By Curt Macysyn
The Denver Broncos versus the New York Football Giants was renamed the “Manning Bowl” but no one told Knowshon Moreno. Moreno rushed for a game-high 93 yards on 13 carries as the Broncos cruised by the Giants 41-23 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Moreno scored on a 20-yard scamper to put Denver on the board early in the second quarter and give them a 7-3 lead. Two Josh Brown field goals gave the G-men a 9-7 lead, before Matt Prater’s 42-yard field gave Denver a 10-9 halftime lead.
Peyton Manning threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns as Denver improved to 2-0 on the season, while New York dropped to 0-2.
On the other side of the field, Eli Manning threw for 367 yards, but just a single touchdown, but Peyton’s younger brother also had four interceptions on the afternoon, which tied a career high.
Wes Welker caught a two-yard touchdown from Peyton Manning as Orange Crush put up 28 second half points to win. Meanwhile, Brandon Jacobs powered in from one yard out in his return to New York after a year’s hiatus to get the Giants to within one point at 17-16. But Moreno’s second touchdown, this one from 25 yards out, started an avalanche of Denver points. Peyton Manning hit Julius Thomas, who stretched over the goal line from 11 yards out. Trindon Holliday returned a Steve Weatherford kick 81 yards for a touchdown and an insurmountable 38-16 lead.
An Eli Manning to Da’Rel Scott catch and carry for 23 yards closed the deficit to 38-23, but after a failed onside kick by the Giants that lead to another Matt Prater field goal from 47 yards, the final score was cemented at 41-23.
Offense Grade: D
On the positive side, Eli threw for more yards than Peyton, but the younger Manning also had four interceptions on the afternoon. Eli Manning has had an unsightly seven interceptions in just two games. The Giants running attack gained a paltry 23 yards on the ground, and the offensive line did a poor job of pass protection all day. Victor Cruz continues to be a bright spot for New York with eight catches for 118 yards, which prevented the New York offense from getting a failing grade.
The Giants tight ends, Brandon Myers, Larry Donnell and Bear Pascoe, combined for 12 catches and 117 yards, so Manning is targeting the tight ends more frequently. But David Wilson and Da’Rel Scott being ineffective in the running game remains a major cause for concern for the team.
The offense could not take advantage of 132 yards in penalties by Denver.
Defense Grade: D
The defense hung around for a while in the first half, but poor tackling and poor coverage doomed New York in the second half. In addition, the strength of the New York defense, its defensive line, did not record a sack. In total, the defense gave up 416 yards to the Broncos, and the team was plagued by poor coverage and poor tackling.
Poor ball security by rookie running back Montee Ball, allowed New York to dodge a bullet on Denver’s first series when ball fumbled as he was heading into the end zone.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell needs to come up with a more effective scheme quickly, or can wholesale changes be expected? The defense is giving up 38.5 points per game for the first two contests.
Special Teams Grade: C
Special teams gave up a return touchdown to Trindon Holliday (81 yards), and Steve Weatherford was not as sharp as he usually is. Weatherford had a couple of line drive punts that were returnable. David Wilson was placed as the kick returner again and performed fairly well.
Rueben Randle returned two punts for 13 yards, a pedestrian 6.5 yards per return.
On the positive side, Josh Brown was perfect on three field goals and two extra points. Brown also has been solid on kickoffs for both games this year, and landed a few touchbacks that didn’t allow the Broncos to get a return game going.
Peyton Manning is now 3-0 in Manning Bowls. The two other victories came when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. Former Giants head coach Bill Parcells was honored at halftime, when he received his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring.
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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 Examiner.com.