This article is dedicated to the memory of the great Frank Tripuka
MOM, DAD….TELL PEYTON TO STOP PICKING ON ME!!!!
Well I’m not sure if the post-mortum of the Denver Broncos 41-23 ear-flicking of the New York Giants went quite like that, but in my own head, that is what it sounded like. Once again older brother, Peyton Manning gave a metaphorical wedgie to younger brother, Eli Manning in their third and likely last regular season head-to-head matchup. Sunday’s Broncos/Giants tilt was a microcosm of what has played out so far for the Brothers Manning at the start of the 2013 NFL season. That said, let’s look at the week two installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Good: Of course Peyton Manning, chief ear-flicker himself was…well…Peyton Manning. His 30-for-43, 307 yards passing and 2 TDs with 0 INTs seemed pedestrian juxtaposed to his week one performance. Though any stat line would pale in comparison to those gaudy numbers. His 105.5 passer rating is the 16th straight game with a passer rating over 90. This in large part coincides with the Broncos’ 13th consecutive regular season victories.
Knowshon Moreno carried the ball 13 times for 93 yards and two TDs in his homecoming game. The Jersey native’s 25-yard TD run in the third quarter gave Denver a 24-16 lead and the game would not be that close again.
Trindon Holliday put the game out of reach with an 81 yard punt return for a TD in the fourth quarter to cap off a day that saw him go for 155 total return yards on 6 attempts.
The Broncos’ defense against the rush was stout in holding the Giants to 23 net rushing yards and 1.2 yards per carry. They sacked brother, Eli, only once but kept the pressure up in the second half and forced 4 INTs by 4 different DBs. OK. so really three. The fourth was more a mystery as to whom the junior Manning was attempting to throw the ball. That said, a lot of credit goes to the secondary, which for the most part had a good game. And that brings me to…
The Bad: The Broncos committed 13 penalties for 132 yards. There were four pass interference/illegal contact/defensive holding calls on the secondary. Four of the 13 penalties alone were perpetrated by the defense on a Giants TD drive in the third quarter; including a taunting call, hands to the face penalty, and two pass interference calls. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged for one PI call on 3rd and goal from the Broncos 2 yard line which led to a Brandon Jacobs 1-yard TD plunge. In defense of DRC, it was a very good play and an equally bad call.
Another slow start was a blemish on what was otherwise a strong performance by our Broncos. No first quarter points were scored by the offense and they only had a 10-9 lead at the intermission (which coincidentally enough was the halftime score of Super Bowl XXI between these two franchises…I needn’t rehash the outcome of that second half). Point being, if the Broncos come out and can start putting 14-20 points on the board by halftime, coupled with their second half productivity, there is not a team in the league that can beat them.
The Ugly: See ‘The Bad’ related to penalties. There is too much parity in the league to allow a team to shoot itself in the foot with 132 yards in penalties and expect to come out on top. By the bye, this was the fourth most penalties/penalty yardage in franchise history. Tighten it up boys or you’ll be history.
Montee Ball fumbled at the 3-yard line on a Denver drive which had advanced to a 1st and goal from the Giants’ six yard line. After a 3-yard gain, Montee put the ball on the ground and it was recovered by Big Blue in the end zone for the touchback.
Ryan Clady suffered what appeared to be a mildly sprained foot and initial reports were that he should be ready for week 3 against Oakland. Such is not the case as the official report is that Clady suffered a Lisfranc sprain and could miss a few weeks.
Next Up: The Broncos are in the national spotlight once again as they play host to the hated Oakland Raiders in a Monday Night Football clash of old AFL rivals. The Raiders are coming off a 19-9 yawner over quite probably the worst team in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Denver swept the season series in 2012 and look to make it four in a row over Oakland, with former Broncos’ defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen at the helm. Kickoff is scheduled for shortly after 8:30 PM EST. The four-letter network will have the call with Mike Tirico and John ‘Chuckie’ Gruden.