record, but each of their losses were by an average of about 6 points per game.
And this is not the same run of the mill Chargers’ team. There are many new faces and threats for the Giants to deal with.
Phillip Rivers is still the face of the franchise, but Keenan Allen will get most of the defense’s attention. The rookie, wide receiver out of Cal has 58 receptions for 843 yards and 3 touchdowns so far this season.
Unbelievable production from a rookie at this level of competition, and Allen is one of the key chain movers for Rivers. He runs precise routes, and Allen has the size/quickness to be a mismatch against most corners he goes up against, especially the corners the Giants have.
It’s hard to see Prince Amukamara or Corey Webster having a shot, but they have to with the old Antonio Gates still terrorizing the middle of the field. And on top of all that, you have the always slippery Danny Woodhead extending plays with screens and short catches to the flat.
Stopping the run would be nice in this game, but getting to Rivers is the most important point of emphasis to slow down the Chargers’ offense. Jason Pierre-Paul needs to come out like a man possessed and get at Rivers every snap.
Otherwise, you give him time to scan the field and he will pick you apart. The defensive line has improved as the season has gone on for the Giants, but they have to be at their best in this game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers don’t form much of a challenge. Except for Eric Weddle at safety for the Chargers.
He is by far one of the best safeties in the NFL, and Eli Manning has a habit of throwing inaccurately from time to time on deep passes. This could be another Eli Manning interception fest, but he just has to play smart football.
Take what the defense gives you, hand the ball off to Andre Brown and stop making dumb mental mistakes. The opposite on how Eli has played all year-long, but he has to stop it.
The Giants are still in the Playoff picture if they get a win here. It will take losses by the Eagles and Cowboys, but they aren’t eliminated yet.
However, this game could easily be the nail in the coffin for the Giants’ playoff hopes. Eli has to stop making dumb decisions and the defense needs to get to Rivers.
If the Giants do both of those things, then they can get the W, but I want to know what you think.
Do the Giants get a tough victory against the Chargers at San Diego? Or will Phillip Rivers extend his record to 2-0 against Eli Manning in the regular season?
James Cobern is a Division Leader and can be contacted at email@example.com or on twitter @Jmcobern1