Denver Broncos hit on all keys to victory in win over Giants

Denver Broncos defense. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos defense. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Von Miller
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos picked up a comfortable 27-13 win over the New York Giants in week one of the NFL season. How close was the team to hitting the three keys to victory? 

It was a sputtering start for the Denver Broncos in their week one matchup with the New York Giants. The first-half in the main, looked all too familiar, with offensive drives bogged down after a promising start.

But that promise would finally become a success on a Tim Patrick touchdown with just a few ticks left on the clock before the end of the half. From then on Denver dominated the game, controlling the clock racking up 35 minutes in possession of the ball on the way to a big win.

Despite an early splash play by Daniel Jones – using a free play to throw deep to Darius Slayton – the defense looked as advertised. The very next play was a huge stop by Von Miller on an end-around attempt that knocked the Giants out of field goal range.

Before the game, we previewed three ways in which the Denver Broncos’ week one game could be decided. While they were key points for this game, they were also areas that could be major factors for the entire season for Vic Fangio’s team.

So just how close did they get to succeeding on those three keys to the game?

Denver Broncos Keys to Victory vs. Giants

1. Stopping Saquon Barkley


Before kick-off, much was made of the return of Saquon Barkley, and rightly so. The fourth-year running back missed 14 games on the 2020 season after suffered a torn ACL in week two. Before the game, Giants head coach Joe Judge said that Barkley would not be on a snap count but they would manage how he felt.

It was important for the Broncos to eliminate the threat of Barkley early on and force the Giants into being one-dimensional for a number of reasons. Daniel Jones’ turnover struggles throughout his NFL career, coupled with the return of Von Miller stood out as the primary reasons.

That is exactly what the Denver defense did. Barkley carried the ball 10 times for just 26 yards as he found running room hard to come by. Fangio’s defense did it in a number of ways; most impressively when Kareem Jackson came from 12 yards deep and sliced into the backfield to make initial contact with the 2018 number two overall pick to stop him from gaining any momentum.

They stymied not only Barkley but any attempts to run the football by the Giants. After their big play to Slayton, Kadarius Toney was given an end-around attempt but was swallowed up by Von Miller, and former Broncos running back Devontae Booker found it tough sledding with four carries for 7 yards.

Daniel Jones was the Giants leading rusher with 27 yards and a touchdown as the game clock expired in the fourth quarter. But his would-be biggest run of the night ended in a turnover as Josey Jewell knocked the ball loose and Malik Reed dove on the artificial turf to recover it.