Chargers face Eli and the Giants
Nov 06, 2009 | 1467 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will lead San Diego against the New York Giants in an important road game Nov. 8. Photo by Don Balch
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will lead San Diego against the New York Giants in an important road game Nov. 8. Photo by Don Balch
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This is the first game since 2005 that the Bolts will play against the quarterback who spurned them before the 2004 NFL draft, forcing a trade that brought Philip Rivers to San Diego.

Eli Manning, who passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in that blowout loss, won’t have boos and chants cascading down on him in this game like he did four years ago at Qualcomm Stadium.

Rivers might be able to exploit a Giants pass defense that has shown to be vulnerable after starting out as the best in the league.

The Giants running game, led by Brandon Jacobs, could get some big gains against the Chargers defense.

Chargers Game Preview

Week 9, Sunday Nov. 8, Chargers at N.Y. Giants, 1:15 p.m. Giants Stadium. TV: CBS

All-time Series: Giants lead 5–4. Last meeting: Chargers won 45– 23 at home in 2005.

Key Stats: Chargers QB Philip Rivers has seven touchdown passes and one interception in three road games this season. Eli Manning has four TD passes, four INTs in three home games with the Giants.

Noteworthy: The Bolts last played at New York in 1995, coming away with a 27–17 win.

Prediction: Giants 28, Chargers 27

Looking Ahead

Going into the second half of the season, the San Diego Chargers, like all of the other AFC playoff contenders, will have a tough group of games that could determine their postseason future.

The Chargers have potential sure-wins against Kansas City, Cleveland, Tennessee and Washington left on their schedule, and possible pitfalls against the New York Giants, Philadelphia, Denver, Dallas and Cincinnati.

Here is a list of key November games for AFC teams that will help shape the playoff picture:

• Baltimore at Cincinnati, Nov. 8. The Ravens can tighten things up with a win.

• New England at Indianapolis, Nov. 15. The teams are 3–3 against each other in the regular season since 2003, and this could help determine home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

• Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, Nov. 15. The Steelers want to exact revenge for a loss at Cincinnati, and it could be for first place in the division.

• Jacksonville at New York Jets, Nov. 15. Might be key for both teams in contending for a wild-card berth.

• New York Jets at New England, Nov. 22. Could be for first place in the division.

• San Diego at Denver, Nov. 22. Chargers can either make things more interesting in the West or improve their playoff chances.

• Pittsburgh at Baltimore, Nov. 29. Another AFC North matchup that could be for the division lead.

• Indianapolis at Houston, Nov. 29. The Texans will need this one to help their wild card chances.

Awards for the most notable and quotable

Most Opportunistic Defense — Pittsburgh Steelers. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley ran back a Brett Favre fumble 77 yards for a touchdown, followed by Keyaron Fox’s 82-yard deflected interception return for another score in the Steelers 27–17 win over the Vikings in Week 7.

Getting Crushed at Home — The St. Louis Rams are 0–3 at home this season, losing to Green Bay, Minnesota and Indianapolis by a combined score of 116–33.

Best Comeback — New Orleans trailed Miami 24–3 in the second quarter in Week 7, but rallied for a 46–34 win, racking up 302 yards and 36 points in the second half.

Dynamic Duo — In the New York Jets’ 38–0 whitewash over Oakland on Oct. 25, Shonn Greene ran for 144 yards while Thomas Jones rushed for 121. They are the first pair of Jets to rush for more than 120 yards each since John Riggins and Carl Garrett in 1975.

Did you know? Four teams started 6–0 this season, Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota and New Orleans, the most such teams in a single season in NFL history.

Torching his former team — The relationship between Cedric Benson and Chicago never worked out, but Cincinnati loves the former Bear. Benson, the Bears’ top draft pick in 2005, ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ 45–10 blowout over Chicago in Week 7. In his first 18 games with Cincinnati, Benson rushed for more than 100 yards six times. When he played for the Bears, Benson had just two such games out of 35.
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