New York Giants at Denver Broncos: Instant Reactions and Observations

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15: Running back Orleans Darkwa (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15: Running back Orleans Darkwa (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants picked up their first win of the season on Sunday night, defeating the Denver Broncos 23-10. The team many expected to see all year showed up in Week 6 and gave Giants fans hope moving forward.

I don’t know who they were or what they did with the 2017 New York Giants but the team that was out there on Sunday night picked up their first win of the season. Big Blue defeated the Denver Broncos 23-10 in what was a pretty convincing victory.

There were reasons to believe this was not a one-time occurrence of improved play. The New York Giants now look like a team that could win a few games this season. Here are my takeaways from Big Blue’s performance on Sunday Night Football:

  • This team has some fight in them. I don’t know where this New York Giants team came from. This was not the team that we saw playing the first five weeks. There was something about Big Blue tonight. The defense was playing with passion and looked like the unit we expected to see this year. The offense moved the ball without their top weapons. Overall, the Giants gave their fans hope. Was this positive showing too late after an 0-5 start? Who knows? Anything can happen in the NFL.
  • A change in offensive play calling paid immediate dividends. Many New York Giants fans got their wish in Week 6 as Ben McAdoo finally gave way to Mike Sullivan and allowed the offensive coordinator to call the plays. Sullivan’s offense moved the ball fairly effectively. They were able to run the ball against the NFL’s best run defense and did not turn the ball over. Missing Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard, the Giants used tight end Evan Engram as the feature of their offense. Engram answered the call with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
  • The New York Giants found a running game. I think it’s safe to say that Paul Perkins is not getting his job back. I’ve been saying all season that Orleans Darkwa should get more carries. He got his opportunity on Sunday night and did not disappoint. Darkwa turned a career-high 21 carries into 117 yards with a long of 47. Wayne Gallman was not as impressive as he was in Week 5, but his nine carries for 27 yards were okay. He’s shown more potential this year than Perkins did prior to his rib injury.
  • Big Blue may have found their offensive line configuration. The New York Giants switched up their offensive line a bit this week. Despite Bobby Hart being active, Justin Pugh started at right tackle. John Jerry switched from right guard to left guard and D.J. Fluker played right guard. With Weston Richburg out again with a concussion, Brett Jones started at center and Ereck Flowers was the only mainstay as he started at left tackle. The Giants did allow three sacks but Eli Manning had time to throw for most of the night. The team also ran for a season-high 148 yards against a Denver Broncos defense that had allowed an NFL-best 50.8 rushing yards per game this season. Once Richburg is healthy, he’ll take over at center, but the rest of this offensive line configuration could be here to stay.
  • If you continue to throw at Janoris Jenkins, eventually, he’ll get you.


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    Denver Broncos took a strategy on Sunday night that we’ve rarely seen this year. Denver continued to target the Giants top cornerback Janoris Jenkins, trying to get the ball to Demaryius Thomas. The strategy was working early on and Thomas finished the day with ten catches for 133 yards. However, it would be Jenkins who would get the last laugh. The Broncos went to the well one too many times in the first half. Jenkins intercepted Trevor Siemian and returned it 43 yards to the house with 0:48 seconds left in the half. Denver didn’t learn their lesson as Jenkins stripped Thomas on the first play of the fourth quarter and Eli Apple recovered the fumble. Jackrabbit gave up more catches and yards than Giants fans are used to but in the end, he didn’t allow a score, forced two turnovers, and even got into the end zone himself.

  • Welcome to the NFL, Eli Apple. Although Eli Apple’s Week 5 benching was for disciplinary reasons and not poor play, Apple had underperformed so far this season. The benching must have woken Apple up because he came to play on Sunday night. Eli Apple was much better in coverage and finished the day with five tackles and a team-high three pass breakups. This is the type of player the New York Giants thought they were drafting tenth overall in 2016. Hopefully, this version of Eli Apple is here to stay. Janoris Jenkins, Week 6-Eli Apple, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could be a tough secondary to pass against. Ross Cockrell held his own in the slot with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suspended, but the Giants will welcome DRC’s return next week.
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    The New York Giants have their first win of the season and looked like the team fans expected to see heading into 2017. Let’s hope the team’s Week 6 performance is a sign of things to come and the New York Giants can continue to win games.