Apparently the New York Giants never even bothered to get on the plane for San Diego this weekend, because New York put together their most lifeless performance since they were shutout by Carolina earlier this year in a 37-14 smackdown to the Chargers, Sunday.
The Giants did nothing right. A team that still had a faint playoff window watched it shut right in their face as the Chargers built an insurmountable 24-0 lead in the first half.
In the first half alone, the Giants were out-played, out-classed and out-hustled in every aspect of the game. The Chargers rolled up 250 yards of offense, with Phillip Rivers and Ryan Matthews leading the way to the Giants early dismissal in this contest.
San Diego made a huge statement in the first quarter, when Donald Butler picked off an Eli Manning pass that bounced off the foot of Ruben Randal to set up Rivers and the Bolts at midfield. Rivers struck quickly against the team that once drafted him in 2004, before sending him to San Diego back in 2004. He hit Eddie Royal for seven yards, before connecting with Keenan Allen for a 43 yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
Now leading 10-0, Rivers was at it again. He engineered an 11-play 67-yard drive that ate 6:09 off the clock, culminating in a second touchdown pass to Allen to make it 17-0. Rivers was perfect on the drive completing all six passes.
After another Giants turnover gave San Diego great field position at the New York 39 yard line, Rivers put the stake in Big Blue when he hit former Jet Danny Woodhead for a six-yard score to make it 24-0 at the half.
This was the third time that Eli took on Rivers in their careers since the monster trade in the 2004 draft. If you need a reminder, the Chargers drafted Eli Manning with their first pick that year. Since Manning didn't want to sign with San Diego they found a trade partner in the Giants who drafted Rivers.
While the trade has worked out for the Giants over the long scheme of things, Eli has two Super Bowl rings; Rivers is 3-0 against the Giants in his career. He threw for three touchdowns in this victory over Big Blue.
The Giants 5-8 are now officially out of the playoffs, as if they weren't eliminated after an 0-6 start. New York didn't even bother in this game; their effort was poor, their play even worse. The Giants have to look deep within themselves to find the same pride they played with last week in Washington.
This has been a disappointing year for New York -- one that was not deserving of a playoff berth.
There is a lot of work ahead for Tom Coughlin and the front office come the off-season; let that process begin in earnest.