Symbolism: On two desperation plays, the Giants never gave themselves a chance and came up embarrassingly short. The first was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half that got them only to the 6-yard line. The second was a fourth down in the fourth quarter that resulted in a sack of Eli Manning. Manning threw two interceptions and Andre Brown, one of the few Giants ballhandlers who had not been responsible for a turnover this season, fumbled it away in the second quarter.
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The Giants could not get off the field, allowing the Chargers to convert 10 of 15 third downs. Philip Rivers was nearly perfect, completing 21 of 28 passes for 249 yards, three TDs and a passer rating of 137.4, and Ryan Mathews ran for 103 yards on 29 carries. Keenan Allen beat Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara off the line of scrimmage on his two TD catches. The series after their lone take-away, the Giants allowed an 80-yard touchdown drive.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
Charles James was flagged for a neutral-zone infraction on a missed 41-yard field-goal try, allowing the Chargers to convert a 36-yarder. The best kickoff return of the season by Michael Cox was negated by a holding penalty on Ryan Mundy. Steve Weatherford punted three times and had one downed at the 6, the special- teams highlight of the game.
The coaches in the booth needed to alert the offense to run a quick play before the two-minute warning in the second quarter instead of letting the clock run down, giving the Chargers a chance to challenge Brown's fumble. And forget the pass-interference penalty on Spencer Paysinger; why was the linebacker covering wide receiver Vincent Brown almost 40 yards downfield in the third quarter? What kind of scheme allows for that? A flat, uninspired performance by a team that coach Tom Coughlin was trying to get to play for pride.