By Brad Carroll
Well, that was totally unexpected. The New York Giants, with just about the entire roster injured, went into Denver and not only defeated, but dominated the Broncos, 23-10. The score doesn’t even do justice to how easily the Giants won the game.
The Giants forced three turnovers on defense, returning one interception for a touchdown, and ran the ball at will to beat down the Broncos in every facet of the game. The Giants ran the ball 32 times for 148 yards, exactly the game plan they needed to establish in order to win their first game of the season.
A lot of credit should go to coach Ben McAdoo as well for giving up his play calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. McAdoo kept that decision quiet before the game, but it was the best decision for the franchise. Sullivan actually shined as a play-caller, ditching the passing game for a ground attack led by Orleans Darkwa. A new voice led to a new philosophy, a must considering the team’s lack of depth at receiver, and the results were outstanding.
The Giants finally got in the win column and even though it’s still going to be an amazing longshot to make the postseason, a win will do wonders for everyone’s morale. The Giants are on a winning streak, now they just have to continue it.
Here’s a look at what were the Giants’ key to beating the Broncos, and not surprisingly, the very-successful results.
Did Giants Run, Run, And Run Some More?
Finally, the Giants established the ground game, more a matter of being forced to than anything else with so many injuries ravaging the receiving core, but they succeeded more than they could have imagined. The Giants ran the ball for 148 yards on 32 carries. The Giants had rushed for a total of 389 yards in the five games prior. Orleans Darkwa has emerged as a lead back for the Giants, gaining 117 yards on 21 carries. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry and had one rush that went for 44 yards. He should be the guy going forward. Wayne Gallman had nine carries for 27 yards. Eli Manning passed for just 128 yards and yet the Giants got their first win, thanks to the running game.
Did Giants Force Turnovers?
The Giants forced three of them, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Landon Collins got the first interception, then later, Janoris Jenkins returned a pick 43 yards for a touchdown with 48 seconds to go in the first half, a huge turning point that put the Giants up 17-3 and in control of the game. In the fourth quarter, with the Broncos still having a chance to make the game interesting, Demaryius Thomas was stripped of the ball after getting a first down on a fourth down pass and Eli Apple recovered to end any Denver chance at a comeback. Three turnovers, including two that were game-changing plays, certainly propelled the Giants to the road victory.
Did Giants Get Vintage Performance On Defense?
It didn’t get any more vintage than Sunday night's performance on defense for the Giants. In addition to the three turnovers, the Giants had four sacks, hit the quarterback five times, had 11 pass deflections and had five tackles for a loss of yardage. Jason Pierre-Paul had three sacks and Damon Harrison had the fourth. The defense allowed just 46 rushing yards, and while quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 376 yards, it was 376 yards that didn’t mean a heck of a lot. Vintage performance indeed.