Eli Manning didn't want to play for the Chargers. We can't imagine he's too fond of playing against them, either. Manning threw two interceptions against the team that originally drafted him and San Diego kept its faint playoff hopes alive with an easy 37-14 win at Qualcomm Stadium over the New York Giants on Sunday.
Here's what we learned:
1. Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has strengthened his case to be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Allen had two first-half touchdown receptions and is headed for a 1,000-yard season. His first score was an athletic feat, as he kept his feet in bounds before making a diving tap of the pylon for six. Allen is a player.
2. We continue to be impressed by the hard-running style of San Diego's Ryan Mathews. The fourth-year running back set a career high with 29 carries, good for 103 yards and one touchdown. Mathews and Danny Woodhead form one of the most undersized (and underrated) backfields in football.
3. Remember when we all thought Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was past his prime? That was an incorrect inference. Rivers was brilliant again Sunday, shredding the Giants' secondary and looking like the best quarterback on the field. Eli Manning's two rings will always give him the upper hand in the argument of which team won the 2003 draft, but Rivers isn't done yet. Far from it.
4. Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram made his season debut, an impressive feat given that it occurred seven months after surgery to repair a torn ACL. Ingram played just 13 snaps and appeared to come out of the game healthy. The Chargers felt Ingram's loss all season; his return is a big deal.
5. Nice statistical days for two veteran Giants headed toward free agency. Pass rusher Justin Tuck had two more sacks and now has six in the past seven days. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks finished with five catches for 135 yards. It's never too late to make a contract push!The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.