Happy Thanksgiving all. The Broncos are having the New York Giants for Dinner guests. This being a short week and a Holiday week as well, the Upon Further Review team decided to take a look at the last two games of our upcoming opponent. Two weeks ago, the Giants were beaten by the Chargers. Since Pablo (Broncofan91) already did that in our last post here, we will move on to their latest game.Last week, the Giants (6-4), beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-31 in OT to snap their 4 game losing streak.
PTS 26.6(6th) YDS 385.5(4th)PASS YDS 251.7(8th) RUSH YDS 133.8(7th)
The Falcons 29th ranked secondary got pummeled by Eli Manning. He was able to beat them 7 times for at least 20 yards last Sunday. He picked on LCB Ben Grimes. He picked on RCB Chris Houston. He beat them in Man coverage, in Zone coverage, and even beat their Zone blitz. New York WR's, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Domenick Hixon combined for 16 catches for an average of nearly 18 yards a play. TE Kevin Boss had a hand in it as well, with 5 catches for 76 yards and 2 TD's.
Steve Smith leads the G-men with 65 receptions, 798 yards and 5 TD's. Mario Manningham makes great adjustments to the timing routes that NY likes to run. Rookie Hakeem Nicks is making a nice contribution and has 28 catches for 472 yards and 4 TD's as the 3rd WR.
TE Kevin Boss has TD catches in his last 3 games.
WR Ramses Barden could return to the field this week if he can contribute on ST's. The 6'-6" Barden's size makes him a very intriguing red zone and slot receiver option that could create favorable match-ups for the Giants.
RB Danny Ware should see an increase in his role. Ware, who was being groomed to be the team's 3rd down back, missed the first 5 games this season after suffering an injured elbow on the Giants opening kickoff in Week 1.
The Giants are only NFC team with 2 RB's to rush for more than 500 yards: Brandon Jacobs (656) and Ahmad Bradshaw (549). The pair weren't able to run very well in the game vs. Atlanta, as the pair gained 73 yards on 24 carries for a 3 yard average. This didn't hurt the Giants at all, since the passing game was very effective. In order to pressure the Giants, you must put the emphasis on stopping their running game. Bradshaw has been pretty awful lately, averaging under 3.0 YPC over the past 3 games. Jacobs remains in search of his first 100-yard rushing game this season, and his first in more than a year. After not being used properly early this season, they are now running plays that better match his style. As such, he's averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 67 yards per game over the last 5 games.
The Giants O-Line has given up a 5th best 16 sacks. The Broncos D has made a 3rd best 29 sacks.
PTS 23.5(24th)YDS 282.2(2nd)PASS YDS 177.4(2nd)RUSH YDS 104.8(11th)
The Giants pass D is still statistically one of the best in the league.
For starters, the Giants Pass defense did its best job of the season in getting pressure on Atlanta QB Matt Ryan. While they didn't get the sacks, they did force Ryan into making several premature throws that didn't go far. CB Corey Webster had 5 passes defensed. LB Michael Boley had 13 Tackles, a sack and 2 TFL's, but got beat by All-Pro TE Tony Gonzalez 3 times in critical situations. One for a TD to tie the game, and two on 3rd down conversions.
The Falcons had some success against the New York Rush defense even though they were without RB's Michael Turner and Jerrious Norwood. 3rd string RB Jason Snelling ran for 76 yards and 2 TD's as the Giants linemen had trouble holding their ground. The Falcons were allowed to convert on 5 of 6 short yardage situations. Jacobs missed the 4th quarter and overtime after he was tackled by Thomas DeCoud and Stephen Nicholas in the 3rd quarter. And Ahmad Bradshaw is bothered by an ankle injury, but both should play against the Broncos.
The Giants D has 22 sacks (14th), and the Broncos have given up 19 sacks (11th).
Match-ups To Watch:
LBs Danny Clark, Clint Sintim, and Michael Boley vs. Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler. In the Giants base package, the strong side duo of Clark and Sintim will have the assignment of hindering the Bronco TE's. However, the Giants will also probably try to get the quicker Boley matched up against Scheffler as often as possible in obvious passing downs as Boley has the speed and the quickness to keep up with him.
Giants OL vs. Broncos DL. The Giants have taken 15 sacks in their last 5 games. While the Falcons were only able to generate one sack, the Giants' O-line will still have a big challenge ahead as the Bronco secondary is much better than the Falcons, and should be able to induce a few coverage sacks for Elvis Dumervil.
DE Justin Tuck (4.5 sacks), has been ailing with a shoulder injury, should be ready to match up with Tyler Polumbus. If Tuck and his bookend, DE Osi Umenyiora, play like they're capable of, it could be a long day for Denver's running game. Even if they find a way to stifle Tuck and Umenyiora, the Broncos still have to contend with DT Chris Canty, as well as the continued presence of DE Mathias Kiwanuka, who lines up at DT on passing downs where he's had success in getting to the QB.
CB Kevin Dockery could be in danger of losing snaps when CB Aaron Ross returns to action. Dockery has struggled the past few weeks in coverage and has already been passed on the depth chart by rookie Bruce Johnson in the nickel package. If Ross does come back, the coaches will probably want to ease him back into the game, so his snaps could come at Dockery's expense.
LB Clint Sintim, who saw his first extended action on defense before the bye week, played well enough to earn even more time as part of a developing rotation with veteran Danny Clark at the strong side linebacker spot.
