Chargers vs. Giants Dec 8th Qualcomm:
The game against the Giants will be another tough NFC East matchup for the Chargers. Like the Cowboys the Giants fans travel well so it should be a fun atmosphere in San Diego. The Giants are coming off of a disappointing season where they didn't make the playoffs as the defending Super Bowl Champions. They finished 9-7, ironically the same record as the year before, but lost the tie-breakers and had to sit home and watch the Redskins represent the NFC East in the postseason.
With two Super Bowl titles under his belt Eli Manning has earned his status as an elite quarterback. He's still turnover prone at times but has become a very good NFL quarterback. Victor Cruz has become an elite wide receiver and if Hakeem Nicks can stay healthy Manning has one of the top receiving duos in the league to throw too. Rueben Randle is a young and talented receiver who could have a break-out season. David Wilson takes over the starting running back job with the team deciding not to resign Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw was a difference-maker when healthy, but unfortunately had way too many injury issues. The Giants drafted Justin Pugh to play right tackle and the big first round draft pick should help shore up the offensive line.
Defensively the Giants were a model of inconsistency last season. The team that dominated the Packers and Patriots to win the Super Bowl had an up and down year on the defensive side of the ball. In Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck they have two elite defensive ends, but they've also suffered some free agent defections along the defensive line that has eroded their depth a bit. The Giants drafted Damontre Moore from Texas A & M, a solid defensive end who should backup Tuck and Pierre-Paul effectively. The Giants defense is predicated on a pass rush from their front four. If they are able to get a pass rush without blitzing or sending extra rushers, the Giants defense clicks. If they don't their average group of defensive backs has a tendency to be exploited.
The key for the Chargers versus the Giants will be to protect Philip Rivers. If Rivers has time to throw the Chargers will be able to put points on the board.