Morning Links: Secondary will be tested

SAN DIEGO -- Good morning. ESPN Giants beat reporter Dan Graziano writes that the New York receivers think this week they can have a breakout game against San Diego’s secondary.

“I believe this is an opportunity for us to get ourselves going again in the passing game,” Giants receiver Victor Cruz told Graziano Thursday after practice. “I think we see some things we can open up against. I think this week we’ll get some opportunities to hit some big plays against the style of defense they run.”

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said the Giants have the best receiver group his defense has faced all season in Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.

“They are three guys that can stretch the field and you have to be aware of No. 80 [Cruz],” Pagano said. “He is somebody they like to feature.”

ESPN’s Matt Ehalt reports that Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul could miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury.

Eliot Harrison of NFL.com likes the Chargers 34-28 over the Giants.

CBS Sports NFL analysts are split down the middle on the Chargers-Giants contest.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated picks the Chargers over the Giants, 26-17.

Chris Philips of Pro Football Focus breaks down a couple key matchups in Sunday’s contest, including San Diego’s secondary vs. the Giants’ receivers and the Chargers’ tackles against the Giants’ defensive ends.

Tod Leonard of U-T San Diego says don’t blame fans for Chargers' blackout -- blame the high ticket prices.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com says San Diego is aware of New York’s improved pass rush, led by defensive end Justin Tuck.

ESPN’s David Fleming wonders why NFL football players don’t wear cups to avoid situations like the way San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis was tackled by St. Louis safety T.J. McDonald, which you can watch here. ... The Chargers have a cupless locker room. The equipment staff would have to go out and buy a cup if a player requested one. “It’s funny that you don’t wear one in football at all,” San Diego Chargers reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. “I remember getting grabbed in a game at college (Clemson) at the bottom of the pile, and I thought I was injured it hurt so bad. But no, I just don’t believe it happens very often.”

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert goes over the rash of ACL knee injuries this season, and surprisingly most of them occurred on grass, including injuries to San Diego’s Melvin Ingram, Danario Alexander and Jonas Mouton.