SAN DIEGO (AP) – Eli Manning finally made it to San Diego, and the payback was deafening and lopsided.

San Diegans booed Manning with fervor – with an occasional rude chant mixed in – and exhorted LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers to a 45-23 win on Sunday night.

Tomlinson ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for another score to lead the Chargers on a night that left thousands of ear drums ringing, especially Manning’s. Drew Brees threw two touchdowns for the Chargers (1-2). Manning threw for a career-high 352 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants (2-1).

A few days before the 2004 draft, Manning’s camp told the Chargers to take someone else with the No. 1 pick, and implied the Ole Miss star would sit out if San Diego selected him.

General manager A.J. Smith picked Manning anyway, then traded him to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers – taken with the fourth pick – and handful of picks.

Chargers defenders said all week they were more concerned about getting a win than getting even with Manning.

Yeah, right.

While the fans booed Manning every time he lined up under center, San Diego’s defense was more demonstrative than normal.

After Manning had to call a timeout early in the second quarter deep in New York territory, the Chargers exhorted the crowd. When Donnie Edwards sacked Manning on the next play, fellow linebacker Steve Foley jumped all over Edwards in celebration.

Linebacker Ben Leber drew a roughing-the-passer call after Manning threw a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress to pull to 21-10 late in the second quarter.

Fans brought signs such as “Hey Eli, Nobody Likes You,” “Drew’s Your Daddy,” and “Daddy’s Little Girl,” a shot at Manning’s father, Archie.

In the front row behind the Chargers’ bench, fans pummeled a mannequin that was dressed in Manning’s No. 10 jersey and a Giants helmet.

Manning did quiet the crowd by leading the Giants on three scoring drives late in the second quarter to pull the Giants to 21-20. Manning finished 24-of-41.

But the Chargers scored on their first three possessions of the second half to put it away.

Early in the third period, Brees pitched to Tomlinson and the running back rolled right and threw a scoring pass to Keenan McCardell, who for the second time in the game was isolated on a linebacker.

San Diego came back with a clock-eating drive that Brees finished with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates. It was the first score of the year for Gates, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 13 touchdown passes in 2004.

Brees was 19-of-22 for 191 yards.

Tomlinson scored on a 5-yard run to make it 42-23, and Nate Kaeding added a 44-yard field goal.

Tomlinson scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in the first half.

The Chargers scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-3 lead. Tomlinson’s touchdown runs bookended a 15-yard scoring catch by McCardell, who easily outmatched linebacker Reggie Torbor.

Manning threw two touchdown passes in the span of 1:39 in the second quarter, 5 yards to Plaxico Burress and, after Tomlinson fumbled after making a catch and New York’s Osi Umenyiora recovered, to David Tyree from the 4.

New York’s Jay Feely kicked a 40-yard field goal with 11 seconds left before halftime.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.