Heading into New York, the Broncos have to prepare for a pair of very dangerous wide receivers and a top-ten quarterback that put up 450 yards last week. While the Giants turned the ball over six times against the Cowboys, it is very unlikely that the team has a repeat performance with turnovers.
Instead, the Broncos must continue to carry over their Mile-High paced offense that worked so well against Baltimore. With the Giants secondary being thin, Peyton Manning has another chance to light up the stat sheet.
Of course, in his way is none other than his brother Eli Manning. The showdown between the Mannings is the main reason a ticket for this game is going as high as $4,400 on StubHub and is the "game of the week" for CBS.
Here are three key matchups to watch on Sept. 15.
In the Ravens game, Harris was a game changer. On third-and-seven, Harris picked off Joe Flacco at the 24 yard line that led to a Broncos' touchdown. That play, said Manning, kickstarted the Broncos' offense the rest of the night.
This week, Harris will have his hands full against one of the game's best slot receivers in Cruz. Cruz came away with five receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys. The two players will often be matched up against each other, with Harris extensively guarding out of the slot last year.
For this matchup, Harris gets to rely on his experience of going against receiver Wes Welker throughout training camp. Reports out of camp were that Harris definitely held his own on a daily basis. The Broncos need him to hold his own against Cruz.
Ryan Clady (Broncos' Left Tackle) vs. Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants' Defensive End)
Pierre-Paul played in Week 1, but wasn't 100 percent after his first game back from offseason back surgery. Paul told ESPN New York that he was out of football shape and expects to get better in time for Manning.
When healthy, Pierre-Paul is no joke. In the last two seasons, he has accounted for 23 sacks and three forced fumbles. Even if he doesn't get the sack, Pierre-Paul's versatility by drawing double teams and creating edge pressure gives the Giants an added bonus. The fourth year defender also has a knack for swatting down the ball -- having 12 pass deflections his last two seasons.
Luckily for the Broncos, Clady is up to the task of being the primary lineman responsible for guarding JPP. Clady, who is recovering from an injury of his own, allowed just one sack last season. While he gave up one in the Ravens game against Terrell Suggs, Clady is a huge factor in giving Manning plenty of time to throw.
The Giants are plenty capable of shutting down high powered offenses by creating pressure, but it's up to Clady to shut down New York's best player.
Peyton Manning (Broncos' Quarterback) vs. Eli Manning (Giants' Quarterback)
Okay, okay. So they're not going against each other directly, but who cares? As already stated, this is the main reason that everyone will tune in for so why not cover it?
So far big brother Peyton leads the Manning Bowl 2-1, but Eli has now surpassed him in Super Bowl rings 2-1. This will be the first time the two have met since 2010 and is also the first matchup with Peyton as a Bronco.
In their two games, Peyton has outplayed his younger brother. The 37-year old quarterback has thrown for 531 yards, four touchdowns and one interception against Eli, while Eli has thrown for 408 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Interestingly enough, this is the first game where neither team is likely to benefit from their running backs. In two previous contests, both the Colts and the Giants had games where rushing the ball was just as much of a factor as passing it.
In 2010, the Colts were successful running the ball by committee, gaining 160 yards on 43 carries. For the Giants, each meeting in the Manning Bowl had successful running days (28 carries for 186 yards in 2006 and 25 carries for 120 yards in 2010).
This time around, each Manning has a plethora of top notch wideouts that makes this showdown a true passing battle.
This game has all the makings of a shootout.
Matthew Paras is a Journalism Major at DePaul University. He writes for multiple outlets, including Maxboxing.com, Operationsports.com, and DePaul's student newspaper, The DePaulia. He can be reached by email at Mparas1432@gmail.com or on twitter @Matthew_Paras. He currently resides in Chicago, but lived in Littleton, Colo. for seven years.
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