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Giants vs. Chargers Storylines: What to watch for


*Here are the storylines to follow as the Giants prepare for Week 5: *

A look at the playmakers of the Giants' upcoming opponent


It's fight or flight time for the 0-4 New York Giants, who have now lost in back-to-back weeks on last-second field goals. The same rings true for the Los Angeles Chargers, and both teams will look for their first win of the season when they meet this Sunday at MetLife Stadium. While the Chargers finished last season at 5-11, the Giants had the reverse record and made the playoffs, adding to the disappointment of the first quarter of the 2017 campaign.

"We have to play the next game. That's all we can do," quarterback Eli Manning said. "There's not going to be – there's not a magic trick to get a win. There's not any outside help. It's you keep working hard, you keep preparing and you go out there and you make plays on Sunday that will give ourselves a chance to win."


The Giants had a handful of injuries coming out of their game in Tampa Bay. This week, they will await the statuses of center Weston Richburg (concussion protocol), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), running back Paul Perkins (ribs), and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (finger/ankle). Running back Orleans Darkwa missed last week with a back injury.


Rookie running back Wayne Gallman will remember his 23rd birthday for the rest of his life. The fourth-round draft choice made his NFL debut against the Buccaneers, led the team with 11 carries for 42 yards, and became the first Giants running back to catch a touchdown pass in his first game since Rodney Hampton in 1990. The opportunity arose for Gallman with Darkwa's injury and increased exponentially when Perkins, the starter, had to leave the game.

"It's a trust factor," Gallman said after game about possibly moving up the depth chart. "I know all the guys in the room are capable of doing whatever is needed to help the team win, but of course I'm going to do my best to get the starting job. It's a competition between all of us. We challenge each other every day on the practice field to get better. So I expect that out of myself."


Since allowing eight sacks in the first two weeks, the Giants have not surrendered any in their last two outings. They will try to extend that streak against the Chargers, who are tied for third in the NFL with 12 sacks, thanks to defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Bosa, the 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year, has 2.5 this season, and Ingram is tied for second in the league with 5.5.

"They're two good players," Manning said. "They do a good job getting pass rush. They're a very talented front four and rotate in a couple guys, but they do a good job getting to the quarterback a lot of times with just a four-man rush. So, big challenge on our offensive line doing their job, receivers getting open in a timely fashion and just knowing where everybody is [and] have great communication."


If you follow Damon Harrison or Landon Collins on social media, you know the defense's performance in the first four weeks is keeping the All-Pros up at night. The unit is 25th in scoring (23.8 points per game) and yards allowed (359.3), 14th against the pass (216.5) and 28th against the run (142.8). In the last two weeks, the defense failed to hold onto fourth-quarter leads.

"We didn't do that and we didn't finish strong on defense," McAdoo said. "We had four times in the last two ball games to do that and we failed to do it. We're the only ones that can do anything about it. We got to get back out there on the practice field and we got to work through the fundamentals. We can't get numb. We can never get used to this feeling or accept it. We have to get back to work."

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