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Wrap Up: Chargers 21, Giants 20

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Eli Manning may have his Super Bowl ring but Sunday more proof was presented that the San Diego Chargers got the better of the 2004 draft-day trade with the Giants.

Philip Rivers is simply a better player than Manning.

You want evidence?

How about Rivers’ brilliant 80-yard drive in the final moments to lead San Diego over the Giants on Sunday?

Rivers capped the drive with a touchdown toss to receiver Vincent Jackson in the final seconds. It was the first time Rivers and Manning played against each other since the trade that sent Manning to New York and Rivers to San Diego. The Chargers also got draft picks that turned into linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding in the deal.

Merriman continued his resurgence with two more sacks. He has four sacks in the past two games after being shutout in the first six games.

Rivers was the star of this game. He completed 24 of 36 passes (several balls were dropped) for 209. Rivers was brilliant when he had to.

Not only did San Diego’s comeback help validate the trade, but it kept it in the playoff hunt. The Chargers are 5-3 after three straight wins. If Denver loses to visiting Pittsburgh on Monday night, the Chargers will trail Denver by just one game.

If San Diego ends up in the playoffs, Sunday’s last-minute drive engineered by Rivers, will be remembered as a crucial moment of the season.