By Curt Macysyn
The New York Giants gave away a victory to the Dallas Cowboys on opening night. In a game that featured offensive statistics that would have made the old American Football League proud, the G-men committed six turnovers in a sloppy 26-31 loss to the rival Cowboys.
Record Setting Peyton
Now New York gets to face Eli’s older brother, Peyton, and the high-flying Denver Broncos, fresh off a 49-21 thrashing of the defending super bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Peyton Manning completed 27 of 42 passes for 462 yards, and an astounding seven touchdowns. His seven passing touchdown equaled an NFL record, which was previously held by Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp.
Ironically, Eli Manning had the exact same number of attempts and completions as his older brother and came away with 450 yards in the air, so this game has the potential to be an aerial circus, as the Manning brothers are the top two throwing quarterbacks in the NFL after week one.
The Broncos talented trio of receivers, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, each caught two of Peyton Manning’s touchdown throws last Thursday night. The Ravens had no answers for the Broncos air attack, while the Giants did a fairly good job of containing Dallas wide receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin on Sunday night, holding both without a touchdown grab.
As good as the Broncos are in the air, they are a mirror image of the Giants in the running attack too. Last week, lead running back Knowshon Moreno had nine carries and 28 yards on the ground. Backup running back Ronnie Hillman fared little better with 15 yards on only four carries. Denver will once again rely upon Peyton Manning’s ability to take what the defense gives him, in both the short passing game, as well as downfield.
Orange Mush Denver
Last week, Joe Flacco and the Ravens threw the ball 62 times against the Broncos for a mediocre 54.8 completion percentage, even with star cornerback Champ Bailey nursing a hamstring injury. To put the number of passes into context, if a team averaged 62 throws per game, that team would end up with 992 passing attempts. In comparison, the Detroit Lions, who lead the NFL in passing attempts last season, threw the ball 740 times.
In addition, Denver only gave up 58 yards on the ground to Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce last week, but the Ravens also had to throw exclusively in the second half as the Broncos broke open a game that they trailed at the half 17-14.
The Giants David Wilson had two costly fumbles, one returned for a touchdown, and reserve tailback Da’Rel Scott had a pass glance off his hands and returned for a touchdown to seal the Dallas victory last week. Expect New York to sign a veteran tailback this week, who can be counted on for ball security.
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Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.