There might not be too many Peyton vs Eli games left for us to enjoy, which is part of why the Denver Broncos coming to play the New York Giants in MetLife stadium is so special, but there’s more to this game than the Manning brother rivalry.
In the personal rivalry between the two, it’s 2-0 for Peyton, but that was on a different team, in a different time. The Denver Broncos looked frightening in their obliteration of the Baltimore Ravens on the opening game of the season, with Peyton throwing 7 touchdown passes with no picks. Eli lost to the Dallas Cowboys, and was intercepted three times as his passing numbers (450 yards, 4 touchdowns) hide the fact that he wasn’t having the best of days.
The Giants have quite a few problems going into the game: Their front four isn’t as effective as it used to be, with age and injuries slowing that unit down. The bigger problem might be the running game, as they signed Brandon Jacobs to help them out. David Wilson finds himself in the same situation he was in last season – fumbling the ball too much, and Tom Coughlin losing his patience with him, while Andre Brown is still injured.
The only need the Broncos had to run the ball was in order to waste time, and the Cowboys didn’t have too many problems running against the Giants last week. If the Giants fail to put consistent pressure on Peyton Manning, like they failed to against Tony Romo in week 1, it won’t matter if Denver run for only 65 yards because they’ll be carved through the air.
One thing the Giants can be happy about is Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks looking sharp despite all the offseason noise about their contracts. Manning knows he has who to trust when putting the ball in the air, although he doesn’t throw it in the right direction.
Prediction – While the Giants will look a bit more careful than they were in Dallas, Denver bring the complete package at the moment on both ends of the scrimmage line. Peyton Manning feels comfortable in New York, and the Broncos should do well enough to protect him and make Eli feel off balance to give the Broncos a 2-0 start.