Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season is upon us as the Denver Broncos face the New York Giants in the Big Apple tomorrow afternoon. Game time is set for 2:25 pm MDT with CBS airing the contest nationally. Here is the Broadcast Map to check and see if it is on in your area.
The weather will be better in New York than it is locally, with sunny skies forecast and a high of 75 degrees. Gene Steratore and his crew will be officiating the game and the odds still have Denver favored by 4.5 points, with the over/under at 55 points. Vegas says it will be a shootout. Let’s see why.
Quarterback Eli Manning has the genetic ability to dissect a Defense at the line of scrimmage just like his brother Peyton. He has a pair of Super bowl rings to prove it. This could be the week we see a pair of Quarterbacks pass for 450 yards each. Eli has Tight End Brandon Myers and Wide Receivers Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle as his targets and he spreads the ball around to all of them. Due to the fact that the Giants have problems with their Running game, I believe this game will be an aerial assault with high entertainment value. Starter Andre Brown is on Injured Reserve with a broken leg, David Wilson has a fumbling problem (whether he admits it or not) and Da’Rel Scott has a bum knee. It is so bad that the G-men brought back former cast off Brandon Jacobs, who at 6’-4”, 264 lbs., will probably get all the short yardage and goal line carries. 7th round pick Michael Cox (UMass) may make an appearance as well. Fullback Henry Hynoski is the lead blocker and a capable pass catcher out of the backfield.
New York’s Offensive Line will be without veteran Tackle David Diehl, who is sidelined with a thumb injury. Rookie Justin Pugh will start at Right Tackle. Center David Bass has been bothered by a sore knee, but will play. Ten year veteran Chris Snee anchors the Right Guard, while Will Beatty (T) and Kevin Boothe (G) hold down the left side of the line.
Giant’s General Manager Jerry Reese has continued their tradition of drafting Defensive Linemen. Defensive Tackle Johnathan Hankins (2nd round) and Defensive End Damontre Moore represent the future successors to Cullen Jenkins and Justin Tuck respectively. Moore is Questionable with an ailing shoulder, but this D-Line is formidable without him. Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) have 78 career Sacks between them. Linval Joseph (323 lbs) and Cullen Jenkins (305 lbs) are the plugs in the middle.
At Linebacker, the Giants will be without starting MLB Dan Connor, who was placed on injured reserve with a neck injury. Mark Herzlich is the next man up at the MIKE. Keith Rivers is the Strong-side LB and Spencer Paysinger handles the Weak-side responsibilities.
In the Defensive backfield, the Cornerbacks are Terrell Thomas, who leads the Giants in Tackles, Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara and Aaron Ross. Amukamara is coming off a Concussion and only had one full practice (on Friday) since being cleared. Needless to say, this is a thin group. For Bronco fans, it gets even better. The Safeties for the G-men have been decimated by suspension as well as injury.
Will Hill has been suspended for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse policy, Stevie Brown is on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL suffered during preseason and Antrel Rolle (Groin) is Questionable. Ryan Mundy, who had a 91-yard Interception return last week and 5th round Pick Cooper Taylor are all that is left on the back end.
Josh Brown handles all the Kicking chores and so far, he has only been called on to make a 20-yard Field Goal Attempt. The Punter and Holder is reliable Steve Weatherford (3 Punts, 54.7 avg). The Long Snapping specialist is Zak DeOssie, who also has the Giant’s lone Tackle on Special Teams. Rookie Michael Cox is the Kick returner and Rueben Randle has handled the Punt returner duties.
The Giants have a good passing game Offensively, but their Running game is, well, offensive.
One key matchup to watch, will be Broncos DE Shaun Phillips on New York rookie Right Tackle Justin Pugh. Phillips has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He schooled Baltimore rookie Ricky Wagner last week and he’ll be looking for an encore performance against Pugh.
Defensively, New York has a good Line, but the back 7 are suspect, mostly due to injury. The Linebackers are the weakest link here and that plays into Peyton Manning’s intermediate passing game. Watch for the quick slants as well as the middle seam routes from Denver, to take advantage there.
If I were a betting man, I’d take the Over on the 55 total points between the two teams. I see a shootout with the Broncos covering the spread.
– Kaptain Kirk