Someone has to win when the 0-4 New York Giants face the 0-4 Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. At least, we can hope so. Anyway, here are a few of the storylines to watch this week as the Giants continue searching for a win.
The Health of Olivier Vernon
It was a surprise, at least in my view, when Vernon played last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He left after 22 snaps when he re-aggravated his injured ankle. I will be very, very surprised if Vernon practices and plays this week.
Offensive Line Alignment
Will the Giants have another offensive line combination, which would mark the third in as many weeks?
Center Weston Richburg is in the concussion protocol. If he isn’t cleared, Brett Jones will have to start at center. That after Jones was starting at guard in place of right tackle Bobby Hart (with Justin Pugh at right tackle), but was removed from the lineup with a hip injury.
Will Hart (ankle) return to the lineup? He was active last week but did not play. Will Pugh return to his usual spot at left guard? What about D.J. Fluker? In our view, he played well enough Sunday in his first start to deserve another one. Will he get it?
The only thing I know for sure is that coach Ben McAdoo is going to keep everyone guessing right up until game time on Sunday.
Dealing With Those LA Defensive Ends
No matter who is on the offensive line, the Giants have to figure out a plan for dealing with LA defensive ends Melvin Ingram (5.5 sacks, 2nd in the league) and Joey Bosa (2.5 sacks thus far, 10.5 in 12 games last season as a rookie).
Could we see a return to the lightning-fast passing attack the Giants employed in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles?
Frame Of Mind
The Giants have to be a bit shell-shocked to be 0-4. It will be interesting to hear what the players have to say this week, and to try and gauge whether or not they truly believe they can still salvage the season. I should be in the locker room on Thursday, which should give me a better idea where the Giants are emotionally.
Here was what quarterback Eli Manning had to say on Tuesday about where the Giants are right now:
“We’re going to play hard. So, that’s our only option. It’s still about trying to get that win, trying to earn it, try to feel good about what you’re doing,” Manning said. “We have a lot of games left. Nothing more important than this next one and we’re going to compete our tails off and go get a win.”
Manning And Rivers
Could this be the last time Manning and Phillip Rivers, traded for each other way back in 2004, face off? Manning is 0-3 in his career against the Chargers, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004 and then traded him to the Giants.
San Diego? Umm ... LA Chargers
Brandon Marshall made the mistake of referring to the “San Diego” Chargers this week. Just wondering how many times that will happen, and when I will do it myself.