(2-2 straight up)
The Giants should probably be 2-2 right now, but they have yet to earn the right to win. Instead, they have reverted to their old hobby of thinking up new and innovative ways to lose games that they had all but won. And as I said last week, until they show me that they can play a game with discipline and poise on ALL sides of the ball, I'm not going to pick them to win.
They're playing another 0-4 team, at home, that is plenty flawed itself. And while I could throw out stats and match-ups that illustrate why they could or should win, I'm not going to pick the Giants to win until they, as Ben McAdoo said, win a damn game. This game will probably be the last meeting between Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and the teams originally drafted them, and the Giants probably do have a good shot of walking away with their first win. But I can't pick them to do so.
On the bright side, the last time I thought that the Giants were wasting one of Eli's best seasons, it was 2011.
Final score: Chargers 26, Giants 24
(3-1 straight up)
There’s a lot of ways these two teams are alike, even outside of the obvious quarterback link. The defenses rely heavily on two dominant pass rushes, the offenses have struggled mightily on the ground and are way too quick to discard it as an option. Neither team should be 0-4, but they’ve also played poorly enough to kind of deserve it.
The last two games were close both in how to pick and the final score, so it feels weird that I feel much more confident in the Chargers being a better team than the Giants right now. Los Angeles is only 24th in DVOA, but they’re 11th on offense and 16th on defense. They’re dragged down by a terrible 32nd-ranked special teams. But the Giants are only slightly better on special teams (31st) and they’re 27th overall -- 22nd on offense and 28th on defense.
This is the most confident I’ve felt in a Giants loss this season, so I’d like to congratulate the Giants on their first win.
Final score: Chargers 27, Giants 21
(1-3 straight up)
When we moved to San Diego in 2003, no one cared that I was a Giants fan. That is, until the Eli/Rivers draft debacle. Every since, Chargers hate the Giants, and especially Eli. I like Eli to rub it in their face, getting us off the schnied.
Final score: Giants 24, Chargers 14
(0-4 straight up)
In a battle of two 0-4 teams, the Giants use a strong defensive game to take down the Chargers on Sunday.
Final score: Giants 28 Chargers 17
(1-3 straight up)
If the Giants can’t win this week, this ugliness could really spiral out of control. The Giants’ next three games are at the Denver Broncos, then home vs. the Seattle Seahawks and much-improved Los Angeles Rams. They probably won’t be favored to win another game until Week 10 when they face the currently 0-4 San Francisco 49ers. Shoot, they might not even be favored to win that one since it will be played on the West Coast. Lose Sunday and the Giants might not be favored in a game the rest of the season.
Sadly, this looks like a bad Giants football team. Even if you weren’t sold on the Giants after an 11-win 2016, you couldn’t have thought things would go this bad this quickly. The Giants don’t do anything well — except, maybe, throw short, quick passes. Fortunately for the Giants, they are playing a Chargers team that has been just as inept as they have been. And it is a 1 p.m. game — traditionally difficult for West Coast teams.
The Giants have to win a game at some point. I will give them this one, but don’t go betting your week’s paycheck just because I’m picking the Giants. By now, you should know better.
Final score: Giants 27, Chargers 24