SAN DIEGO - While Chargers fans were busy Sunday punishing Giants quarterback Eli Manning for a decision he made nearly 10 years ago, their team's offense was busy punishing Manning's defensive teammates.
It was an awful afternoon all around for a unit that blended breakdowns in the secondary with soft run defense that the Chargers happily exploited in a 37-14 victory.
The Giants agreed it was bad, but not necessarily on the particulars.
Said cornerback Jayron Hosley: "We weren't stopping the run, point blank.''
Said defensive end Justin Tuck: "I don't think our rush defense was that bad. The numbers look bad . . . They didn't really do anything special.''
Tuck said the problem was that the Chargers "bled us for four yards here, four yards there,'' keeping themselves out of third-and-longs and allowing them to keep running.
"You rush the ball 30 times, you should get 100 yards,'' Tuck said, referring to Ryan Mathews' 29 rushes for 103 yards. The Chargers ran 37 times (not counting kneel-downs) for 144 yards, and held the ball for almost 37 minutes.
"They mushed us and pushed us,'' Tom Coughlin said.
The fireworks came in the passing game, where at times it appeared the Giants' secondary lost focus and/or interest.
On San Diego's first touchdown, Keenan Allen beat Terrell Thomas and leaped at the pylon for the score.
"That's a hard route to cover for anyone,'' safety Antrel Rolle said, "because you're running from the post safety, you're running from the leverage of the nickel, and Philip Rivers made a great throw and he made a hell of a catch.''
Allen was left alone on the second Chargers touchdown when cornerback Prince Amukamara appeared to lose track of him in the end zone.
There were other indignities for the Giants, including a 39-yard Rivers-to-Danny Woodhead completion on which Hosley twice tipped the ball into the air but it landed in Woodhead's hands.
And it was one of those days for the Giants, another in a long, tough season.
"We just have to find a way to get better and play beyond the Xs and Os because they did everything that we saw on film,'' Rolle said. "They didn't throw any wrinkles at us.''
Apparently they didn't need any.