SAN DIEGO -- Eli Manning and Philip Rivers will meet Sunday for the third time since being traded for each other on draft day 2004.
Chargers fans will get another chance to boo the player who spurned their city back then.
Otherwise, it’ll be a showdown between desperate teams that are 5-7 and closer to last place than first place in their respective divisions.
Manning claims he can’t even remember why Archie Manning told the Chargers not to take his son with the No. 1 pick overall in 2004.
"It’s been 10 years. It slipped my mind," said Manning, whose receivers, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, are sure to test San Diego’s porous secondary.
Here are a few things to watch for when the Giants visit the Chargers today:
Both teams continue to fight for their playoff lives, with their chances dwindling with each loss. TheGiants have rallied nicely from their 0-6 start, winning five of six, including 24-17 at Washington on Sunday night. Their only loss in that span was at Dallas. The Chargers, meanwhile, have gone from 4-3 and a promising outlook under rookie coach Mike McCoy to losing four of their last five. They were manhandled in a 17-10 home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, losing all the momentum they gained with a thrilling 41-38 win at Kansas City a week earlier.
Tale of the tape
Manning has been the Giants’ starter since midway through his rookie season of 2004.
The Giants’ defensive end is coming off a career-best four sacks against Robert Griffin III in New York’s 24-17 win against Washington. Tuck is showing how good he can be when healthy. He played with shoulder and neck injuries the past two seasons and many wondered whether his best days were behind him. "Honestly, it wouldn’t have meant anything to me if we had lost that football game," Tuck said of his sacks Sunday night. "With the win you can kind of feel good about the performance, but also understand that the only reason why I was able to get sacks was because 10 other guys were doing their job on the football field."
Coach Tom Coughlin has said repeatedly this year that Tuck has been a major factor in the Giants’ ability to stop the run. Tuck leads the Giants with 61Ž2 sacks.
Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride coached the Chargers from 2007 until being fired six games into the 2008 season, with a 6-16 overall record. He replaced Bobby Ross and presided over the end Stan Humphries’ career as quarterback and the beginning of Ryan Leaf’s career. Gilbride never got another head coaching job, but he does own two Super Bowl rings from his time with the Giants.