Los Angeles Chargers 27, New York Giants 22: Big Blue Zapped By LA In Battle of Imperfection (Highlights)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants is carted off the field after sustaining an injury during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Los Angeles Chargers defeated the New York Giants 27-22. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The New York Giants lost more than a football game Sunday afternoon—they may have lost any hope for the rest of the season.

Entrenched in a battle with a fellow winless team, the New York Giants were set up for a victory in front of their home fans as they returned to MetLife Stadium for a showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Unfortunately for New York, they instead found heartbreak and squalor for the fifth consecutive week.

Four Giants receivers left the game with brutal injuries, part of yet another blown fourth-quarter lead for the Giants, who fell 27-22 to the newly minted LA Chargers. The Giants are now 0-5 for the first time since 2013 when they began 0-6.

The game started off in typical 2017 Giants’ fashion, as the offense opened with a three-and-out after forcing the Chargers into one on the opening possession. In a bit of a special teams redemption, Brad Wing, he of two crucially poor punts over the past two weeks, pinned Los Angeles at their own 4-yard line. In a play that eerily resembled the opening of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, Phillip Rivers wasn’t ready for a third-down snap, as the Spencer Pulley snap flew by him. Left with no other choice, Rivers tossed the ball into the back of the end zone, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. It was their first points in an opening quarter this season.

The Giants’ offense, in a rare moment of clarity, capitalized after the teams exchanged brief drives. Orleans Darkwa, listed as the starter in place of Paul Perkins, rattled off a 23-yard touchdown run, the Giants’ longest rush of the season. Darkwa eclipsed his career-high yardage in the first quarter, ending the day with 69 yards, besting his previous high of 53 set last September against Washington.

Darkwa, however, did not carry the ball again until the third quarter.

While the Chargers were able to quickly respond, ending an 8-play, 77-yard drive with a 6-yard scoring pass from Rivers to Melvin Gordon, the two teams embarked on a journey into offensive ineptitude. The Giants, in particular, embarrassed themselves, starting two drives inside their own 45-yard line. After the Giants failed to capitalize on a drive that began at the Los Angeles 39, the Chargers ran out most of the half with a 12-play, 49-yard drive that ended in a 20-yard Nick Novak field goal.

After the Giants opened the half with yet another three-and-out, the Chargers, beginning at midfield, drove to the Giants red zone, but a Darian Thompson interception in the end zone seemed to shift momentum to the East Coast.

Despite separate ankle injuries to Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard, both on the same drive, the Giants managed to capitalize when Eli Manning found Roger Lewis for a 29-yard score.

However, the defense again let up an untimely score, allowing the winless Chargers to travel a whopping 92 yards on 12 plays, capped off when Rivers found tight end Hunter Henry from 23 yards out for the touchdown that set up Novak’s go-ahead extra point. Henry’s touchdown is the sixth tight end touchdown the Giants have let up through their first five games.

With the game suddenly becoming an offensive shootout, the Giants responded in turn with a deep 48-yard score early in the fourth quarter. Odell Beckham, who sped through the Los Angeles coverage, was the lucky recipient and showcased a much more subdued celebration than his Philadelphia display, pretending to resuscitate the football in elation. However, while tamer than his canine impression, Beckham’s turn as a doctor pushed the Giants’ back five yards when the extended show caused a delay of game penalty.

After the three-and-out that opened the third quarter, Beckham was seen furiously yelling at his offensive teammates on the sidelines and was consoled by his college teammate Wing.

The Giants gave the ball back to LA thanks to another untimely three-and-out, but the Chargers’ trip inside the red zone was again disrupted by Thompson. The second-year safety knocked down an end zone pass intended for Henry, then applied pressure on Rivers to force another Novak field goal to narrow it to 22-20.

With just under five minutes to kill, the Giants had a golden opportunity to run out the clock, but a questionable decision to pass turned out to be even more devastating than anyone could’ve thought.

Beckham, going for a pass over the middle, suffered a brutal ankle injury that brought out the medical cart to escort him away. Beckham was visibly in tears as he left, and the Giants, perhaps broken by the situation, again made the situation worse, as Manning fumbled when he was sacked by Melvin Ingram.

Los Angeles (1-4) took advantage, recovering at the Giants’ 11-yard line and punching it in when Rivers found Gordon for the second time, scoring from 10-yards out in what became the game-winning score.

The Giants’ final chance to earn a victory was again wasted, as Manning ended the game with an interception to Tre Boston.

Manning would end the day with 225 yards, while the running game actually managed to put up decent numbers. In addition to Darkwa’s 69, Wayne Gallman added 57, part of a 152-yard overall effort on the ground. Beckham led the team with 97 yards before his forced departure, while Thompson led the team with 11 tackles.

The Giants will make another attempt to earn their first win next week in prime time, as they square off with the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

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