NEW YORK GIANTS 23 – DENVER BRONCOS 10…
Missing a plethora of injured players, the underdog New York Giants soundly defeated the Denver Broncos 23-10 on Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The victory was the team’s first on the season, as New York is now 1-5 overall.
Denver actually substantially out-gained the Giants in first downs (20 to 12), total net yards (412 to 266), and net passing yards (366 to 118). But the Giants out-rushed the Broncos 148 to 46 and the Giants won the all-important turnover battle 3 to 0. New York’s defense also forced two turnovers on downs. Coming into the game, Denver had been averaging 143 rushing yards per contest. And the Giants were able to move the ball on the ground against what had been the NFL’s #1 defense.
It was announced before the game that Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan would be taking over play-calling duties from Head Coach Ben McAdoo. The Giants also reconfigured their offensive line as follows: left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard John Jerry, center Brett Jones, right guard D.J. Fluker, and right tackle Justin Pugh.
After the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, New York set the tone with a 7-minute, 13-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. Both teams then exchanged three-and-outs. Denver had a chance to tie the game on their third possession, but missed a 35-yard field after a 6-play, 41-yard drive. Sparked by a 15-yard catch by wide receiver Roger Lewis on 3rd-and-10 and 47-yard run by running back Orleans Darkwa, the Giants went up 10-0 early in the second quarter on a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning to tight end Evan Engram on 3rd-and-2.
The Broncos responded with a drive into New York territory, but safety Landon Collins picked off quarterback Trevor Siemian’s pass at the 14 yard line and returned it 21 yards. After a three-and-out by the Giants, Denver managed their first scoring drive with a 9-play, 70-yard possession that resulted in a 28-yard field goal. Giants 10 – Broncos 3.
The Giants went three-and-out again and Denver got the ball back with 2:32 left before halftime. But on 3rd-and-10 from the Denver 38-yard line, Siemian’s pass was intercepted by cornerback Janoris Jenkins and returned 43 yards for a touchdown to give the Giants a 17-3 halftime advantage.
After both teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter, the Giants expanded their lead to 20-3 with Rosas’ 51-yard field goal after the offense gained 30 yards on six plays. Denver’s attempt to cut into this lead on their ensuing possession failed when their 53-yard field goal was blocked by defensive end Kerry Wynn. The Broncos immediately reciprocated as Rosas’ 49-yard field goal was partially blocked.
Still trailing 20-3, a desperate Broncos team went for it on 4th-and-5 at the start of the 4th quarter. The Broncos completed the pass for six yards and the first down, but Jenkins forced a fumble on the play that was recovered by fellow cornerback Eli Apple at the Giants’ 39-yard line. The Giants then went three-and-out for the fourth time in the game. Denver seriously threatened with an 11-play, 84-yard drive. But on 4th-and-goal from the NYG 1-yard line, defensive end Avery Moss stopped the running back for no gain with 8:23 to go in the game.
After a 15-yard run by Darkwa, the Giants were forced to punt again with just over six minutes to play. Unfortunately, the defense too quickly allowed Denver to score their lone touchdown of the night, moving 58 yards in seven plays and two minutes. The Giants recovered the onside kick at the Denver 41-yard line with four minutes to go. On 3rd-and-9, Darkwa gained 19 yards – enough to set up Rosas for a 40-yard field goal with half a minute to go for the final points of the game.
Offensively, Manning only completed 11-of-19 passes for 128 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. His leading receiver was Engram, who caught 5 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Darkwa rushed 21 times for 117 yards.
Defensively, Jenkins scored on his interception and also forced a fumble that was recovered by Apple (who also was credited with three pass defenses). Collins also had a pick. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul led the team with 8 tackles, three tackles for losses, and three sacks. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison also had a sack. The Giants were credited overall with 11 pass defenses.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.
INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were running back Paul Perkins (ribs), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle), center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), defensive end Romeo Okwara (knee), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), and quarterback Davis Webb.
Linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) left the game and did not return.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:
- Are we witnessing long, sad end of Eli Manning’s Giants career? by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post
- Giants’ Brandon Marshall: ‘I don’t want to go out like that’ by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com
- Giants CB Eli Apple was benched to start Chargers game as punishment, was not performance related: report by Pat Leonard of The Daily News
- Dynamic college secondary primed for reboot in pros by Michael Eisen of Giants.com
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo will address the media by conference call Monday afternoon.