Eli Manning visited the San Diego Chargers for the second time since refusing to play for the organization in 2004.
Fans have not forgot.
The stadium was loud and the fans showed their presence. Just like in 2005, there were chants of “Eli Sucks!” every time the Giants had the ball. One fan even had a giant Eli Manning face dressed as a female. It reminded me of something I would see at an SDSU Basketball game in the student section.
The defense fed off of the crowd for really the first time all year it seemed. They played a very strong game only giving up 14 points. Even better considering 7 of those points can be attributed to a Philip Rivers sack fumble deep inside Chargers territory.
Don’t let that last stat put a damper on Rivers game. Philip played an extremely efficient game going 17/23 with 3 Tds and 0 ints. He still leads the league with a 70.3 completion percentage.
Keenan Allen continues to produce. Allen had his first multi-TD day with 2 scores. Most impressive was his ability to come back from what looked like a day ending shoulder-injury to score his second Touchdown.
Somehow he was not nominated for a Rookie of the Week award. He did only have three receptions for 59 yard, but the 2 touchdowns led all Rookies. Keenan has already won 2 Rookie of the Week awards, so maybe that has something to do with it. This 3rd round draft pick may be on his way to a Rookie of the Year award.
Ryan Mathews played well with his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and his fourth rushing touchdown as well. Mathews also managed a career-high 29 carries. It looks like McCoy and the coaching staff finally have trust in Mathews. They gave him the ball three times on the goal line to punch it in.
We finally learned something from the Redskins game.
That blemish may be the game this San Diego team looks back on, if for a failed season. There have been what feels like many other games that were lost in closing minutes and may be the difference in 2013.
This season has had its share of positives to look at. The Chargers offense is rolling and will only be better next year with the possibilities of Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd returning after being on Injured Reserve.
McCoy has brought his team together for some big wins. Chargers fans have to remember that he is still just a first year coach. This has definitely been a growing season. The Chargers have been in nearly every game and with a little maturity and growth as a team with new young players, this team can learn to convert on opportunities late in games.
This Giants game showed some true San Diego spirit and was reminiscent of winning seasons. It also showed us how the team can respond and how the defense can absorb the energy of the crowd. Depending on how Thursday’s game goes, the following two home games could prove to be important. Either way, as a fan base, the presence needs to be apparent.
San Diego plays in Denver on Thursday Night Football Week 15 on NFL Network.