In the span of 15 seconds, a New York Giants season that was already completely on the brink fell off the ledge. The Giants lost their fifth-straight game to drop to 0-5 on the year, a 27-22 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers another embarrassment in a season full of them.
The Giants also lost any remaining hope for the season as well when, late in the fourth quarter, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was carted off the field, clutching his left leg and crying in agony.
Without Beckham, a Giants season that already was painful appears destined to reach horrible lows.
The game followed an uncharacteristic pattern for a Giants team that has made furious second-half comebacks over the past two games. The Giants went up 9-0, a safety and an Orleans Darkwa 23-yard touchdown run staking the Giants to first quarter points.
But then the Giants let the Chargers, as equally hapless of a team as there is in the NFL right now, get back into the game and eventually take a 16-10 lead.
Two big second-half touchdown passes from Giants quarterback Eli Manning as well as the Chargers own ineptitude – Los Angeles had 10 penalties for 67 yards – seemed to have the Giants pointed towards their first win of the year.
After the Chargers got a field goal late in the fourth quarter to pull within 22-20, things then took a nasty turn for the Giants. On the Giants following possession, Beckham took a hard hit and went down to the turf, required a cart to be removed from the field. On the very next play Chargers linebacker, Melvin Engram sacked Manning, the Giants quarterback landing on the Chargers player and then losing the ball.
San Diego recovered the ball and three plays later running back Melvin Gordon took a Philip Rivers pass 10 yards into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Three things we learned from the Giants in Week 5:
Manning isn’t the issue – His numbers are off from last year and even 2015, but Eli Manning isn’t the issue, even with his bad fumble in the fourth quarter.
The Giants quarterback had a solid game, throwing two touchdown passes and completing 21-of-36 for 225 yards with an interception. Given the banged up state of their wide receivers and the number of drops, it wasn’t a bad performance.
On the Giants touchdown pass in the third quarter, Manning sent a beautifully touched bombed onto the path of Roger Lewis Jr. Then in the fourth quarter, he hung in the pocket to deliver another deep ball in the pace of the Chargers blitz, hitting Odell Beckham Jr. in stride.
Momentum lost - The Giants got a break in the third quarter when Philip Rivers threw a pass in the red zone that safety Darian Thompson read well and snagged for his first career interception. The Giants marched down the field, going 80 yards in nine plays with the aforementioned Lewis touchdown reception giving them a 16-10 lead.
It was gut-check time for the Giants, who entered the game 0-4, to step up and respond. They turned a Chargers drive that seemed destined for the end zone into seven points and a lead.
Then they went on to lose the game, another deserved loss in an ugly season.
Lost the battle, lost the war…- The Giants lost another game this year and potentially saw their season go down the drain.
With four minutes left in the game, Odell Beckham was carted off the field, clutching his left leg and in clear physical pain. Easily the team’s best player, Beckham is a difference maker and along with Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Sterling Shepard (ankle), is now part of a depleted and banged-up wide receiver corps. Both Marshall and Shepard left the game and did not return with their respective injuries.
The wide receivers were joined on the defensive side of the ball by linebacker Jonathan Casillas and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as well as defensive tackle Jay Bromley. That is five significant pieces, all starters, who could be missing time as the Giants look to build on the momentum from Week 5.
This year just went from bad to worse.