New York Giants: Game 5 Preview/Giants Host Chargers
By Michael Stewart (@golferbad)
Introduction: The 0-4 Giants will take on the 0-4 Chargers to see which team will remain winless after week 5. Despite the Giants offensive awakening over the past two games (47 points); they still manage to lose both games on last second FG’s. The offensive line still remains the Achilles heel for the Giants as they have yet to gain 100 yards on ground in any of the games thus far. The Chargers feature QB Philip Rivers who is very capable of dissecting the Giants defense with weapons in WR’s Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and the ageless Antonio Gates at TE. Both teams rely heavily on their passing game as the Chargers (269/per gm) and Giants (265/per gm) currently rank 6th & 7th respectfully. On the ground is a different story as both teams are ranked near the bottom (Chargers/29th (69.5 per gm) & Giants/31st (59.5 per gm) This game could resemble the Giants last game against the Buccaneers as both teams will utilized the passing game to move the ball.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants defensive front 7-vs the Chargers defensive front 7: This could determine which team will have a clear advantage in this game as both teams have struggled against the run. The Chargers have surrendered 163.5 yards per game on the ground; compared to the Giants giving up 142.8 yards per game. Make no mistake; both teams are more comfortable relying on the passing game, however; whichever team that runs the ball more successfully will have an easier time making big plays down field in the air.
- Eli Manning-vs-Philip Rivers: Both QB’s will be looking to air it out for big plays. The Chargers passing defense is currently ranked 6th in the league with 192 yards per game. The Giants are currently ranked 14th in the league surrendering 216.5 yards in the air. Manning needs to at least match Rivers in this showdown between the 2004 1st round draft picks.
- Battle in the trenches: This is a no brainer and should be included in each game as a key matchup. Both teams have struggled against the run this season. The insertion of OT D.J Fluker at RT last week was evident as he did play well. The Giants must win this battle on both sides of the ball. The offensive line must create openings and give the RB’s a chance to be productive, move the chains and gain over 100 yards. The Defensive front 7 must keep the Chargers running attack under 100 yards
What to look for: As I mentioned earlier in the article, I see both teams utilizing the passing game to generate points. However; I think both teams will attempt to run the ball just enough to open up the passing game. The Giants must have success on the ground against a Chargers defensive front 7 that has struggled and I think that will be the game plan. The Chargers will mirror the Giants game plan and if Philip Rivers is given too much time in the pocket; the Giants secondary will be in for a very long day. Finally; I’m currently 2-2 thus far in my predictions as I keep believing the Giants will rise to the occasion and be triumphant. This game could go either way and like last week, whichever team has the ball last could decide the outcome. Once again, I’m giving the Giants the edge here mostly because they are the home team and maybe some home cooking will be the answer. This time the Giants win by a FG.
Final Score: Giants-23 Buccaneers-20