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Sunday, November 8, 2009
Wrap-up: Chargers 21, Giants 20

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

It looked like the Giants had the game in hand when second-year cornerback Terrell Thomas intercepted Philip Rivers late in the fourth quarter. But the Giants couldn't punch the ball in and had to settle for a field goal and a shaky 20-14 lead. Given another opportunity, Rivers raced his team down the field.

The Giants defense had stayed in Rivers' face for much of the game, but they allowed him to deliver the ball to Darren Sproles in space with a minute left in the game. With 21 seconds left, Rivers lofted a touchdown to Vincent Jackson. The Giants will spend the next two weeks wondering how Jackson found himself wide open in the back of end zone.

By the end of the night, the Giants will trail either the Eagles or Cowboys by two full games in the NFC East race. And at this point, the Giants shouldn't even be thinking about the division race. Tom Coughlin made this matchup out to be an all-or-nothing situation. He wanted his team to have a sense of urgency, and for much of the evening, that was the case.

But when you botch a field goal attempt in the first quarter, it can come back to haunt you. I thought the Giants' front four was a lot more active in this game, but the Giants lost track of Chargers receivers and running backs at crucial times. At 5-4, the Giants are officially in trouble.

I'm not ready to completely write them off, but this was a crushing loss. That Eagles-Chargers game next Sunday is looking better by the minute.