At 0-4 apiece, the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants' seasons are treading in similar directions. But as Philip Rivers said, come Sunday, something is bound to give.
Ahead of the Week 5 game, Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning spoke with the media and discussed being winless through the quarter pole mark of the season.
"I like this team," McAdoo said. "I believe in the team. We will improve as the season goes on. We haven't caught any wins yet, but we haven't earned them. I think adversity introduces a man to himself. That's the approach we're taking. We just want to do simple, better."
"It's not the ideal situation, but I don't think you approach the game differently," Manning added. "You can look at things and where you can make improvements before, but I think you do that no matter what. You just keep grinding, and make sure that the things you're doing well, you keep doing well. And find out where you can make the corrections so you can get that much better. And it just might be making a couple key plays in crucial situations of the game. So, we've got to stay together. We've got to have great confidence that, 'Hey, we're going to be in a tight game again, we're going to make those plays and we're going to find a way to win it.'"
Shifting to the Chargers, McAdoo and Manning see similarities between the Bolts and their own team. The Chargers have been close in games, with three out of four losses being by three points or fewer. Likewise, the Giants lost the last two games by field goals in the final seconds. Despite the record, the Giants know they're in for a test come Sunday.
"They're a team that's better than their record," McAdoo admitted. "Their film is better. Been in a lot of close football games. They play hard in all three phases. Have playmakers in all three phases that can change the game."
"Well, I think they do a great job of getting a pass rush from all of (their players)," Manning said regarding the Bolts defense. "I think we've got to do a great job up front. They do a good job a lot of times of just bringing four guys, just playing zone behind it and getting to the quarterback quickly."
Besides the record, and beside the Manning – Rivers connection that has been told time and time again, there are a few familiar faces reuniting this weekend on both teams. There's a chance D.J. Fluker may play against his former team for the first time, and Casey Hayward and McAdoo go back to their days in Green Bay.
When asked about Hayward, McAdoo said he remembered two things about the cornerback; his smile and his knack for getting his hands on the football. The latter used to drive him crazy.
"I coached quarterbacks at the time (and) I didn't like when he got his hands on the football in practice, but I did in the games," McAdoo reminisced. "He was very good inside and out. Had some skill set versatility, whether it would be a dime, or a nickel or a safety type. He could do a lot of those things. But he's just a very smart, cerebral football player. He (understands) football. He could read concepts, and he wasn't afraid to take a chance on a big-play opportunity. If he saw something, he went for it."