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Instant Analysis: Chargers 27, Giants 22

Posted Oct 8, 2017

Giants.com brings you an instant postgame recap of Sunday's game against the Chargers:


AT A GLANCE

The Giants and Chargers are no strangers to fourth-quarter drama, so why would Sunday be any different when they met? After four lead changes in the second half, the Chargers came out on top with a 27-22 victory at MetLife Stadium for their first win of the season. The Giants, meanwhile, dropped to 0-5.

UP NEXT

The Giants stay in the AFC West and will travel to Denver in Week 6 for a Sunday night game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Big Blue is 6-6 all-time against the Broncos, including a 39-20 victory against John Elway and company in Super Bowl XXI. The Giants, however, have lost their last two meetings. This year’s Denver team is 3-1 and will be coming off its bye week.

WHAT WE LEARNED ON OFFENSE


*Running back Orleans Darkwa, starting in place of the injured Paul Perkins, took advantage of a Chargers defense that was allowing 163.5 yards per game on the ground heading into Sunday. He had a career-high 69 yards on eight carries, including a 23-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was the Giants’ first rushing touchdown of the season by a running back. Quarterback Eli Manning had one last week in Tampa Bay.

*Coming off his NFL debut that included a touchdown catch, rookie running back Wayne Gallman also chipped in 57 yards as the Giants finished with a season-high 152 yards rushing. They eclipsed 100 yards in the first half after their previous high for a game was 91 yards.

*Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa sacked Manning twice after the quarterback was not taken down in the previous two games.  Manning was sacked five times overall and lost a fumble on one of them.

*The Giants returned to their Week 1 starting lineup on the offensive line with the exception of center Weston Richburg, who was inactive due to a concussion. Brett Jones played in his place while left guard Justin Pugh, right tackle Bobby Hart, and right guard John Jerry returned to their usual positions. However, D.J. Fluker did replace Jerry early in the game.

*With a safety and Darkwa’s touchdown, the Giants had nine points in the first quarter. Before Sunday, they were one of two teams in the NFL that had yet to score in the opening 15 minutes of a game this year.

*On the same drive midway through the second quarter, the Giants lost wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall to ankle injuries. The wide receiver depth took another hit when Dwayne Harris left early in the second half with a foot injury. That opened up an opportunity for Roger Lewis, who seized it with a 29-yard touchdown catch to give the Giants a lead midway through the third quarter. A fourth receiver went down late in the fourth quarter when Beckham had to be carted off the field with an ankle injury. The Giants turned the ball over deep in their territory on the next play, leading to the Chargers’ go-ahead touchdown.

WHAT WE LEARNED ON DEFENSE


*For the first time in his six-year career, defensive end Olivier Vernon was inactive due to an ankle injury, ending a streak of 85 consecutive games played (including postseason) since the Dolphins drafted him in 2012.

*Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie started outside at cornerback in place of Eli Apple.

*Safety Darian Thompson, the Mountain West’s all-time interceptions leader at Boise State, picked off Rivers in the end zone early in the third quarter. It was the Giants’ first interception of the year as well as the first of Thompson’s career.

*The Giants have now allowed 100 yards rushing or more in five consecutive games to start the season, something they did just six times all of last year, including playoffs. Running back Melvin Gordon did most of the damage with 105 yards rushing and 58 yards receiving, including a 10-yard touchdown catch that gave the Chargers a 27-22 lead with 2:58 left in the game.


WHAT WE LEARNED ON SPECIAL TEAMS

*Punter Brad Wing bounced back from recent miscues and started off with a 55-yard punt that pinned the Chargers at their own four-yard line in the first quarter. It led to a safety three plays later when Rivers wasn’t expecting a snap and the quarterback swept the ball out of the back of the end zone. Wing also pinned the Chargers at their own three, 10, and 12 after having just one punt downed inside the 20 entering Week 5.

*Dwayne Harris, who was named a game captain for Sunday, had his most productive day of the season in the return department in addition to showing his prowess on punt coverage. Before injuring his foot, Harris averaged 12.7 yards on three punt returns (long of 17) and 21.0 yards on four kick returns (long of 30).

INACTIVES

NYG: DE Olivier Vernon (ankle), RB Paul Perkins (ribs), C Weston Richburg (concussion), QB Davis Webb, CB Michael Hunter, TE Matt LaCosse, DT Robert Thomas

LAC: RB Brandon Oliver (hamstring), WR Mike Williams (back), QB Cardale Jones QB, LB Korey Toomer, OT Tyler Marz, TE Sean Culkin, DE Jeremiah Attaochu

LINEUP CHANGES

NYG: Brett Jones for Richburg at C; Kerry Wynn for Vernon at RDE; Orleans Darkwa for Perkins at RB

INJURY REPORT

NYG: WR Sterling Shepard (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), LB Jonathan Casillas (burner, returned), WR Dwayne Harris (foot fracture), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle)

LAC: OT Joe Barksdale (cramping)

GAME CAPTAINS

LB B.J. Goodson, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Dwayne Harris (QB Eli Manning, LB Jonathan Casillas, and LS Zak DeOssie are season captains)