NFL Nation: 2013 Week 2 DEN at NYG Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Broncos 41, Giants 23

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
7:50
PM ET

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.

Rapid Reaction: Broncos 41, Giants 23

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
7:48
PM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Denver Broncos' 41-23 win over the New York Giants:

What it means: It means the Broncos can take their fast-paced act on the road and get it done. Some wondered how it would look when they had to function in their no-huddle attack with a loud crowd. The answer? The Broncos operated as quickly as they wanted.

No, that didn’t mean they ran the ball how they wanted to most of the time, or always played with discipline or even avoided an ill-timed turnover early in the game, but they did still run 40 plays in the first half and 56 over the first three quarters. Quarterback Peyton Manning got the offense in and out of plays as briskly as the Broncos had hoped to, and the team worked comfortably at, or near, its top speed.

Stock watch: The Broncos continue to want the three-wide look to be their base offensive formation, and that means, at least until one of the other backs makes better decisions in pass protection, Knowshon Moreno will be the back of choice. And his two touchdown runs -- for 20 and 25 yards -- when the Broncos went to a zone-run look to push the ball outside the numbers -- certainly won’t change that thinking.

Go big, the sequel: Consider it a theme, but for the second consecutive game the Broncos went a little bigger on offense when things got a little choppy. They opened the second half in a two-tight end set and went on a nine-play, 53-yard touchdown drive. They ran six plays of two tight ends before returning to the three-wide look to close out the drive. It seemed, just as it did against the Ravens, to settle them down on offense. The Broncos scored on their first three possessions of the second half before Trindon Holliday added another touchdown with a punt return.

Harris, the sequel: Another game, another well-timed interception for cornerback Chris Harris. Harris got the start Sunday because Champ Bailey missed his second consecutive game with a left foot injury. And Harris’ third-quarter snare of a deflected pass helped the Broncos push an eight-point lead to 15 early in the fourth quarter.

What’s next: The Broncos get another extended practice week after a win. They had 10 days to prepare for the Giants after opening the season on Sept. 5. Now, they get an extra day to prepare for a Monday night game against the Raiders.

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