The Chargers did it in dramatic fashion as Philip Rivers marched his team 80 yards in the final two minutes for the 21-20 thriller over the Giants. Rivers hit Vincent Jackson with on an 18-yard pass with 21 seconds remaining.
QB Philip Rivers
"It something in my mind we need to build on because I don't think we are anywhere near as good as we can be. We have a lot of new and young players playing. I know I say that every week but they're a week older right now."
Among players making the biggest strides is Shawne Merriman. With his knee slowly rounding into shape, he has collected four sacks in the last two games.
"Well, it was another game that we had to win," Merriman said. "It was one of those things where we approached the game with our backs against the wall, too. We can't worry what Denver or anyone is doing in our conference, so we've got to go out and win on from this point on."
The point is, Sunday's win came accompanied with a load of confidence in the calm manner Rivers led the team to the victory.
"I'm just glad to be a part of it and witness that," Merriman said.
--RB LaDainian Tomlinson said Philip Rivers was ultra-cool in the huddle during the team's deciding drive. "He just said, "Hey, you know we have a chance to win it, so let's get it done and score,"' he said. "I don't think it wasn't in any of our minds that we weren't going to go down and score. We have been in that situation before and we were all so relaxed. It was like business as usual."
--Rivers often talks about how Vincent Jackson plays smaller than his 6-4 frame. "I absolutely take that as a compliment," Jackson said. "I feel a lot of people see me on film and realized that I'm 6-4, 230 but I try to run routes, do quick ins and outs and they usually lose me like I'm the guy who is about 6-foot, 185."
--Kris Wilson, and not Pro Bowler Antonio Gates, was the Chargers' tight end scoring a touchdown Sunday. It was Wilson's first as a Charger. "The guys that we have out there on the field are Pro Bowl-level players," Wilson said. You know you have to wait for your chance to get out there and shine and take advantage of every opportunity that you get."
--OLB Shaun Phillips will be compromised in practice this week with an ankle injury.
--ILB Kevin Burnett is expected to try and practice later this week after missing three games.
--ILB Tim Dobbins is out at least one more week with an ankle injury.
--CB Antoine Cason filled in briefly for Quentin Jammer toward the end of Sunday's game when Jammer suffered a stinger. Cason lost his nickel position to Steve Gregory earlier this year.
--S Kevin Ellison, a rookie, is starting look comfortable in the starting role. He had 10 tackles, a quarterback hit and two passes defensed against the Giants.
REPORT CARD VS. GIANTS
LB Larry English
RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Chargers proved once again they will struggle to run the ball. The run-blocking continues to be suspect and it showed with the Chargers rushing for 34 yards -- and 15 of those came on a Rivers' scramble.
PASS DEFENSE: B -- Eli Manning was OK, getting the secondary for 215 yards and two scores. But the Chargers' pass rush was pretty good, as it collected five sacks for the second straight week.
RUSH DEFENSE: C- -- It remains a work in progress, but progress is spotted although yet another rival sped past the 100 yards mark. The Chargers allowed 116 on Sunday, but the middle of the line made some quick adjustments to plug that gap. Stephen Cooper was a tackling machine with a game-high 13 tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Darren Sproles wasn't allowed to do his thing on returns as the Giants consistently kicked and punted away from him. The coverage units were keen; no damage there. Mike Scifres put three of his five punts inside the 20.
COACHING: A -- Coming cross country and winning against a team which had lost three straight and was expected to make a Super Bowl run isn't easy. It was surprising the Chargers didn't attack the Giants' weak secondary more, but they did when it counted the most. Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera has got his pass rush and blitzes dialed up and they are working.