The Chargers are back at home this week to face the 4-8 Giants. New York is coming off a loss to the Dolphins and may be down their top-two quarterbacks this coming Sunday.
For this week’s “Five Questions,” we enlisted the help of Ed Valentine from SB Nation’s Giants community, Big Blue View. He did an excellent job helping us preview this week’s game so without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) The Giants are all of a sudden without their top two quarterbacks in Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon. If neither can return in time for this week, it looks like second-year passer Jake Fromm could be the starter. What can you tell us about Fromm and what should Chargers fans expect from him should be the guy on Sunday?
Honestly I can’t tell you a whole lot. The Giants just signed the guy off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad last Tuesday. I can tell you that he’s 6-foot-2, 215, which is a good-sized human being. He looks tiny, though, next to 6-7 Mike Glennon and 6-5 Daniel Jones. I know the guy doesn’t have a big arm. Other than that, no clue what to expect from Fromm.
2.) What is the current temperature of the fan base in regards to this team? Jason Garrett didn’t last long as the offensive coordinator and that’s surely frustrating knowing he has some notable players to work with on that side of the ball. Where did it all go wrong for him and how do the Giants find their identity on offense?
I would say the temperature is “fed up.” It’s been a decade of bad football since the Giants won the 2011 Super Bowl, with one playoff appearance since. Since 2012, the 2016 season was the only time the Giants finished above .500. Well, Garrett certainly wasn’t creative enough. As we’re learning, though, there are far more problems on offense that who is calling the plays.The offensive line is terrible. Two of the guys counted on to start (Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux) were lost for the season by Week 2). Left tackle Andrew Thomas is the only starting-caliber offensive lineman the Giants have. Saquon Barkley missed four games, and he has not looked anything like the player he used to be.The wide receivers have been a mess. Sterling Shepard has missed seven games. Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and John Ross missed three. Kadarius Toney has missed two and is headed toward not playing this Sunday. Backups C.J. Board and Dante Pettis are on IR. Now Daniel Jones is hurt.There has just been zero consistency going all the way back to training camp when Barkley, Golladay and Toney missed considerable time. You can’t build an offense when the guys you are trying to build it around aren’t practicing or playing.
3.) If you were Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, how would you go about attacking this defense? Are there any weak position groups/players that the Chargers should try to exploit?
Well, the Giants don’t have a bad defense. It’s actually pretty good all things considered. I do not, though, think there are any individual players you want to avoid – except maybe safety Xavier McKinney. If you’re going to take deep shots, Justin Herbert needs to know where McKinney is when he lets the ball go.The Chargers need to handle Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence in the middle. It’s a good defense and a good secondary, but it will play fairly soft and give up short stuff. If you’re willing to be patient in the passing game and probe the edges of the defense in the run game, that’s probably the best way to have success.
4.) Same questions but flip sides of the ball. If you were defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill, how would you go about defending this offense? Which players should the Chargers worry about the most? Any underrated players on offense that Chargers fans may not know about?
Well, you want to attack this offensive line. Stunt, twist, send blitzers to see if they can figure out where the pressure is coming from. The Giants will try to throw quickly, especially if Jake Fromm is making his NFL debut. I doubt they will threaten deep very often. The Giants haven’t been able to run block well at all.Hard to tell you who to worry about. Saquon Barkley should be that guy, but he hasn’t been. As of now, I have no clue which wide receivers will play. Maybe tight end Evan Engram – he had a nice game against Miami last Sunday.
5.) Go ahead and give us a final score prediction along with a few lines on how you see this game shaking out.
I’m not going to blow smoke about how the Giants will come in and pull off a big upset. The Giants haven’t scored more than 13 points in any of their last three games, and if Jake Fromm is playing I can’t responsibly predict they will do better than that. I’ll say 24-13, Chargers.