Both teams have a 5-7 record, and both have top-talent quarterbacks -- (although one is having a significantly better season than the other) -- but that's where the similarities end.
The San Diego Chargers have lost four of their last five games. The New York Giants have won four of their last five games.
The Chargers rank fourth in total offense while the Giants rank 27th. The Chargers are 29th in total defense while New York comes in at 11th.
Both teams are hanging on for dear life in this playoff race, one in the NFC and the other in the AFC.
On Sunday, the Giants will face the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, and one team will inch closer to a wild card spot while the other feels it slip from grasp.
"We are as up against the wall as you can get," quarterback Philip Rivers said Wednesday after practice.
Being up against the wall could be a good thing, as there is no room for error or the mental mistakes that plagued the team in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
"There's no question there have been tons of missed opportunities this season and last week, but we still have a chance and it starts with Sunday," said outside linebacker Thomas Keiser. "We HAVE to win Sunday. We've been saying this for three weeks now, but things haven't changed. We're still in a position where good things can happen for us and it starts with that win."
Added tight end Antonio Gates: "It's not over until it's over. It's so cliche, but it's the reality of this league. We're still in the hunt. We're playing for one another and fortunately, we still have an opportunity."
Tuck and Rolle
If good things are going to happen for the Chargers offense, it will have to be at the expense of the Giants defense, which includes defensive end Justin Tuck and safety Antrel Rolle. Tuck, who was this week's NFC Defensive Player of the Week, had four sacks on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III Sunday, and now has 6.5 on the season. Rolle has had five interceptions this year.
“Much was made about [Tuck] only having 2.5 sacks and then he had four in the game," Rivers said. "There have been a lot of plays this season where he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Sacks do not tell the whole story … They have (Jon Beason) in the middle and Antrel Rolle on the backend. It’s a very capable group. They got off to a slow start but it’s still the same team that for the most part has won a lot of football games together.”
Giants quarterback Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings.
This season, he also has 18 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 74.3 (Rivers, for what it's worth, has nine INTs and a rating of 104.4).
Okay, you can't really compare interceptions with championships. But it's worth noting that the guy under center isn't having a record year.
Still, he's dangerous. (Remember those Super Bowl rings?)
"He can make a lot of throws," said linebacker Manti Te'o. "He's deceptively athletic. Everyone doesn't give him credit for his athleticism but he can really extend plays. We're going to have our hands full but we have to focus on ourselves and execute."
Philip Rivers was drafted by the New York Giants in 2004, but in the trade heard round the world, wound up a San Diego Charger when San Diego (who had drafted Manning with the No. 1 pick) was told Manning didn't want to play in Southern California.
That forced a trade between the Chargers and the Giants, who had taken Rivers with the number four pick.
"I never really thought I was going to New York," Rivers said. "When you get drafted by a team and you still have never spoken to them, there usually is a chance it’s not real. It certainly was crazy and to think it has been almost 10 years. Time does fly.”
(Rivers was not contacted by the Giants after being drafted by them, hence concluding the pick wouldn't stand.)
He and Manning remain connected and "keep in touch somewhat."
"You are always linked to guys, especially ones you were traded for and with, and guys in your class," Rivers said. "I certainly have followed him closely. I’m sure there will be one day when we hash it all out and how the whole thing really went down.”