Rapid Reaction: Broncos 41, Giants 23
September, 15, 2013
By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' 41-23 loss to the Denver Broncos:
What it means: Well, trouble. The Giants have lost their first two games of the season. Over the past four NFL seasons before this one, 30 teams have started 0-2, and not one of them reached the playoffs. Now, yes, we all remember that the Giants started 0-2 in 2007 and went on to not only reach the playoffs but win the Super Bowl. And, yes, they do play in an NFC East that went 0-4 Sunday and hasn't required more than 10 wins to claim since 2009. And as we have discussed here several times, the Giants' schedule in October and November is cream-cheese soft. So by no means is anything over, but they have dug themselves something of a hole here to start the season. Since 1990, only 22 of 190 teams that started the season 0-2 (12 percent) have reached the playoffs, and those 2007 Giants are one of only three to win the Super Bowl.
Stock watch: Both lines, offensive and defense, DOWN. For much of the game, Eli Manning's pass protection held up alright, but the Giants' run blocking was basically nonexistent. They had 23 rushing yards on 19 carries for a whopping 1.2 yards per carry. By contrast, the Broncos' Knowshon Moreno had 20 and 25 yards on his two touchdown runs. And not only did the Giants' defensive line fail to stop Moreno, it once again failed to get consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback, allowing Peyton Manning to get into a rhythm as the game went along and pick them apart.
Brother story: Peyton Manning, who is now 3-0 in games in which his younger brother was the opposing quarterback, leads the NFL with nine touchdown passes through the first two weeks of the season. Eli Manning leads the NFL with seven interceptions through the first two weeks of the season. Eli threw three in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys and four in this game against his brother's team.
What's next: The Giants' next two games are on the road, starting with next Sunday's 1 p.m. ET game in Charlotte, N.C., against the Carolina Panthers, who are also 0-2.