AP Photo - Julie Jacobson
Here are some Stats, Quotes, Notes as well as what went right and wrong in the Giants' game.
Stat worth noting: The Giants might have won the turnover battle, 2-1, but they sure didn’t win the war.
Stat worth noting II: Proving to be an insignificant statistic in this contest, the Giants held the ball for close to 38 of the game’s 60 minutes.
Turning point: Tom Coughlin said he and his team knew it was coming. Yet the Giants defense was defenseless to stop it. With the Chargers in need of a touchdown to win the game, they had a 1st-and-10 from the Giants 39 with 50 seconds to play. Somehow Darren Sproles was left wide open in the middle of New York’s defense for a 21-yard gain. On the next play, San Diego was in the end zone for the win.
Play to remember: With the Chargers down three points and taking possession of the ball with a little more than three minutes to play, you just knew that this one was heading for an exciting finish. Terrell Thomas ensured it for the Giants fans, at least momentarily. Thomas stepped in front of an awful Philip Rivers pass and returned it 33 yards to the San Diego 4-yard line. While the defense would eventually cough up the lead and the game, it wasn’t for lack of effort on Thomas’ part.
Play to forget: How the Giants allowed Corey Webster to have single coverage on Vincent Jackson, who had hurt them all game long, is still a mystery. Yet with 29 seconds to play and the Chargers 18 yards away from taking a very late lead, that’s exactly how it played out. Webster was helpless to stop Jackson, who very successfully used his body to shield Webster before catching the game-winner with relative ease.
What went right
The Giants were able to pick off the dangerous Philip Rivers twice in this game. Michael Johnson got him on a deep ball right after halftime and Terrell Thomas’ late-game pick should have been enough to salt away this victory for New York.
In addition to his pick, Thomas had a team-high nine tackles and also added a pass break-up to his game ledger. Michael Boley made an impact in his return as well, posting seven solos stops and knocking away a Rivers pass.
Brandon Jacobs was back to his usual self in this one. Jacobs rumbled and rolled for 67 yards on only 11 carries, a gaudy 6.1 yards per carry average. You could only wonder after this one why he didn’t get the ball more.
The officials caught Chargers FB Mike Tolbert for holding during a fourth-quarter punt, forcing San Diego to punt again. So, instead of the Giants starting a key late-game drive from their own 2-yard line, after the re-kick they got it at the 23, a plus-21 in New York’s favor at a key juncture of the game.
What went wrong
San Diego was able to score touchdowns on both of its times in a goal-to-go situation. The Giants were only 1-of-2 in the same scenario. Those four lost points obviously hurt New York in a big way.
Steve Smith was originally ruled down by contact deep in San Diego territory early in the fourth quarter. However, the video review determined that Smith never had complete possession of the ball, and the call was reversed. Instead of a first down at the Chargers 10-yard line, the Giants had to settle for a Lawrence Tynes field goal.
Antonio Gates and the Chargers perfectly executed a screen pass, as the star San Diego tight end took a short Philip Rivers pass in the left flat and took off with nary a Giants defender within 20 yards of him. Gates raced 29 yards to the Giants 45-yard line.
Rivers did a great job of spreading the ball around to his receivers, as three different Chargers caught five passes, and eight different San Diego players recorded at least one reception.
16 – Number of plays in New York’s monumental second-quarter touchdown drive
21 – Seconds remaining when Vincent Jackson caught the game-winning TD pass, sending the Giants to a fourth straight defeat
104 – Yards in penalties for New York, which was flagged an astounding nine times
“Penalties, penalties all night hurt us. We overcame some of them, but we just didn’t finish drives the way we needed to.” – Giants QB Eli Manning
“I thought our guys rose to the occasion. It wasn’t as pretty as you’d like it to be, but I can’t think of a better way to win a football game.” – Chargers Coach Norv Turner