74 degrees and mostly cloudy
- This was a game between two winless teams and it showed. During the game, the teams combined for 21 penalties, as well as a bad snap that had to be tossed out of the end zone for a safety and two converted PATs that hit the goalposts. Good coaching decisions, game planning,. were of heightened importance in this game as both teams were desperate for a win.
- The Giants ran the ball well on the Chargers defense. Yet inexplicably they completely abandoned the run in the fourth quarter, even with a lead. Rather that continuing with a successful attack, they decided to have aging and declining Eli Manning throw the ball downfield. The Chargers were allowing 163.5 rushing yards per game, good for second worst in the NFL. At games, end the Giants ran for 6.1 yards per carry while they averaged only 6.3 yards per completed pass. The failure to run the ball even more than they did (25 total attempts) cost them the game.
- By contrast, the Chargers utilized their offensive weapons well and overcame frequent bad field positon by getting the ball often to Melvin Gordon, and Hunter Henry among others.
- The Giants failed in the passing game as they have struggled all year to protect an increasingly immobile Eli Manning. This game was no different. Much maligned left tackle Ereck Flowers played better versus the Chargers, but right tackle Bobby Hart was beaten frequently during the game and caused Manning to make hurried throws or to get sacked. Manning was sacked six times. The coaching staff did nothing in the way of shoring up protection by keeping in extra blockers or even utilizing a fullback. Charger players, especially, Joey Bosa and Kyle Emmanuel were in the Giants backfield for much of the game. Both Bosa and Emmanuel finished with two sacks each. Emmanuel’s second sack of the game resulted in a fumble and fumble recovery that led to the Chargers winning score. The Chargers defensive coaching staff put constant pressure on the Giants.
- The Giants coaching staff use of personnel was curious. The Giants used three running backs (Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman and later Shane Vereen). Darkwa and Gallman were the most successful of the three backs, but they used Vereen more towards game end. Darkwa and Gallman were running well although Darkwa dropped three passes. He’s a runner and not a pass catcher. To throw passes towards Darkwa is to waste a down.
- The Giants special teams played well. The Giants coaching staff recognized that this would be a field position battle and elected to punt twice from inside the Chargers’ 40-yard line in the second quarter. This was instead of attempting field goals of over 50 yards plus. Both punts pinned the Chargers back. In fact, the Chargers started drives at their own ten yard line or worse three times during the game. Two of those drives were in the first half. Usually, teams that have this type of field position do not win. But the Chargers did.
- The Giants went ahead 22-17 in the 4th quarter, and Giants head coach had his team attempt a two point conversion. The Giants did not succeed. What made this decision bad was that he attempted the two point conversion from the seven yard line due to a penalty.