Chargers at Giants: 3 Keys to Victory

What both teams have to do to get their first win on Sunday in North Jersey

The Chargers and Giants are both 0-4. The team that loses this game can start making vacation plans for early January.

This might be the most intriguing October matchup of winless teams in NFL history. Both teams have suffered several last-second losses. Both teams have rosters more talented than their record. Both teams have Pro Bowl quarterbacks drafted in 2004 by the opposite team.

This one doesn’t need much setup. It’s simple: lose and your season is over, win and you cling do some small hope of not being an NFL laughingstock. Like we have all season Fernando Ramirez will talk about what the Chargers have to do to win while Derek Togerson looks at the Giants keys to victory.

Chargers Key #1: Get After Eli

The New York Giants have a mess on the offensive line.  Eli has been under pressure all season and the Chargers will need that to continue.  The Giants also do not present a threat with the run game, as they rank are 30th in the NFL in average yard per rush. The Chargers will need Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to get after Eli. Ingram is second in the NFL with 5.5 sacks per game he will need to be relentless after having a subpar day last Sunday in a loss against the Eagles. Especially with the tree headed monster in receivers with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard the Chargers need to beat Eli up to neutralize those three.


New York owns the NFL’s 2nd-worst rushing offense. But the Chargers have the NFL’s 2nd-worst rushing defense. Part of the problem for the Giants is they’re having to rely too much on Eli Manning to be almost all of the offense. That’s really the same issue the Chargers are having as they have to rely way too much on Philip Rivers to move the ball. The team that establishes a legitimate ground attack on Sunday at MetLife Stadium gets the W.

Chargers Key #2: Take Care of Rivers and the Ball

The Giants defense has been good in the past, but this season they have not been able to get turnovers. They have not intercepted a pass this season and have only two fumbles recoveries. The Chargers have been given the ball away five times this season, which bottom half of the league. They will also need to protect quarterback Philip Rivers because he is under duress he tends to turn the ball over. The Giants have only sacked the quarterback eight times this season, which is bottom five in the NFL. The offensive line of the Chargers has been banged up, but they need to protect Rivers if they hope to get their first win of the season.

Giants Key #2: Release the Hounds

The Giants had the NFL’s 2nd-best scoring defense in 2016. They have not been as good this season but a lot of the same pieces are still there and this unit is still capable of dominating a game. Amazingly the Giants have not picked off a pass yet this season. Philip Rivers has been prone to turning the ball over of late (meaning the last five years or so) so if New York can get some pressure and force an ill-advised pass or five they can come up with some splash plays and get one in the win column.

Chargers Key #3: Mix and Match Gordon and Ekeler

The Giants are one of the worst defenses against the run. They have allowed 571 rushing yards so far this season. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has had a slow start to the season with a banged up knee, but this could be the game were he bounces back. The Chargers also have a rookie-undrafted running back in Austin Ekeler, who has flashed glimpses of being a good backup. Ekeler is coming off scoring his first NFL touchdown and with Branden Oliver out with a hamstring injury this could be his time to shine.

Giants Key #3: Keep Your Enemies Close

New York has lost their last two games on last-minute field goals but they can still say to themselves “At least we’re not the Chargers.” Eighteen of the Bolts’ last 22 games have been decided by one score. The Chargers are 4-14 in those games and over the last two seasons have lost seven times when they led in the 4th quarter. If the Giants just keep it close they can sit back nd enjoy watching the Chargers find a way to implode because everyone knows that’s what’s going to happen.

Fernando's Prediction: Chargers win 31-24. Philip Rivers has never lost to 2004 draft day trade mate Eli Manning. He will improve to 3-0 and Bolts get their first W of the season.

Derek's Prediction: Giants win 23-20. Neither team can run the ball so the winner will be the team that makes fewer mistakes and we KNOW that will not be the Chargers.

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