For the first half, it was the kind of game you expected from a pair of 0-4 teams. Los Angeles had a 10-9 lead in a first half of missed opportunities and penalties.
Then both teams finally stepped up their play. In the end, the Giants lost the game and possibly much more.
The Giants’ fifth sack of the game led to an eventual game-winning touchdown by the Chargers, who walked out of Met Life Stadium with a 27-22 victory.
Eli Manning was hit by Los Angeles’ Melvin Ingram, who jarred the ball free on the Giants’ 11. Los Angeles recovered, and Phillip Rivers hit Melvin Gordon on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The Giants moved down to their own 48, but Los Angeles’ Tre Boston ended the threat with an interception.
Odell Beckham Jr. needed to be carted off the field with four minutes to play and he appeared to be in pain with an ankle injury. He was one of four Giants’ receivers that were injured.
Earlier, Manning stepped up in the pocket to avoid a safety blitz and shook off a potential sack to find a wide-open Beckham down the sidelines on a 48-yard touchdown pass that pushed the Giants ahead, 22-20.
Manning, who threw eight incompletions and appeared to be out of sync in the second quarter, jumped started the Giants’ offense after halftime. Los Angeles defensive end Melvin Ingram sacked Manning – the third of four in the game – and the Chargers subsequently marched down the field after the punt. But the Giants’ Darian Thompson ended their drive with an interception in the end zone.
From there, Manning led an effective, nine-play, 80 –yard drive connecting with Beckham twice downfield before he hit Roger Lewis Jr. down the sidelines on a 29-yard scoring play. Lewis managed to step both feet down in bounds. Beckham shook off defenders on both catches, as he only caught one ball in the opening half.
But Los Angeles took advantage of the Giants’ porous defense on the ground and in the air. Quarterback Phillip Rivers engineered an impressive, 12-play, 92-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard pass from Rivers to wide open tight end Hunter Henry. It was the sixth touchdown allowed to tight ends in five games.
Los Angeles would rally again late in the final quarter looking for the go-ahead touchdown. The Chargers had a first and goal at the Giants’ eight, but New York held thanks to Thompson, who deflected away a pass in the end zone and then came on a blitz to hurry Rivers. The Chargers settled for a 31-yard field goal.
The Giants had trouble corralling Gordon all afternoon, as he rushed for 105 yards and had 58 yards receiving. Rivers threw for 258 yards.
It didn’t take long to see why the Chargers entered the game with a 0-4 record. On their second series, there was miscommunication between Rivers and his line. Center Spencer Pulley snapped the ball while Rivers was yelling signals with his back turned to Pulley. Rivers then pushed the ball out of the end zone for a safety.
New York finally had a positive day rushing the football as Orleans Darkwa had 69 yards and Wayne Gallman Jr. added 57.
The Giants lost receivers Sterling Shepard (ankle), Brandon Marshall (ankle), and Dwayne Harris (foot) to injuries during the game, and they didn’t return.