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Chargers Win Emotional Victory Against New York Giants

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Photo from Keith Allison via Flickr

Photo from Keith Allison via Flickr

As Phillip Rivers ran around the field celebrating his game-winning touchdown to Vincent Jackson on Sunday at Giants stadium, it was no coincidence that he was running toward the Giants’ sideline. He caught himself as he made his approach and turned back to his own bench, very likely just in time to save an unsportsmanlike penalty, but the point had been made.

Rivers, as every Charger fan knows, was a brief draft pick of the Giants after the Chargers picked Eli Manning and was very quickly traded to San Diego for Manning after the Manning family brain trust had made it clear Eli would never play for the woeful San Diego Chargers.

As emotional as Rivers is on a normal day, this one was particularly sweet. “It’s a big emotional win,” said Rivers, “I don’t need a real reason why, but it ranks right up there with the win at Indy in the playoffs (2009). The link between me and Eli is always going to be there. So yeah, it’s a little special. Any time you play against a team that won the Super Bowl, it’s fun. It (the trade) didn’t weigh into my mind and my thinking, but I bet it was there.”

As a sportswriter who’s covered this franchise for a long time, all I can say is — that is a bet I’d take and bet the farm on, if I were a betting man (which of course, I’m certainly not).

Rivers almost ran and jumped in Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin’s lap as his victory lap veered dangerously toward the home side of the field. It was a spur-of-the-moment reaction; granted a lot of typical Rivers emotion was clearly the pure joy of coming back, particularly after Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas returned his interception 33 yards to the Chargers 4 with 3:14 to play putting the Giants in total control of the game only minutes earlier.

If Manning and company had scored a touchdown then, the game would have been history. Or maybe it was the fact Rivers had hit 6 of 8 passes in the game-winning drive spreading the ball around to Malcolm Floyd (for 12 yards), two completions to Antonio Gates and a 21-yarder to Darren Sproles, that set up the 18 yard game winner to Jackson.

Whatever it was, as everyone got ready to fly back to “America’s Finest,” the feeling was warm and fuzzy. “This was a team victory,” mumbled Norv Turner among his post game comments. And that it was. But to Chargers’ number 17, it was a bit of a sweet personal victory as well…

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