The Giants hope to end their drought against the Chargers after spending the week training in the desert.
Following their loss in Miami, the team flew to Tucson, Ariz. and set up camp at the University of Arizona ahead of Sunday's game in Los Angeles. The Giants have not defeated the Chargers since 1998, losing to the AFC foes four times in that span.
History aside, the 2021 Giants are looking to ride their surging defense, which has allowed just 16 points per game over the last six outings. The Giants are 3-3 in that stretch after a 1-5 start. The Chargers, meanwhile, look to keep pace in the AFC West, having lost four of their past seven games after a 4-1 start.
"When you talk about prep of your team, the first thing you always think about is the physical prep," coach Joe Judge said about taking the team on the road for the week. "There's a lot of just lag time and wear and tear goes on our bodies throughout the year, but especially when you start piling on those long flights. So, to fly all the way down to Miami, fly all the way back to Jersey, fly all the way out to the West Coast, that's something that over the course of a week there's extra put on their bodies that you want to go ahead and eliminate as best as you can. We thought it was best for our team physically to go ahead and keep them in the heat going from Miami, coming out here to Arizona before going to L.A."
Here are three keys to victory on Sunday:
Hold the line on defense
The Giants' struggles on offense were exacerbated by a neck injury to quarterback Daniel Jones, who missed last week's loss to Miami and has yet to be cleared for contact. Backup Mike Glennon started that game but was then diagnosed with a concussion. Although the Giants expect him to clear protocols in time for Sunday, the next man up is Jake Fromm, who has no NFL regular season experience. The defense is looking to hold up its end of the bargain and then some.
"We're prepared to play some good defense, go get some turnovers, go score some points, support whoever's back there (playing quarterback)," safety and defensive co-captain Logan Ryan said, "and get ready to have some fun on this trip and find a way to win on the west coast."
They will have a tall task against Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, whose 58 touchdown passes trail only Dan Marino's 68 for most in NFL history by a player over his first two seasons. Third down is always a point of emphasis, but the Chargers excel in the area with a 44.4 conversion percentage, fifth-best in the league. But what is surely keeping defensive coordinator Patrick Graham up at night is the Chargers' success rate on third-and-long. They have converted a league-best 38.8 percent of their attempts with more than six yards to go for a first down.
Take pressure off Glennon (or Fromm)
Led by Joey Bosa, a three-time Pro Bowler with 55.0 sacks in 75 career games, the Chargers can put pressure on a quarterback. They had six sacks on Joe Burrow and hit him 11 times in last week's 41-22 victory over the Bengals. They also forced four takeaways.
"The pressure they put on your quarterback, the pressure they put on your receivers down the field, the forced fumbles creating extra opportunities for their offense, they've really taken advantage of that as a team," Judge said. "It's something that they have a lot of success off of. We're going to have to do a good job protecting up front, give time for the quarterback, open the running lanes for our backs, get them going in space. Then, we've got to take advantage of our opportunities to make the plays that are in front of us and extend drives and stay on the field."
Make a play
No Giants running back or wide receiver has scored a touchdown in five games, the longest streak in franchise history, according to NFL Research. The 2008 Browns (six games) are the only team with a longer streak within a season in the Super Bowl era.
"No matter if it's Mike or if it's D.J. or if it's Jake, when the opportunities are there, the plays need to be made," running back Saquon Barkley said coming off the loss to the Dolphins. "And we didn't do that … no matter who was at quarterback."
Barkley added, "We know that we've got to be better on offense. It's something that we haven't been doing this year, haven't been scoring touchdowns. And, you know, I know even though we're tired, I know defense is annoyed too because defense is playing lights out. So we've got to do a better job of playing all three phases. And we're not doing it on our side."
View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers ahead of their Week 14 matchup.