The latest edition of the Manning Bowl was a case of a team that undeniably has talent – the New York Giants – taking on a true Super Bowl contender in the Denver Broncos. For the second consecutive week, Big Blue weren't awful, but they were also not nearly good enough on both sides of the ball. It's not quite panic time just yet for New York fans considering that the rest of the NFC East doesn't seem to be all that spectacular.
There are real problems that the Giants have to address and fast, however, or things will quickly get out of hand.
Broncos beat Giants 41-23: The game changed...
when the Broncos bossed the first half of the third quarter. There wasn't much for Giants fans to be upset about at halftime minus the fact that New York thrice settled for field goals, one such instance coming after the G-Men had traveled inside the Denver 10-yard line. Then came the start of the third quarter, which saw the Giants, trailing just 10-9 at the break, go backwards on what was ultimately a three-and-out drive.
Three Denver run plays that earned the Broncos a first down was followed by Peyton Manning going to work. The older Manning brother went a perfect five for five in driving the Broncos down the field, and he connected with Wes Welker on a surgical two-yard strike to expand Denver's lead to 17-9. It was the first time that the New York defense appeared incapable of stopping Peyton and company.
Little did anybody know that would be the case until the Broncos put the Giants away for good. Denver needed just 2:43 of game clock to find the end zone on the team's next drive, one finalized by a Knowshon Moreno 25-yard touchdown sprint down the right sideline. Another drive capped off with a Peyton TD pass and a Trindon Holliday punt return taken 81 yards to the house eliminated any doubt about the outcome of the game.
Broncos beat Giants 41-23: As advertized
Those who followed New York through preseason and who also read team previews were made aware that the Giants had serious depth concerns in their offensive line, at running back and in the secondary. Each of those issues have, in their first two games, haunted New York, and none of them have quick fixes.
The Giants averaging 1.2 yards per carry on 19 rushing attempts and Eli Manning taking seven hits all point to an o-line that doesn't measure up. Then there's the pass rush of the Giants, a unit that isn't doing enough to cover for a depleted secondary. New York, the team with Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul among others, finished the game with zero sacks. The Giants pressured Peyton only three times.
Beating a first-ballot Hall of Fame QB is hard enough. It's impossible when he has all day in the pocket.
Broncos beat Giants 41-23: Still OK
The NFC East had a bad day. The Dallas Cowboys were downed at the Kansas City Chiefs 17-16. Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers stunned the Eagles in Philly. Worst of all was the Washington Redskins, who were routed by the Green Bay Packers for a second straight disheartening loss.
Being 0-2 often means bad times for a team's playoff aspirations. The Giants are one game out of first place, and the official start of the fall season hasn't yet arrived. There is a ton of football left to be played.
Broncos beat Giants 41-23: Overall
Beating this Broncos squad will prove to be difficult for any team who faces it. Doing so when you turn the ball over four times and also fail to knock Peyton Manning off of his feet is, to put it bluntly, not happening. The Giants being their own worst enemy is the most alarming trend looking ahead. They are averaging five turnovers a game heading into next week's contest at the Carolina Panthers.
That number must significantly decrease for New York to avoid being 0-3 when next Sunday night comes.