We move to the afternoon schedule now with the New York Giants playing host to the vaunted Denver Broncos. Both teams were in primetime slots last week, so I’m sure most of you got a good look at their week 1 performances. If you did, I don’t really need to say more, but it was easy to see which team looks to be a position to do damage in 2013. The Broncos dismantled the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens rather easily, 49-27. This Broncos’ offense is one that could really be a serious threat so some of the Patriot records in 2007 with Tom Brady and Randy Moss leading the way. I don’t foresee that happening, but I do think this is going to be the undisputed number 1 offense statistically at the end of the season. The Broncos had troubles defensively last Thursday, but I don’t think it’ll need to do much with this offense.
The Giants were on the other end of the spectrum on SNF, getting taken down by the Dallas Cowboys in a game that they could have possibly won if it wasn’t for the amount of turnovers and free points they handed over to the Cowboys. It is always an intriguing game when the Manning brothers meet; let’s get right down to dissecting it.
Broncos vs. Giants Betting Odds:
Denver Broncos -4.5(-105)
@ New York Giants +4.5(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Broncos vs. Giants Pick:
The New York Giants ended up losing Sunday night to the Cowboys, 36-31, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort, at least offensively. If you take into account the turnovers, five to be exact, you can make a case that the offense is to blame. But after Eli Manning passes for 450 yards with 4 touchdowns and still come up with a loss, it is a tough pill to swallow. If Eli could have thrown just 2 interceptions instead of 3, then the Giants may have come up victorious last Sunday. Much was made about their offense, or lack thereof, in the preseason. The starting unit even got extended playing time in their final preseason game to work out some kinks. None of that rust was noticeable on Sunday, making the Cowboys’ defense work. In fact, three receivers eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the Giants. Victor Cruz hit pay-dirt on three separate occasions, totalling 118 yards on 5 receptions. Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle also found room in the Cowboys’ secondary to get open. The G-Men offense isn’t just going to be an issue for the Cowboys, the entire NFL should have trouble containing them. This is an offense that likes to keep it vertical and should stretch the average Broncos’ defense out from the get-go. The absence of Champ Bailey at corner will show this week with numerous weapons at Eli’s disposal. With the inconsistency at running back, the Giants may forgo running the ball and keep it in the air.
I think the Giants are going to need to keep it in the air just to be able to keep up with the Broncos. After tying an NFL record with 7 touchdown passes, I don’t think Manning is done yet. I can see his performance from last week carrying right over to this week. He worked the ball to 7 different receivers, including standout performances from Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and unheard of tight end, Julius Thomas. It wasn’t quite like watching the Oregon Ducks offense on Saturday, but the Broncos have the personnel to play dink-and-dunk football, play vertically, or hit it with the running back.
While there is still this perception among some people that the Giants are a defensive team, that can’t be anything further from the truth. Even when they defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago, they got there as a result of their offense. Nevertheless, their defense was much better back then, which was a unit that could put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, this year not so much. The loss of Osi Umenyiora to the Falcons should prove to be a big one, Jason Pierre-Paul, who is coming off back surgery, will need to take on more of a role as a leader. The one mismatch in this game has to be Peyton Manning vs. the Giants’ linebackers. Nobody works the play action pass better than Manning, getting linebackers to creep up and sling it across the middle is his specialty. The Giants will once again be without safety Stevie Brown, who would have given their defense an immense boost this year after a promising 2012 campaign.
I looked at this game and made a good case for both sides. It would be easy to write a convincing argument for the Broncos and Giants here, so when that is the case I tend to take a look at the total. Instead of stressing out about who is going to win, I think I am just going to enjoy watching the points pile up for both teams. With the state of the Giants on defense, I see no reason why Peyton doesn’t go wild for a second consecutive week. Conversely, with Champ Bailey and Von Miller still sidelined, Eli should be able to match Peyton at home. This game is all about Manning vs. Manning part III, and I think it will live up to that billing with the defenses taking a backseat. The over is high, but I still feel comfortable taking it.
PICK: OVER 55 (-110)