Peyton Manning: Week 2, at NY Giants.
Here’s the terrifying thing about the Broncos offense through the first two games of the season: they haven’t played a really crisp game yet. In the opener against Baltimore, Manning threw (by my count) six inaccurate passes that led to incompletions and Broncos receivers dropped four more passes. Yesterday against the Giants, six more Forehead passes were dropped, mainly in a sloppy first half that had Denver clinging to a 10-9 lead at halftime.
And yet, through two games, the Broncos have scored 90 points and 11 offensive touchdowns. Yesterday afternoon, they scored four touchdowns against the Giants without having a monster game from any of their receivers – Eric Decker led the team with 87 yards but needed 13 targets to get there. The two Thomases (Demaryius and Julius) had solid but unspectacular games. Welker had nearly as many drops as catches. Here’s my point: if the Broncos can average 5.5 touchdowns a game when their offense is playing at a (relative) B+ level, what’s going to happen when they eventually put everything together? Lord have mercy on Oakland and Philadelphia’s defenses the next two weeks.
New York Giants
Eli Manning: Week 2, vs. Denver.
|Dropback||0||0||0||7, 100 yards||4||5|
|Total||0||0||0||7, 100 yards||5||5|
Of Eli’s four interceptions, only one was truly worrisome – the first, where he forced the ball into triple coverage in the end zone at the end of the first half when the Giants were already in field goal range. That was a terrible decision. The three picks in the fourth quarter were either the result of truly horrible luck (the Chris Harris interception that bounced off Tony Carter’s arm and leg first), being forced to try a desperation throw because of the lopsided score (Rahim Moore’s pick on the 4th-and-10 Hail Mary that does not wipe away any memories of Jacoby Jones in January) or a miscommunication with his receiver (Carter’s interception at the end of the game). The last circumstance is an endemic flaw of any system so predicated on option routes and is just going to happen every once in a while as long Kevin Gilbride wants to Run-‘n-Shoot.
Here’s a big positive for Eli after a disappointing 0-2 start: going into the Monday Night game, he ranked 4th in the league in Net Yards per Attempt behind only Vick, Rodgers and his brother. And that’s not including the even 100 yards Giants receivers drew from various penalties Sunday, either. The Giants moved the ball at will against the Cowboys and they had quite a bit of success moving the ball against the Broncos. They’re not going to turn the ball over five times a game for the rest of the season and nobody in the NFC East (outside of maybe the Eagles) seems remotely capable of running away with the division. Everybody settle down, there’s 14 games to go.