Can Big Blue Crush the Orange?
Added by Paul Conroy on September 15, 2013.
The combination of playing host to Peyton Manning, a banged up secondary, and a linebacking corps already considered to be very average minus Dan Connor leads me to believe that the Giants’ ticket to victory is to keep Manning and company on the sideline as much as possible. Factor in a running game in a state of flux; it’s going to be an uphill battle this Sunday for Big Blue.
Peyton and Eli Manning
Photo Credit: newsday.com
While Eli was only sacked three times, the Giants’ offensive line lost the battle in the trenches last week against the Cowboys – always a concern. Despite the absence of linebacker Von Miller, the Broncos were able to put pressure on Joe Flacco in Week One, sacking him four times and forcing two interceptions. Shaun Phillips did a nice job filling the void in Miller’s absence, posting 2.5 sacks and forcing a fumble.
David Wilson’s two fumbles accounted for at least ten points last week in Dallas, coughing it up once in the Red Zone and putting the ball on the turf again in Giants’ territory that was returned for a score. Andre Brown’s leg injury will have him sidelined for at least four to six weeks, and maybe placed on short-term Injured Reserve at some point in the near future. As a result, Big Blue brought in Brandon Jacobs, Joe McKnight, and Willis McGahee for workouts, and signed Jacobs this week.
While Jacobs’ familiarity with the offense and personnel is a huge plus, Willis McGahee has more left in the tank. Safe to say that the addition of Jacobs was done as much to put Wilson on notice as it was to add depth to the running attack.
Neither Tom Coughlin nor Kevin Gilbride have disclosed what Jacobs’ role will be on Sunday, or named a starting running back. Regardless, Wilson will see significant playing time, and needs to produce in order to get at least one foot out of Coughlin’s doghouse. The fact that the Giants’ lack of depth requires Wilson to get the carries, and that Coughlin commended Wilson on Thursday for displaying good ball-handling technique in practice this week, are good signs for the embattled Wilson.
ACE UP THE SLEEVE
Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Rueben Randle all posted over 100 yards last week, and will give the Broncos’ secondary all that they can handle. Keep an eye on tight end Brandon Myers. Myers is a legitimate weapon that flew under the radar in Oakland. Posting seven receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown against Dallas, Myers has a good opportunity to exploit the middle of the field with Cruz, Nicks, and Randle occupying defensive backs. The Giants’ ability to get Myers involved in the passing game can go a long way in discouraging Denver linebackers to commit to the line of scrimmage to blitz or play the run.