In typical Chargers fashion, this was a nail-biter to the very end.
The Giants were the home favorites, but with both teams 0-4, it was going to be a case of which team made the bigger plays to secure a win. This was also a game of errors. There were 21 penalties combined.
The Chargers were instrumental in putting the first points on the board. This was, however, a safety, and the Giants led by 2 early in the first quarter Center Spencer Pulley snapped the ball from the 7-yard line before it looked like the Chargers QB was ready, and Philip Rivers scrambled after the ball. He ended up pushing it out of the end zone.
The Giants rushed for a 23 yard touchdown with 2 minutes left to go in the first quarter. They were looking better than the Chargers at this point, and the home crowd was certainly a factor. 0-9, advantage Giants.
Philip Rivers decided to respond with a string of good throws, culminating with Melvin Gordon (the hero of the day) receiving a 6 yard touchdown. The score was now 7-9, advantage Giants.
Newly re-signed kicker Nick Novak proved to be a reliable leg today, ending the second quarter with a 20-yard field goal. The Chargers had scored 10 unanswered points, now leading 10-9.
At this time, if you follow betting lines online, the Chargers were still recipients of a 2.5+ point line, so it appeared that Nevada did not quite agree with the results at the half.
Things are heating up! The Chargers show some good and some very poor plays to start the half. The Giants take advantage of a defensive lapse and Eli Manning scores a 29-yard touchdown with 6:46 remaining in the 3rd quarter. 10-16, advantage Giants.
The Chargers began to change the narrative a bit in the third quarter. While both teams looked relatively equal in both quality and quirk through the first half, the Chargers began to pull momentum to their side in the third.
Hunter Henry made his impact on the game by receiving a 25 yard touchdown with 40 seconds left to go in the quarter. Advantage Chargers, 17-16.
By this point, most fans of the Bolts had figured that they’d seen this movie before. It was a foregone conclusion that this would be a single-digit difference, and the odds have not been kind to LA in that regard. Odell Beckham, Jr. highlighted this trait with a massive 48-yard touchdown that showed he was the most talented player on the field (offensively). A failed 2-point conversion made the score an unusual 17-22, advantage Giants.
A Nick Novak kick from the 31-yard-line brought the Chargers within biting distance at 20-22, advantage Bolts.
With four minutes left to go, Odell Beckham, Jr. injured his ankle on a slant route. The result looked painful, and the camera confirmed as much as he was carted off the field. Current information lists that he has a fracture on his oft-injured ankle, and he did not return. The very next play, Manning was sacked and fumbled at his own 11-yard line.
Philip Rivers passed to Melvin Gordon for a 10-yard touchdown run, Gordon’s second of the day. Chargers led again, this time 27-22.
With 2:58 left in the game, this was an all-too-familiar feeling for Chargers fans. Eli Manning had some good (and some bad) plays, driving up the field and cutting down the clock. Penalties and incomplete passes brought them as close as the Chargers 42 and then to the Chargers 48 with 53 seconds remaining. Tre Boston intercepted Eli Manning and the Chargers won the game.
Err-hem, the Chargers won the game! Congratulations!! At now 1-4, the Chargers could feasibly still make the season interesting. The Giants, now a lowly 0-5, are going to play very close attention at Saturday football for the next two months.
-Goro “a win is a win” Saurus