ESNY previews the upcoming Week 14 matchup between the Giants and Chargers.
The Giants, like every other week it seems, are back to square one following a tough loss.
New York couldn’t conjure up much offensive success with Mike Glennon at quarterback (Daniel Jones was out with a neck strain) and scored a season-low nine points in a 20-9 defeat against Miami last Sunday.
The defense was strong but needed to be perfect given the offensive struggles — that obviously didn’t end up being the case.
Now, after spending time in Tuscon, Arizona for practice this week, the Giants face the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday with Glennon under center again.
If the defense couldn’t achieve perfection against Tua Tagovailoa, it’ll certainly have a tough time doing so against Justin Herbert, one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
Can the Giants, who are still miraculously in the mix for an NFC wild card spot, somehow pull off what would be a humongous road victory?
New York Giants (4-8) @ Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)
Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021 — 4:05 PM EDT
Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Giants Total Points: Over-16.5 (-110), Under-16.5 (-120)
- Chargers Total Points: Over-26.5 (-115), Under-26.5 (-115)
- First Team to Score: Giants (+160), Chargers (-200)
- Last Team to Score: Giants (+140), Chargers (-170)
- Giants Total TDs: Over-1.5 (-125), Under-1.5 (-115)
- Chargers Total TDs: Over-3.5 (+145), Under-3.5 (-190)
Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
Mike Glennon Under-204.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Numerous signs point toward Mike Glennon’s passing-yard total sitting below 204.5.
First, this Chargers secondary has been strong and is allowing just 209.5 passing yards per game (seventh in the NFL).
And second, this is Mike Glennon we’re talking about. Judging by how he performed last week, there’s really no reason to believe he’ll succeed against a strong pass defense like Los Angeles’.
Against the Dolphins secondary (25th in the league with 254.5 average passing yards allowed), Glennon threw for just 187 yards on 23-of-44 passing.
Austin Ekeler Over-13.5 Rushing Attempts (-135)
I understand this bet may be a tad bit pricey ($135 wager for a potential $100 profit), but given the wide difference in talent between these two teams, I expect the Chargers to be leading for much of the second half.
If (and potentially when) the Chargers are up by double digits entering the fourth quarter, expect LA to primarily run the ball to close out the game. This should lead to Austin Ekeler surpassing 13.5 carries.
Ekeler has carried the ball at least 14 times in five games this year.
Saquon Barkley Under-57.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
I care about you, the reader. So there’s no chance I would tell you to take Saquon Barkley‘s rushing-yard over given his 2021 production (or lack thereof).
The fourth-year running back has yet to become a consistent and highly effective weapon for this offense.
Barkley hasn’t surpassed 57.5 rushing yards in a game this season and never seems fully healthy. Therefore, it’s tough to imagine he’ll exceed this total even against a weak Chargers run defense (31st in the NFL with 141.2 average rushing yards allowed).
Plus, the Giants will likely need to throw the ball a decent amount toward the end of the game in order to construct a potential comeback (again, expect the score to be lopsided late in favor of the Chargers).
Players to Watch
Of course, we have to put Mike Glennon in the “Players to Watch” section.
The primary backup quarterback, who will be starting for the second straight game in the absence of Daniel Jones (neck strain), struggled last week. Glennon recorded an abysmal 53.9 passer rating against the Dolphins.
If the Giants wish to pull off a road victory, Glennon will need to be perfect against a tough Chargers pass defense.
This may not be possible given the veteran’s on-field issues, but is he up for the challenge anyway?
Giants Offensive Line
Glennon’s Week 13 struggles, however, could’ve partly been attributed to the problems surrounding the offensive line.
This unit hasn’t exactly made life easy for whoever is under center for Big Blue. If Glennon is going to construct the great performance the Giants need out of him, he’ll require the necessary time to operate in the pocket.
It can’t just be left tackle Andrew Thomas stepping up. Veteran tackle Nate Solder will need to provide Glennon with protection on the right side. Center Billy Price and the Matt Skura-Will Hernandez guard tandem, on the other hand, must prevent oncoming pass rushers from wreaking havoc on the interior.
Young safety Xavier McKinney is putting together a Pro Bowl-caliber second season. He currently leads the Giants with five interceptions on the year.
However, if he wants to earn a nod to the NFL’s annual all-star event, he’ll need to continue producing down the stretch, including on Sunday.
McKinney will have a significant task on his hands going against a talented young quarterback in Justin Herbert. The second-year player is fifth in the NFL with 3,547 passing yards and tied for third with 27 touchdown passes.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY