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Kevin Gilbride: Giants need to take advantage of risk-taking Chargers defense

Gilbride discusses the Chargers, Brandon Myers and Hakeem Nicks' struggles.

Rob Carr

Every game is a must-win for the New York Giants down the stretch, and that begins Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

Like the Giants, the Chargers have failed to be consistent in all phases of the game, most noticeably in their pass defense. San Diego's defense is ranked 28th against the pass, allowing 269 yards through the air per game. According to Giants' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, the Chargers take a lot of chances that the Giants will need to capitalize on.

"(The Chargers are) a pressure-oriented team that would like to do anything they can to keep you off balance," he said. "They probably have as wide an array of blitz packages (as) anyone that we've faced. ... It's very well disguised. ... They're just gambling that you're not going to know where the pressure is coming from, and if you don't see it they're going to get a hit on the quarterback before you can realize where they're vulnerable."

Perhaps the struggling Chargers pass defense will be a welcomed sight for Hakeem Nicks, who has yet to find the end zone this season. Injuries have kept Nicks out of the lineup at times, and his rapport with Eli Manning just has not been there as it has in the past.

Gilbride was unable to pinpoint with why opportunities for Nicks have not been there, but did suggest the team is trying to find ways to get him the ball.

"As you call something, you still have to get open. You still have to win. You still have to make the play, (but) the coverage has to accommodate it," he said. "There's a lot of factors that come into play, and a lot of it is just good fortunate and luck. ... When (NIcks has) had the opportunity, we haven't always capitalized on it, and sometimes the ball has gone other places."

Nicks' struggles have coincided with the upsurge of tight end Brandon Myers, who is fourth on the team in receptions (34) and yardage (397).

Gilbride said when defenses shift their focus onto Victor Cruz or to stop the running game Myers has thrived.

"Now it's been a lot of doubling and ganging up elsewhere," he said. "What (opposing defenses are) doing defensively, who they're ganging up on and who do they give opportunities to. ... He's had some (opportunities) the last couple of games and has made some great plays for us."