The buildup was there all week. Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers have never met head to head. Ever since the 2004 draft people, both fans and experts, have debated whether the Chargers or Giants did better in the big trade that day. For today – the Chargers came out on top.
The passing numbers were similar between the two quarterbacks. Rivers went 24/36 for 209 yards and 3 TD’s. Manning threw for 2 TD’s going 25/33 for 215 yards. Rivers did throw 2 interceptions while Manning threw none.
Once again the Chargers had little luck each time they attempted to get a running game started. They only had a total of 34 yards rushing with 15 of those yards coming from Phillip Rivers scrambling for a first down. Tomlinson ran the ball 12 times for 22 yards.
The Giants ran for 116 yards total. Jacobs ran the ball 11 times for 67 yards and Bradshaw carried it 14 times for 39 yards.
For the Bolts, Vincent Jackson caught 2 touchdowns and TE Kris Wilson caught his first pass of the year for the other TD. It looked like the Chargers were going to score more through the air but both Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates dropped key passes that lead to the Chargers having to punt the ball to the Giants. Smith and Boss caught Eli Manning’s two touchdown passes. Both quarterbacks spread the ball around today – both the Chargers and the Giants had 8 different receivers catch the ball.
The Giants had more first downs, better 3rd down efficiency and more total yards, but the Chargers defense continued to improve today. The Giants sacked Phillip Rivers twice while the Chargers got to Eli Manning 5 times. Phillips, Cesaire and Boone all sacked Manning once and Shawne Merriman continues to remind both fans and players alike that he’s back and still knows how to do his patented “Lights Out” Dance. That’s 4 sacks in the last 2 games for Merriman.
The Giants have now lost 4 games in row and next week they host the Atlanta Falcons while the Chargers find themselves in the middle of a 3 game winning streak and they host the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday .
The Chargers show with this victory that they can do more than just beat the struggling teams of the AFC West. Chargers players and fans will be watching tomorrow night to see if the Steelers beat the Broncos – if they do the Chargers will only be 1 game behind in the win column in their division.