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Giants 2017 Schedule Preview: Los Angeles Chargers

Manning vs. Rivers for possibly the last time

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers-Minicamp
Philip Rivers
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants will host the Los Angeles Chargers (yes, that sounds weird to me) in a Week 5 game at MetLife Stadium. As always when these two teams meet, the 2004 draft-day trade that sent Philip Rivers to the Chargers and brought Eli Manning to the Giants will be a topic. Especially with their careers winding down and no guarantee they will ever play against each other again.

2016 Chargers

Record: 5-11
AFC West: 4th
Offense: 9th in points scored
Defense: 29th in points allowed

Roster Moves

Key Losses

CB Brandon Flowers, OL D.J. Fluker, WR Stevie Johnson, RB Danny Woodhead, OT King Dunlap, WR Jeremy Butler, LB Manti Te’o

Key Additions

LT Russell Okung, RB Kenjon Barner

2017 NFL Draft

  • Round 1 (No. 7) — Mike Williams, WR
  • Round 2 (No. 38) — Forrest Lamp, OL
  • Round 3 (No. 71) — Dan Feeney, OG
  • Round 4 (No. 113) — Rayshawn Jenkins, S
  • Round 5 (No. 151) — Desmond King, S
  • Round 6 (No. 190) — Sam Tevi, OT
  • Round 7 (No. 225) — Isaac Rochell, DT

Three, Well Four, Questions About The Chargers

I have been asking bloggers from SB Nation’s team sites three questions about the teams they cover. I snuck in a fourth question for Richard Wade of the Chargers site, Bolts From The Blue.

Ed: What is your favorite thing that the Chargers accomplished this offseason?

Richard: The Chargers have completely revamped their offensive line. It has been atrocious for years now and through a combination of free agency and the draft they have improved both the quality of the starters and the depth. The selection of Forrest Lamp in the second round, in particular, was huge for this team moving forward. (honorable mention to firing Mike McCoy who was terrible)

Ed: What is the one thing they did not accomplish, or that happened to them, that has you the most concerned?

Richard: I really would have liked to have seen the Chargers add another player to the defensive line that could rush the passer. Currently, they have Joey Bosa (who is a phenom) and Melvin Ingram (who is pretty good). After that, they have nobody worth mentioning. If either Bosa or Ingram misses any time, offenses will be able to focus all of their attention on the Chargers' one remaining pass rusher of note. I don't like that idea one bit given the relative mediocrity of the Chargers' safeties.

Ed: Are you optimistic that this will be a good season for the Chargers or pessimistic that a down year might be coming?

Richard: I'm relatively optimistic. Anthony Lynn seems like an unambiguous upgrade over Mike McCoy. Philip Rivers is still a great quarterback. Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, and Melvin Gordon are quality play-makers. The offensive line looks to at least be average. The defense should benefit from a full season of Bosa (and if we're lucky Jason Verrett). There is a lot to like about this year's team especially compared to the awful product they have put on the field the last few years. That said, this is the NFL and a couple of bad injuries could see them picking in the top 10 again.

Ed: There has to be disappointment about the franchise move. Are the majority of fans following them to LA, or are they having to build a whole new fan base? And you a whole new readership?

Richard: My general sense is that they lost a majority of the San Diego fan base while retaining a majority of those fans who were located outside the county. It does not seem as though they have built much in the way of a new group of fans yet, so they are closer to needing to rebuild than not. As far as my readership, we clearly lost some folks and some of the people that have hung around seem to be on the fence about whether they still support the team and others are even actively rooting against the club, but they have maintained a curiosity about the franchise for now.

Final Thoughts

The Rivers-Manning match-up will be a big story leading up to the game. If they both make the Chargers 53-man roster, the Giants will also see former draft picks Geremy Davis and Andre Williams in this game.

You want to have nightmares about this game for the next few months? Try figuring out how the Giants are going to block Joey Bosa, who had 10.5 sacks and 23 hurries in 12 games during his rookie season.

With a new head coach in Anthony Lynn and a revamped roster it is hard to know exactly what to expect from the Chargers.