Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Giants Prediction: Don't Expect Points

Don't expect a ton of points between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Giants says NFL Expert, Ben Gretch.
Ben Gretch |
Sat, December 11, 1:33 PM EST | 4 min read
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Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Giants Prediction: Don't Expect Points

Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Giants Start Time, Where To Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, December 12, 2021

Game Time: 4:05 PM ET

Where to Watch: Fox

Click Here for Chargers vs Giants Odds

  • Key Stat: Since Week 7, the Giants have allowed the league’s second-lowest rate of explosive pass plays against

Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Giants Prediction

The Giants head across the country to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, and they’ll do so with Mike Glennon under center for the second straight week. Glennon got in a full practice Friday and cleared the concussion protocol, so he’ll start for Daniel Jones, who has been ruled out. Who Glennon will be throwing the ball to is unknown, with Kadarius Toney out, and Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard both listed as questionable. Cornerback Adoree Jackson, one of the Giants’ top defensive players per PFF grading, is also out.

The Chargers are also dealing with unknown statuses, largely due to positive COVID-19 tests. Keenan Allen has been ruled out, but head coach Brandon Staley has sounded optimistic about wide receiver Mike Williams and cornerback Chris Harris, both of whom have registered negative tests. The veteran Harris is a key piece on defense, but Williams might be the bigger one to watch with Allen out — the Chargers are not deep with playmakers at wide receiver, with names like Jalen Guyton and rookie Josh Palmer being in line for more snaps depending on the availability of Williams. Guyton and Palmer have both struggled to make a consistent impact this year on a per-route basis, though both have flashed.

Of course, the Chargers have Austin Ekeler to throw to out of the backfield, and they’ve used three different tight ends a decent amount and to some success this year. New York’s defense has limited five of its past six opponents to no more than 20 points, taking the bend-but-don’t-break approach that has become so popular around the league. Over that stretch, since Week 7, the Giants are second in the NFL in explosive pass rate against, though they are 22nd in the NFL in passing success rate against, and 28th in rushing success rate against. The Chargers will likely need to take what the Giants are willing to give them more often this week, perhaps running a bit more and throwing underneath at the expense of the types of deep targets that tend to be a key factor in their successful offensive games, like in their 41-22 Week 13 win over the Bengals.

That bend-but-don’t-break defensive style often has Chargers’ top man Staley as its figurehead, highlighted by the almighty two-deep shells. Defensively, as the Chargers have sat back and tried to defend the pass against all opponents, they’ve been one of the easiest teams to run on in the NFL, sitting last in success rate against the run for the season and allowing the second most total rushing yards entering this week.

With the Giants starting Glennon, it’ll be a week where Saquon Barkley should have his chances to create big plays against light defensive fronts. Barkley was brought along slowly this year, but looked great during Weeks 3 and 4, as he totaled 220 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he rolled his ankle in Week 5, didn’t return until Week 11, and has averaged just over 60 yards from scrimmage per game in his three outings since returning.

I’m not optimistic about the Giants’ offense with Glennon under center and a banged-up receiving corps, but Barkley is the X-factor who could create some stuff on his own in this matchup. Likewise, I’m more concerned than usual about a good Chargers’ offense that is without its chain-mover in Allen and is facing a defense that has been strong of late at preventing teams from getting the ball down the field. I’m expecting a low-scoring Chargers win, but the big spread may be tough to cover, leaving me to settle on the under.

Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Giants Pick

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch

Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.

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