There was plenty of brotherly love prior to Sunday afternoon's clash between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, but older brother Peyton got the last laugh in this year’s Manning Bowl. Behind Peyton’s 307 passing yards and two touchdowns, the Broncos stampeded the Giants in the second half outscoring them 31-14 en route to a 41-23 victory.
“Two weeks in a row, we come out in the second half and really changed the tempo of the game,” said Peyton Manning. “We came out of the locker room and put up consecutive touchdowns.”
Big Blue traded blows with the heavily favored Broncos in the first half and had a prime opportunity to take a two point lead into halftime. Instead, Eli Manning haphazardly flung a pass intended for Hakeem Nicks, but the ball high over the receiver’s head with Broncos’ cornerback Dominick Rogers-Cromartie settling under it for the interception. New York squandered a golden chance to seize momentum and put some serious pressure on Denver’s high octane offense and Eli knows it.
“Just a bad decision by me,” said Eli Manning. “I was really just trying to kind of … in a little … on a blitz and trying to throw the ball away, where we wouldn’t get an intentional grounding, but we would get it close. It was unfortunate that I threw it in a spot where their guy could make a play.”
Younger Manning brother Eli struggled mightily to find his groove and tossed four costly interceptions; forcing the issue down the field in double and triple coverage. New York’s running game was held in check producing just 23 yards on 19 for putrid 1.2 yards per carry average. Eli Manning wasn’t pleased with his penchant for the big mistake and the output of his team’s ground game.
“We have to run the ball better and we have to eliminate the turnovers,” noted Eli Manning. “I think we’ll keep fighting and get back on track. I know everybody in our division lost today, so the way we can look at it, we’re one game back in the division. We’ve got to get back to winning some games.”
The Giants were just 1-for-11 on third down and 1-for-3 inside the red zone. Coughlin’s biggest gripe came from Big Blue’s knack for major miscues on the heels of a six turnover performance against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Well, I think Eli would be the first to say that he’s not the way we want him to be,” admitted Coughlin. “Somehow, someway, we’ve got to stop the interceptions. You’re looking at a two-edge sword. You’ve put yourself in a position where you are throwing it and not running it. Now, if you’re going to try to tighten it up a little bit, we’re going to have to have some run game to go with it.”
With their ground game non-existent for the majority of the contest, the Giants became one-dimensional and eventually unraveled in the third and fourth quarters. After Peyton Manning’s Broncos came up on the winning side of the Week 2 battle, the future Hall of Famer admitted he felt a degree of empathy for his brother Eli after the loss.
“It’s a strange feeling,” noted Peyton Manning. “It’s not like beating another team. It’s not quite as enjoyable as it would be, if you were beating somebody else.”