Final

Chargers 21

(5-3, 3-1 away)

Giants 20

(5-4, 2-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, November 8, 2009

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
SD 0 7 7 721
NYG 0 7 0 1320

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 215 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: B. Jacobs (NYG) - 11 CAR, 67 YDS

Receiving: A. Gates (SD) - 5 REC, 67 YDS

Rivers caps 80-yard drive with touchdown as Chargers stun Giants

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Five years after being traded away in a draft-day swap for Eli Manning, Philip Rivers came back and stuck it to the New York Giants.

Pasquarelli: Passing In Night

Like conjoined twins surgically split apart, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were separated Sunday evening in Giants Stadium, writes Len Pasquarelli. Story

Rivers capped an 80-yard drive with an 18-yard pass to Vincent Jackson with 21 seconds to play and the San Diego Chargers stunned the Giants 21-20 on Sunday, posting their third straight win while handing New York its fourth straight loss.

San Diego (5-3) is now well positioned for the second half of the season. The Giants (5-4) can only shake their heads in disbelief after blowing their first 5-0 start since 1990.

"It's a big emotional win," said Rivers, who threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns. "I don't need a real reason why, but it ranks right up there with the win at Indy in the playoffs [2009]. The link between me and Eli is always going to be there. So yeah, it's a little special. Any time you play against a team that won the Super Bowl, it's fun. It [the trade] didn't weigh into my mind and my thinking, but I bet it was there."

Big Blues

After starting the season with five straight wins, the Giants have struggled to recapture their success.

First 3 games Last 4 games
W-L 3-0 0-4
Opp. PPG 7.7 33.3
Yards PG allowed 134.3 349.5
TO diff. +2 -4
Sacks 11 6

Rivers had the Giants to thank for giving him the chance to pull the game out.

Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas returned an interception 33 yards to the Chargers 4 with 3:14 to play. If Manning and company had punched the ball in, the game would have been over.

But a first-down holding penalty on Chris Snee pushed New York back 10 yards and it settled for Lawrence Tynes' second field goal, a 22-yarder with 2:07 to play for a 6-point lead.

"We had a chance and you can't leave that team in the game," said Manning, who was 25 of 33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. "You can't leave that team an opening. They are good and talented and if you have a chance to end it, you have to end it."

Fast Facts

• Philip Rivers found Vincent Jackson for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds remaining to give the Chargers their third straight win.

• Jackson has had a touchdown reception in four straight games.

• The Chargers totaled just 34 rushing yards, their fourth lowest in a win since the merger.

• The Giants have lost four straight after starting the season 5-0. It's their first four-game losing streak since the 2006 season.

• The Giants held the ball for a season-high 37:47 but scored a touchdown on just two-of-four red zone possessions, while the Chargers scored a touchdown on all three of their trips to the red zone.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Rivers did. He hit 6 of 8 passes in the game-winning march, hitting Malcolm Floyd for 12 yards, two to Antonio Gates and a 21-yarder to Darren Sproles that put the ball at the 18. On the next play, Rivers found Jackson in the right corner of the end zone for the game-winner.

"Vincent just came open and separated himself from the defender," Rivers said. "On that play, he was probably the last option to get the ball by the way it set up. But we had all that field and I just wanted to give him a chance to get to it."

Jackson also caught a 10-yard TD pass in the second quarter.

"He's calm and confident and that just rubs off on everyone else," Jackson said of Rivers. "It didn't matter what the score was or how much time was left. We were going to get the job done."

Appropriately, the game ended with Shawne Merriman sacking Manning. San Diego drafted the linebacker in 2005 with one of the picks the Chargers got from the Giants in the Manning deal.

"We showed a lot of team character to bounce back," Merriman said. "We never want to start off slow, but we've learned when we need to hit our stride."

Rivers also hit Kris Wilson on a 2-yard TD in the third to give San Diego a 14-7 lead in a game in which the Giants defense rebounded from a miserable efforts the previous three weeks.

Manning drove the Giants 60 yards in 10 plays on the next possession and Tynes got New York within 14-10 with his 38-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

The Giants defense, which gave up 112 points in the first three games of the losing streak, then helped them take the lead, recording three straight tackles for losses and forcing the Chargers to punt from their 4.

Domenik Hixon returned the ball to the San Diego 39 and Manning needed only six plays to put New York on top, hitting Kevin Boss with an 8-yard TD on a play when the Chargers were offside.

A bizarre play at the end of the Giants' opening drive cost them 3 points. New York lined up for a 39-yard field goal attempt, but Tynes never got the kick off. Feagles took the snap and Tynes said Feagles had both hands on the ball so he could not kick it.

"We are all very, very upset, very disappointed obviously in the loss," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We played hard, did a lot of good things but obviously we didn't do enough."

Rivers gave the Chargers a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter with his first TD pass to Jackson. It capped a 45-yard drive after a short punt by Feagles.

The Giants tied the game on the ensuing series on Manning's 6-yard TD pass to Steve Smith. The pair had kept the nearly 11-minute drive alive with a 19-yard completion on third-and-18 from the Chargers 44.

Game notes


Giants weakside LB Michael Boley and DT Chris Canty returned to the lineup. Boley missed a month after knee surgery. Canty was out since the opening week with a calf injury. ... Chargers starting ILB Kevin Burnett was inactive with an ankle injury. ... The Giants decided to honor the Yankees for their recent 27th world championship and introduced manager Joe Girardi during a break in the game. He was identified on the scoreboard as the team's general manager. Does Brian Cashman know?

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SD
NYG
1st Downs1819
Passing 1st downs
1411
Rushing 1st downs
27
1st downs from penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
3-105-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays5367
Total Yards226304
Yards per play4.34.5
Total Drives1111
Passing192188
Comp-Att
24-3625-33
Yards per pass
5.14.9
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-175-27
Rushing34116
Rushing Attempts
1529
Yards per rush
2.34.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-32-4
Penalties3-209-104
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession22:1337:47

Passing Leaders

SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers24/362095.8322-17
NYGC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning25/332156.5205-27

Rushing Leaders

SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tomlinson12221.805
Rivers11515.0015
NYGCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jacobs11676.1015
Bradshaw14392.809

Receiving Leaders

SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gates56713.4029
Jackson55811.6218
NYGRECYDSAVGTDLG
Smith8577.1119
Manningham6528.7016

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERSDNYG
sdTD15:00Vincent Jackson 10 Yard Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 45 yds, 3:04
70
nygTD4:28Steve Smith 6 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 16 plays, 76 yds, 10:35
77
THIRD QUARTERSDNYG
sdTD4:00Kris Wilson 2 Yard Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 51 yds, 3:03
147
FOURTH QUARTERSDNYG
nygFG14:14Lawrence Tynes 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yds, 4:42
1410
nygTD9:09Kevin Boss 8 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 39 yds, 3:25
1417
nygFG2:11Lawrence Tynes 22 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 0 yds, 1:07
1420
sdTD0:29Vincent Jackson 18 Yard Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 1:46
2120