CB Aaron Ross was limited in practice last week, coming back from a hamstring injury. If Ross does play on Thursday, he may work at both corner and safety.
LB Antonio Pierce is out indefinitely after an MRI revealed a bulging disk in his neck.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes was terrible in the Atlanta game, even though he eventually made the game winning FG in OT. His FG attempts often shanked to the left and his Kickoffs barely made it to the 10 yard line.
Domenick Hixon came close to breaking off some long returns, but seemed to get caught at the last moment.
43-year old punter Jeff Feagles is currently ranked last in the NFC, and 31st league-wide with his 35.8 net average.
Backup LB Gerris Wilkinson,(team-high 12 ST's tackles) will be sidelined 2 months after dislocating his right wrist. Wilkinson was hurt in the 2nd half of the loss to the Chargers.
Lebowskibronco's - Stats That Don't Lie
New York won this battle by intercepting Rivers twice, while fumbling once.
NY's fumble came after the Giants had driven from the NY11 to the SD 21. NY was in FG formation on 4th & 1, Feagles attempted to run up the middle, lost 8 yards and fumbled. SD's possession after the turnover ended in a punt.
SD's first interception came on the first drive of the 3rd quarter on 3rd and 11 at the SD 19. Rivers threw deep for Floyd and was intercepted by Johnson at the NY 36. NY's subsequent drive ended in a punt.
SD's second interception occurred after a NY punt. On the first play from scrimmage -- 1-10-SD21 -- Rivers threw deep for Floyd and was intercepted by Thomas at the SD 37. NY drove for a touchdown that put them ahead 20-14.
Atlanta's turnover was a fumble late in the 2nd quarter. NY followed the turnover by driving for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead.
NY's turnover was an interception on the first drive of the game. The NY defense held Atlanta to 3 downs and out following the turnover.
NY dominated in this category. The Giants had 11 drives. 3 were 3 and out. 3 were 60 yards or more in length. Their longest drive was 10:35 in time, 76 yards in length, and resulted in a touchdown.
SD also had 11 drives. 4 went 3 -- or less -- and out. 1 ended the 1st half, 2 others ended in interceptions. Their longest drive in regards to time was 3:27 and ended in a punt. Their longest drive in terms of yardage was 80 yards and ended in a touchdown.
This was evenly spread category. Atlanta had 10 drives, while NY had 11. Atlanta's longest drive was a 6:39 minute, 70 yard drive that ended in a FG. NY's longest was a 6:10 minute 64 yard drive that ended in a FG. Each team had two drives that were longer in yards, and ended in touchdowns.
3rd Down Efficiency
NY won a third category. They converted 5 out of 14 3rd down opportunities. NY was effective when passing on 3rd down, but ineffective when attempting to run for the 1st down. They were most successful (3 times) when passing to the right on 3rd down.
SD converted only 3 out of 10 3rd down opportunities. NY's defense was very good on 3rd down, recording 7 stops, including a sack, a tackle for loss and an interception.
Another relatively even category.
Starting Field Position
SD won this battle, but only by a single yard. Both teams averaged good starting field position. NY's best start was on the SD 4 yard line -- but they only managed a field goal out of that possession. Their worst start was their own 10 yard line. From that start they went 8 yards in 3 plays and punted. The NY special team's best job was to force SD to start from their own 20 yard line (3 times). Those 3 possessions
ended in an interception, a punt and a touchdown (an 80 yard drive in the last 3:30 of the game for the winning score).
Atl Atl 33.1
NYG NY 30.1
This was, for all intents and purposes an even category.
Based on the Stats That Don't Lie, NY should have won the SD game. So what other factors played a role?
This was a very significant difference. 5 of the penalties were on the offense. 2 disrupted 2 drives forcing punts. 2 were overcome as the Giants drove for a TD. 1 turned a 1st & goal at the SD 4 into a FG. The defense committed 4 penalties, all in the 2nd half, and two of which extended drives that ended in TDs.
NY again struggled with penalties, but this time was able to overcome the problem.
A second significant factor. Although Manning was sacked twice on the same drive, the offense overcame this and scored a TD. Of the other 3 drives, 1 was for no gain on a drive that later ended in a fumble, 1 was on a 3rd down and forced a punt, and the 3rd was on the final play of the game.
This was a non-factor in this game.
Red Zone/Goal to Go Efficiency
SD 3-3 100% 2-2 100%
NYG 2-4 50% 1-2 50%
This is a third telling factor. NY had more Red Zone opportunities, and an equal number of Goal-to-Go opportunities but failed to convert them as well as SD.
Atl 4-6 66% 3-4 75%
NYG 3-5 60% 2-2 100%
Here NY did a better job than Atlanta.
Looking at these two games, it appeared as though NY should have won the San Diego game, and it was no surprise that the Atlanta game went to overtime, based on the stats.
What This Means for Denver
1)We MUST finish off drives.
2)We have to take the ball away from NY then put points on the board.
3)We have to see all three units stay focused for the full 60 minutes.
4)We must maintain Gap discipline.
5)We must Tackle the ball-carrier.
6)We must protect Orton.
7)We must NOT abandon the Running game.
The Broncos can succeed in the passing game, but it must be able to run so they can take advantage of the Giants secondary
Hopefully, we will all be Thankful for the onset of a winning streak on Turkey Day. Enjoy the feast, enjoy the family, and enjoy the football friends.
and GO BRONCOS!