All time Chargers record vs. Giants: 5-5
This was one of the most thrilling games of the 2009 season. I almost went to this game, but money
is was a problem for me. Shame, I missed out on an awesome finish. I remember this as one of my favorite games ever, not just because of seeing Eli Manning and the Giants lose, but because of how it happened. Let's rewind for a minute.
The game started off with a typical Giants' clock-consuming drive of 7 minutes that ended in an odd field goal fail/fumble that the Chargers were able to pick up. New York was left with no points after their 12 play, 60 yard drive. However, the Chargers didn't do anything with it and the teams swapped punts.
Vincent Jackson opened up the second quarter with a touchdown pass from Philip Rivers after a sweet catch and run by Antonio Gates got them to the 10. The Giants responded with a ridiculous 16 play, 10 and a half minute drive finished with a Touchdown pass to the other Steve Smith to tie the game.
On the Chargers' next drive, Antonio Gates again got a nice catch and run that got the team into New York territory. Sadly, after reaching field goal range, Rivers was sacked by Osi Umenyora and the Chargers had to punt. The New York front seven actually had their way with the Chargers offensive line all game almost. They had two sacks, and 4 hits along with 13 disruptions of Philip Rivers.
The Giants went 3 and out, and the Chargers ran out the clock before halftime and the score tied at 7
The second half is where the Chargers defense really stepped up when the offense faltered. On the third play to start the half, Rivers threw a bomb on third down out to Malcom Floyd that was intercepted. Three punts later the Chargers had the ball again. A big penalty got the team down to goal-to-go and on second down from the two, Rivers hits Kion Wilson for a touchdown.
The Giants responded with a 10 play field goal drive, and to open their fourth quarter drive, Rivers took a sack, then hit Darren Sproles on a failed screen pass that left the team in a 3rd and 26 situation from their own 4. A weakish punt with a decent return got the Giants the ball at the San Diego 39. 6 plays later Eli Manning finds Kevin Boss for an easy touchdown and the Giants go up 17-14.
Here's where things got ridiculously exciting: The Chargers responded with a glorified 3-and-out, and thanks to a 3rd down sack of Eli Manning by Shawne Merriman, the Chargers got the ball back with 3 and a half minutes to go in the 4th quarter.
Rivers throws an interception on his first play. It's returned all the way to the San Diego 4.
Luis Castillo, who along with Merriman, Phillips and Larry English combined for 4 sacks, 3 hits and 13 disruptions of Eli Manning, blows up Chris Snee, who's penalized for holding and sets the Giants back to the 14 yard line. They go pass-run-run to set up a 22 yard field goal to go up 20-14, and leaving the Chargers with just the two minute warning and one timeout to score a touchdown. 9 plays later with 29 seconds left on the clock, Vincent Jackson roasts Cory Webster at the goal line and catches an easy pass from Philip Rivers for the touchdown. Rivers goes nuts running all over the place.
The Giants come out with two timeouts and 15 seconds to get into field goal range for a shot at a game winning field goal. After two incompletions, on third down, Shawne Merriman finishes off the game.
I'd love for another thrilling finish this year too. Both teams are struggling and are a mess. Barring a bunch of goofy fumbles, I think the Chargers more explosive offense can win this one.
Prediction: San Diego 24 New York 20
Editor's note: Even though Gabe wasn't able to go to the game, our fearless leader was able to experience it in person with other Chargers fans.