Could the Chargers actually establish a running game on the way to a road win? What better way to take any crowd and a desperate offense out of the game than hogging the ball.
Trouble is, the Chargers can't run the ball -- any more than the Giants are able to stop it.
Both are at the bottom of their respective rankings
. But head coach Anthony Lynn, a former running back, is bent on getting the Chargers steady on the ground. Melvin Gordon
says his knee doesn't hurt and Austin Ekeler
has fresh legs.
Running the ball is the plan; whether it works or not remains to be seen.
, when given time, can still deliver a strike and he proved it last week on numerous occasions. He also proved if he is flushed from the pocket, the turnovers aren't far behind. If the pass-blocking is keen, Rivers can attack a secondary that has played its worst when its best was needed.
The Giants have been unable to hold fourth-quarter leads in consecutive games, both losses, because their secondary gets leaky. The Chargers can send Keenan Allen
, Tyrell Williams
(questionable, neck) and others at it. Landon Collins is an All-Pro safety in that secondary, but there's some flaws there that Rivers can exploit.
Trouble is, Rivers has been sacked four times, hit 22 times and had 24 quarterback pressures.
More trouble comes in the form of Giants cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
As ESPN's Mike Clay notes, despite their 0-4 record, the Giants have still managed to allow the fifth-fewest fantasy point total to wide receivers this year.
Jenkins missed Week 2, but he shadowed Dez Bryant
in Week 1 and Mike Evans
in Week 4. Allen lines up in the slot on 55 percent of his routes, which is where he'll see Rodgers-Cromartie in coverage. Two-thirds (or 30 percent) of the remaining 45 percent of Allen's routes have come wide to Rivers' left. That's where Jenkins aligns when not shadowing.
That said, expect Allen to be on Jenkins and "DRC" on anywhere from 85 to 95 percent of his routes this week.
"That's a tough challenge," Clay added. "Williams and Travis Benjamin
will both see plenty of struggling Eli Apple, which gives both a shot at a big play or two."
Also worth noting, the Giants have allowed and NFL-high 89 fantasy points to tight ends this year as well as a league-high five touchdowns. Hunter Henry
, who had eight touchdown catches in his rookie year, finally got his first one a quarter of the way into his second season. Henry's targets have been sporadic, but perhaps this is the week he comes to life.