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10 things to watch in Giants vs. Chargers

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GLENNON TO GET SECOND START

Mike Glennon got his first start as a member of the Giants last week. The veteran completed 23 of 44 passes for 187 yards and one interception, but the offense was held out of the end zone by a surging Dolphins defense. Glennon suffered a concussion in last week's game and had been going through the five stages of the league's concussion protocol throughout the week. The 31-year-old practiced fully on Friday and was then cleared from concussion protocol later in the day. Daniel Jones was ruled out Friday with a neck injury.

"Everything's on track," Judge said before Friday's practice on Glennon's chances of starting this week. "He's obviously going to do a final clearance today with the doctor. He'll practice with us today. We'll have to simulate some contact for him today off on the side and then he'll talk to the doctor and we'll see where it goes from there…"

"I liked some of the things Mike did last week. There were a lot of things he did within the game that are encouraging. There are some things we have to coach and correct off of, make sure we don't repeat certain mistakes, but Mike prepares very well. He's got experience in this league, so we have faith in him."

The Chargers have struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone this season. Heading into Week 14, Los Angeles ranks 27th in the league in points allowed, with most of the damage coming over their last eight games. During that stretch, the defense is allowing an average of just over 30 points per game. The unit does tighten up in the passing game though, as their 209.5 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns allowed rank within the top seven, respectively.

ALL-TIME SERIES

Sunday's game will be the 13th meeting between the two franchises, with the first one coming in 1971. The Giants defeated the San Diego Chargers, 35-17, in that first matchup. However, the Chargers have won each of the last four battles. This weekend's game will be the first time the Giants travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, but their second game in L.A. in as many years. Big Blue played the Rams at SoFi Stadium last season.

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INJURY REPORT

Giants

Out: CB Adoree' Jackson (Quad), QB Daniel Jones (Neck), WR Kadarius Toney (Oblique)

Questionable: QB Mike Glennon (Concussion), WR Kenny Golladay (Rib), DL Danny Shelton (Calf), WR Sterling Shepard (Quad)

Chargers

Out: OLB Kyler Fackrell (Knee), S Alohi Gilman (Quad), CB Asante Samuel Jr. (Concussion)

Questionable: DL Justin Jones (Ankle)

PROTECTING THE QB

The Dolphins sacked Glennon three times last week, marking the sixth time in the last seven games the Giants have allowed multiple sacks. Miami was able to generate pressure throughout the game, racking up 16 quarterback pressures and eight quarterback hits, according to Next Gen Stats. Despite the heat, Giants tackles Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder earned solid grades from Pro Football Focus. Andrew Thomas earned the highest overall grade (72.1, 85.3 pass block) and Solder came in at 72.5 for his pass protection.

Leading the way for the Chargers defense is edge rusher Joey Bosa. The former third overall pick and three-time Pro Bowler has a team-high 7.5 sacks and 15 quarterback, while his 88.9 pass rush grade from PFF is tied for the seventh-highest among NFL edge rushers. Los Angeles sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow six times last week, including two from linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. The linebacker brought his sack total up to four for the year, the second-most on the team.

RETURN OF SOME PLAYMAKERS?

The Giants have dealt with injuries to their offensive playmakers all season, but heading into Week 14, the group seems to be trending in the right direction. After missing last week's game in Miami, both Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney returned to practice this week, albeit in a limited fashion. Kenny Golladay was forced to exit last week's matchup early, but he too returned to practice this week. While Toney was ruled out on Friday, Shepard and Golladay were both listed as questionable and have a good chance to suit up on Sunday.

In their win over the Bengals in Week 13, the Chargers allowed wide receivers Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase to combine for 19 receptions for 275 yards (Burrow threw for 300) and a touchdown.

YOUNG LINEBACKERS STEPPING UP

The Giants recorded two sacks of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Week 13, both of which were registered by rookie linebackers.

Quincy Roche's effort earned him a strong 75.8 overall grade from PFF, aided by a 78.9 run defense grade and 71.2 pass rush grade. His 74.5 run defense grade on the season is the second-highest among all rookie edge defenders.

