Chargers Stomp Giants In Dominant Fashion: By The Numbers
In a less than suspenseful game, the Los Angeles Chargers dominated the New York Giants en route to a 37-21 victory inside SoFi Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Refusing to play down to their competition, the Chargers played with tremendous energy and seized the momentum from the opening kick. By the start of the fourth quarter, Los Angeles boasted a 30-point lead. Two garbage time touchdowns from the Giants make the final score appear much closer than it was. The Chargers imposed their will and never left the outcome in doubt, turning in one of their most complete performances across all three phases.
The result sets up a highly anticipated primetime matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs next week on Thursday Night Football. The winner of next week’s game will have sole possession atop the AFC West standings and gain a huge advantage in the conference playoff picture. Before we get too carried away with next week’s matchup, let’s dive into the numbers from the Giants game.
After testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, receiver Keenan Allen was unavailable to play this weekend. With their leading pass-catcher sidelined, Los Angeles was forced to rely on the rest of their roster banding together to fill the void. Instead of force-feeding one guy, the Bolts decided to spread the wealth with NINE different Los Angeles players finishing with at least one reception.
Superstar quarterback Justin Herbert made it as easy as possible on his skill players by making some truly remarkable plays. He finished 23-for-31 passing with 275 yards, three touchdowns, and some of the most amazing throws you will ever see. On one play, in particular, Herbert connected with receiver Jalen Guyton on a 59-yard touchdown pass. After being flushed out of the pocket, Herbert sent that throw nearly 66 yards through the air, while off balance and being hit from behind. The dude is different.
ROCKET ARM HERBERT. #BoltUp
— NFL (@NFL) December 12, 2021
On the receiving end, Guyton showed great concentration and hand strength to reel that ball in and has been taking some major strides in his development the last couple of weeks. Guyton finished with three catches and a game-high 87 receiving yards. He continues to make explosive plays in the passing game and is developing into a solid deep threat.
The Los Angeles defense was also missing some impactful players in this game. No other position group was left as short-handed as the secondary. Los Angeles entered the game without All-Pro safety Derwin James, starting rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., and backup safety Alohi Gilman.
Down two starters and a key depth piece, outside cornerback Michael Davis rose to the challenge and turned in a career performance. Davis was sticky in coverage and continued to pester the New York receivers all game long. With his ball skills on full display, Davis set a new career-best after breaking up FOUR passes. He put in a lot of his work guarding the Giants’ top receiving tandem of Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard. The pair combined for only four catches and 42 receiving yards on 12 targets.
Neither receiver found the endzone, but Davis did allow a touchdown reception to running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley faked a slant route that got Davis to commit before bouncing back outside. A well-placed pass from quarterback Mike Glennon capped off the scoring play. Looking back at it, this might have been the only mistake Davis made all day. He really showed good reaction to see the slant and if that was indeed the play call, Davis would have been primed for a pick-six opportunity. He will have his work cut out for him yet again next week, with the speedy Tyreek Hill coming to town.
With defensive play-caller James sidelined for this game, Head Coach Brandon Staley entrusted linebacker Kyzir White with the green dot. White entered the game just four tackles away from totaling 100 on the season. If able to reach the century mark, White would join James to become the first Chargers teammates with 100 tackles in the same season in over two decades. The last Chargers duo to accomplish this feat were linebacker Junior Seau and safety Rodney Harrison back in 2000. If you find yourself on a list with those two names, you’re doing something right.
White needed just four, but he racked up TEN total tackles. The 25-year-old is easily having one of the best years of his young career. With four games left in the regular season, he has already set new career-highs in interceptions (two), pass deflections (three), forced fumbles (two), sacks (one), tackle for loss (six), and tackles (106).
White has really elevated his game recently and has turned into a beast since the bye week. The West Virginia product now has double-digit tackles in five of the last seven weeks. During that span, White has tallied 71 total tackles including 45 solo stops. The young man is playing like he wants his first career Pro Bowl bid. If he keeps up this play, he will be well deserving of that honor.