Why was the Chargers defense better? Facing Eli Manning or players returning?

By Ernie Padaon

Dec 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) gets hit by San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Reggie Walker (52) and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (71) during second half action at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers defense stepped up big on Sunday against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, but what was the reason for that? Was it because we were playing against Eli Manning  or was it because we had some players returning to the field. Of course there was a combination of both that helped, but what was the main reason for the impressive performance?

It was nice having Melvin Ingram and Jarret Johnson back on the field. Donald Butler also had one of his best games this season. Manti Te’o also has been playing better and better with experience. Things are getting better here. Also, Derek Cox is on the sideline and that is an upgrade.

Still, we can’t not disregard that we were facing off against Eli Manning. He has been playing terrible this season. He has been a joke and turns the ball over like it makes him money.

We will find out if the players made a difference on Thursday. We will face off against Eli’s big brother and hope to do the same thing to Peyton. We did alright last time we faced off against the Broncos. Hopefully the added confidence and a few extra players on the roster can get us a win on the road in Denver.

I definitely think that the guys on the roster returning made a huge difference on the way the team played. Having Jarret Johnson starting on the edge makes a huge difference. Getting other players in their proper role definitely helps. We just will see how much better we are with the guys on the roster on Thursday.