Eli Manning is crushed by Chargers defensive lineman Lawrence Guy. Credit: Getty Images
The Giants have three games remaining in the regular season, but their campaign is over following a horrific 37-14 loss to the Chargers.
New York came to San Diego with their playoff hopes on life support and it took a flat-line effort to finally dash those dreams, as the Chargers raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back at their wounded opponent.
The Chargers (6-7) kept their slim playoff chances alive behind the efforts of Philip Rivers (21-of-28 for 249 yards and three touchdowns), running backs Ryan Mathews (a game-high 103 rushing yards) and Danny Woodhead (94 total yards and a score) and wideout Keenan Allen (two touchdown receptions) as San Diego piled up 390 yards of total offense — 145 of them via the ground.
The Giants (5-8) were grounded on offense for most of the game, as they committed three total turnovers and had only 333 total yards. The offense never seemed to get on track — a death knell to a season that had one foot in the grave within the first few minutes of the contest.
What we learned ...
1. Turn, turn, turn
The Giants continued their turnover trend, as they’ve now committed a giveaway in every game this season. Eli Manning got things started off on the wrong foot, as he was picked off by Donald Butler on the Giants’ second possession of the game. The inside linebacker nearly had another interception late in the fourth quarter that was ruled incomplete after review, but it was evident the Chargers defense was locked in on Manning all afternoon. Manning’s overall numbers weren’t too shabby — as he went 20-of-32 for 259 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — but when the Giants needed him at his best, he couldn’t deliver.
2. Wide away
Speaking of empty statistics, Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks finally had a breakout game, but those numbers were in vain. Nicks, who has struggled mightily in his contact year, amassed 135 yards on five receptions but they had little-to-no impact on the outcome of the game. Nicks failed to get in the end zone. No Big Blue receiver had much of an impact, as Victor Cruz was ineffective with 42 yards on five receptions, while Rueben Randle could only muster 27 yards on just two receptions. The only Big Blue receiver to get in the end zone was tight end Brandon Myers, who scored a cheap touchdown when the outcome was already decided.
3. Rivers walks
The Giants’ secondary came into the game undermanned and banged up, and it was evident early, as Rivers completed an astonishing 75 percent of his passes. Cornerback Corey Webster was inactive, while several other corners were already feeling the pain of a long and brutal season, including Trumaine McBride and Terrell Thomas. Rivers took advantage of the Giants’ plight, as he registered 249 passing yards in just three and a half quarters of work. The resurgent signal caller connected with seven different receivers.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter@TBone8.