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Broncos-Giants: What we learned

The SportsXchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos are 2-0 this season and big brother is now undefeated in three head-to-head games against Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Peyton Manning passed for 307 yards with two touchdowns and running back Knowshon Moreno added a pair of rushing scores for the Broncos, who intercepted Eli Manning four times.

"We knew it was going to be tough," said Broncos head coach John Fox. "They battled us hard and we made some adjustments at halftime and we were able to get some takeaways early and kind of shift the game a bit."

Denver took the lead early in the second quarter on a 20-yard touchdown run by Moreno. On the ensuing possession, Eli Manning connected with tight end Brandon Myers, who had a wide open field in front of him. Myers lost his footing and fell to the ground, ending up with a 27-yard reception on a drive that ended up stalling at the Broncos' 6.

After the Broncos took the 10-9 lead at the half on Matt Prater's 42-yard field goal Eli Manning drove the team downfield but a pass intended for wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was picked off by cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the end zone.

The Giants and Broncos exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter -- Denver had a 2-yard strike to receiver Wes Welker while New York managed a 1-yard run by running back Brandon Jacobs to make it 17-16.

Denver pulled away with 21 unanswered points, beginning with a 25-yard touchdown run by Moreno, the Belford, N.J. native, whose score was his second of the game to give him his first multiple rushing touchdown performance since 2010.

"That was a big game for him playing in his hometown somewhat," said Peyton Manning. "I thought he ran hard and it really opened up some things in the second half in the passing game."

The Broncos' win gave Peyton's teams a 3-0 advantage over Eli's teams in the Manning Bowl, but more importantly, it improved Denver's record to 2-0 while the Giants dropped to 0-2 for the first time since the 2007 season.

"We've been 0-2 before, we have dug ourselves into a hole before and fought our way out of it and when we did it, it was as a team," said Coughlin. "The performance level has to come up."

What the Broncos said

"It's a strange feeling," said quarterback Peyton Manning of beating a team quarterbacked by his brother. "It's not like beating the other team and it's not quite as enjoyable as it would be if you were beating somebody else."

What the Giants said

"I feel at times we got to the quarterback (Peyton Manning) but we just didn't get a handle on him," said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. "I don't feel like we put that kind of pressure on him tonight. All we can do is go back and get better and watch the film."

What we learned about the Broncos

1. He didn't come close to matching his NFL-tying seven touchdowns in a single game -- this week he only managed to throw two touchdown passes and no interceptions -- but Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning posted 307 yards, completing 69.7 percent of his pass attempts (30 of 43) for a 105.5 quarterback rating. He might not have the same heat on his fastball, but Manning is entirely capable of picking apart a secondary with a seemingly endless array of weapons.

2. The Broncos' passing game might not be considered one of the most potent in the NFL, but that its quarterback can easily spread the ball around to multiple receivers makes it that much more difficult for a defense to defend against. Manning connected with eight different receivers, including his tight ends, receivers, and running backs out of the backfield, all of whom were able to exploit the holes shown by the Giants defense.

What we learned about the Giants

1. The Giants have yet to find an answer for their red-zone and third-down issues. In two regular-season games, New York has converted seven of its 22 third-down attempts (31.8 percent) and is four of eight (50 percent) in the red zone. The Giants took a step backward in both areas, converting just one of their 11 third-down attempts and just one of three red-zone possessions to touchdowns.

2. The Giants' offensive line, which has had a different personnel set every week since the preseason, has begun to look like a serious problem. No matter what combination they put out there, the Giants continue to lose the battle in the trenches. The Giants got center David Baas back this week, which allowed Kevin Boothe to move back to left guard. However the Giants offensive line just couldn't get into a rhythm and at times looked like they were having miscommunication which resulted in them losing their one on one battles.
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