Giants come out flat but Eli stands strong in San Diego

By Jonathan Solomon  |   Wednesday, September 28, 2005  |  Comments( 0 )

San Diego Chargers
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The New York Giants traveled to San Diego on Sunday night expecting nothing short of a war zone and the got exactly that. From the moment the team stepped onto the field, they were pelted with boo's. Although most of those boo's were directed at quarterback Eli Manning, the youngster did his best. The Chargers ran and passed on the Giants defense at will. The best running back in the NFL, LaDainian Tomlinson, did whatever he wanted to and whenever. As if rushing for 192 yards and three scores wasn't enough, he also recorded a touchdown pass to Keenan McCardell.

The New York Giants have not won a road game under Eli Manning's helm. When they record 12 penalties and lose 83 yards because of it, coming up with a victory will be very difficult. Manning looked as poised and professional as anyone on the field. He completed over 50% of his passes and threw two touchdown passes, to Plaxico Burress and David Tyree, without a turnover. After all the pre-game talk of how he would cope with the pressures of his 2004 draft day decision, he proved he could handle it all. The rest of the team, well, they couldn't.

The defensive line was as good as invisible for the Giants and recorded nearly no pressure on the Chargers. Remarkably, Brees only threw three incompletions and was never sacked. Run stoppers like Michael Strahan, William Joseph and Fred Robbins did nothing. The rest of the unit couldn't stop Tomlinson as he danced and juked around the field with as close a comparison to the great Barry Sanders as possible. The only time of the game where the Giants got the best of the monster runner was when back-up linebacker Nick Greisen forced a fumble, which Osi Umenyiora recovered and the offense later scored. Otherwise, they looked like they were out to lunch.

The biggest offensive problem for Big Blue was the ineffectiveness of the run game. After all the praise in recent weeks, they did just as much as their defense. Tiki Barber only rushed for 60 yards while Brandon Jacobs failed to convert a third and short early in the first quarter, and never returned. Jacobs left the game and news has yet to arise about his condition.

As other injuries go, cornerback Corey Webster didn't play. Kicker Jay Feely was fine and came back from the sore back that bothered him during the week.

Next week the New York Giants return home to play the visiting St. Louis Rams. It will be a tough match-up with the likes of Torry Holt and Steven Jackson but then again, the head coach is still Mike Martz. With an opportunity to go 3-1 through the first quarter of the season at hand, the Giants and their fans should be happy.
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