Dear New York Football Giants: Welcome to the human-shield portion of your 2017 schedule.

What transpired Tuesday afternoon signaled much more than the end of the Eli Manning era in New York, even though the Giants, face down in the North Jersey mud at 2-9, are claiming that benching him does not mean his career there is finished.

While the Chargers defense held the Cowboys to 247 yards of offense and forced two turnovers, Thursday’s win was driven by quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen. Rivers lit up the Cowboys defense while Allen racked up 172 yards on 11 receptions. The highlight was a weaving 42-yard touchdown as he made four defenders miss.

Scott started 11 games for the upstart Michigan State defense, picking off two passes and leading the team with nine pass breakups. With Scott at corner, Michigan State’s secondary jumped from 12th in the Big Ten in opponent passer rating to fourth.

Burfict also was accused of intentionally injuring Le’Veon Bell on the play in which Bell tore up his knee in 2015, and of celebrating with other Bengals while he lay in pain. That incident drew no fines.

Bell, Brown, Shazier, Burfict, Andy Dalton and Geo Bernard have all been seriously injured in those games. Ironically, one of the most-controversial un-penalized plays of the postseason game was Shazier’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Bernard.

Paul is also as good of a defensive point guard as there is east of a healthy Patrick Beverley, which is a positive as well.

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