In the third quarter at Miami, Azeez Ojulari set an official franchise rookie record with a sack that gave him 6.5 on the season. Ojulari ranked second on the team with his elite 82.5 overall grade against the Dolphins.

SAQUON BREAKOUT GAME?

It's been tough sledding for Saquon Barkley since returning from a high-ankle sprain that cost him four games earlier this season. In the three games since returning, the fourth-year running back has rushed for just 120 yards on 30 carries, good for an average of 4.0 yards per carry. He has also caught 16 passes for 63 yards.

The Chargers rank towards the bottom of the league in almost all of the big rushing categories. Their 141.2 rushing yards allowed per game is the second-most in the NFL, while their 17 rushing scores surrendered is the third-most. Los Angeles is also giving up 4.6 yards per carry to opponents, which ranks 28th. They have allowed 125+ rushing yards in eight of their 12 games this season.

DON'T LET HERBERT GET ROLLING

Justin Herbert ranks fourth in the league with 295.6 passing yards per game, third with 27 passing touchdowns, first with a QBR of 67.30 and tied for first with five game-winning drives. And he is only in his second NFL season.

"This is a very explosive team," Judge said about the Chargers. "It's a team with some explosive weapons on offense. They've got a very, very talented young quarterback who can make a lot of plays, extend plays. Very accurate passer. He really fuels the entire offense."

"He's a great quarterback, a great, young, strong quarterback," Leonard Williams added. "We're going to have to try to make them uncomfortable."

The Giants struggled to limit Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Week 13. Tagovailoa completed 73.2 percent of his passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was the first game this season in which the Big Blue defense failed to force a turnover.

View photos from practice at the University of Arizona as the Giants prepare for their matchup against the Chargers.

CONTAINING EKELER IN RUN & PASS GAME

Austin Ekeler is the ultimate offensive weapon in the Chargers' offense. Going into Week 14, Ekeler has rushed for 663 yards and eight touchdowns on 149 carries (4.4 avg.). In addition to his rushing ability, Ekeler has racked up 56 receptions. two shy of Tampa Bay's Leonard Fournette for the most among NFL running backs, while his 518 receiving yards matches Atlanta's Cordarrelle Patterson for the most among backs. Meanwhile, Ekeler's seven receiving touchdowns leads all running backs and his 15 total touchdowns rank second in the NFL to Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor (18).

"We talk about how (Chargers Offensive Coordinator Joe) Lombardi is really structuring the offense. There are similarities to that New Orleans background he has in terms of how he's using a lot of the players," said Judge. "You talk about (Chargers Running Back Austin) Ekeler – there are similarities to either the (Darren) Sproles, (Saints Running Back Mark) Ingram or (Saints Running Back Alvin) Kamara type comparison, but he's really doing a good job getting this guy in space, getting him on linebackers, creating catch-and-run opportunities. He's one of the most dependable players in the league right now in terms of consistently producing yards and moving the sticks."

After surrendering over 200 yards on the ground to the Eagles in Week 12, the Giants' defense got back on track in the run game during last week's loss to Miami. The Dolphins gained just 68 yards on 25 attempts for an average of 2.7 yards per carry.

SITUATIONAL FOOTBALL

Herbert and Ekeler are two of the biggest reasons why the Chargers offense has had so much success this season. The unit ranks ninth in points scored and seventh in yards gained, and the numbers get even more impressive when you look at their situational football. The Chargers are converting on third downs at a rate of 44.4 percent (fifth in the NFL) and 61.9 percent on fourth down (sixth). In the red zone, Herbert is leading the Chargers to touchdowns at a rate of 64.0 percent (eighth).

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers have been a little more inconsistent. They rank 31st in the NFL in third-down defense, allowing opponents to gain a first down on 44.4 percent of attempts. But the unit seems to clamp down on fourth down, as their 61.9 percent fourth-down defense is the second-best in the league. In the red zone, the Chargers are allowing touchdowns on 65.2 percent of penetrations inside their 20 (24th).

View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers ahead of their Week 14 matchup.

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