10/16 01:56 CDT Giants take road less traveled to 23-10 shocker in Denver
Giants take road less traveled to 23-10 shocker in Denver
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
DENVER (AP) --- One suspension, three season-ending surgeries, six sidelined
starters and seven lineup changes to accommodate this whole mess.
Not exactly the usual path to success, but one the New York Giants successfully
navigated in a stunning 23-10 win Sunday night over the bewildered Denver
The Giants (1-5) controlled the trenches, rolling over the league's best run
defense for 148 yards and limiting the NFL's third-best ground game to a meager
"It was good that we could play this style of football and get a win," Eli
Manning said in his first game without injured wide receivers Odell Beckham
Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris, all of whom got hurt last week.
Manning threw for 128 yards, barely beating the 117 running back Orleans Darkwa
gained on 21 carries. Manning connected five times with rookie tight end Evan
Engram for 82 yards and a touchdown.
"It's a special win just with everything going on," Manning said.
And a crushing loss for the Broncos (3-2), who failed to close in on Kansas
City in the AFC West after the Chiefs were knocked off by Pittsburgh for their
first loss Sunday.
"It's the National Football League," Denver's Von Miller said. "It's not about
who you've got playing for you or what stars are in the game or what the team
looks like. It's any given Sunday."
Miller had a sack, but the Giants' heavy dose of handoffs kept Denver's star
linebacker from wrecking New York's game plan.
"We didn't want a game where we were going to have to throw it 40 times,"
Manning said. "They've got a good pass rush, and so I thought we did a good
job. He had the one sack. They kind of had a blitz on and so he was 1-on-1, had
to be 1-on-1 that one and he got to us. He's a good player. It's going to
Visiting teams went 8-5 in Week 6 and are 46-44 overall this season.
Other takeaways from the game that epitomizes the topsy-turvy season:
ROLE REVERSAL: Trevor Siemian threw for a career-high 376 yards, including a
13-yarder to third-year tight end Jeff Heuerman for his first career TD.
But like Manning last week, Siemian spent this game losing teammates.
Receivers Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Isaiah McKenzie sustained what appeared
to be serious right ankle injuries. Although X-rays were negative, both will
get MRIs on Monday. Demaryius Thomas hobbled his way through a 10-catch night,
and right tackle Menelik Watson left with a calf injury.
Sanders was injured when safety Landon Collins undercut him in an attempt to
intercept Siemian's low throw.
"I apologize for that," Collins said. "I saw the quarterback throw the ball and
I was trying to break on it and go get it and make a game-changing play. ...
Much love to him because I look up to him as a player."
Siemian came out himself after jamming his surgically repaired left shoulder
into the ground while diving to keep cornerback Janoris Jenkins out of the end
zone on his 43-yard pick-6 that put New York ahead 17-3 at the half.
POSITIVE RECEPTION: Thomas had 133 yards on 10 catches, snapping a career-long
seven-game drought without a 100-yard performance. However, he extended his
streak without a touchdown catch to 11 games, also a career long.
Only Julio Jones (38) and Antonio Brown (37) have more 100-yard games than
Thomas, with 35, since 2011.
"He's a difference maker," Siemian said. "He got a lot of attention tonight and
we just found a way to get it to him."
SACK ARTIST : Add three more sacks to the resume of Giants defensive end Jason
Pierre-Paul. He was constantly in the face of Siemian.
"This week you could tell the guys were hungry," Pierre-Paul said. "The defense
came to play."
That was readily apparent on a fourth-and-goal stop from the 1 in the fourth
quarter. A swarm of Giants including J.P.P. pushed back C.J. Anderson, with
Jenkins providing a big assist.
"Every day at practice when we do goal line, I always tell my big guys to force
it to me," Jenkins said. "It just so happened that they forced it to me this
game and I just came up with the stop."
KICKING WOES: Coach Vance Joseph is sticking with kicker Brandon McManus, who
continues to be anything but money since signing an $11.25 million extension
He made just one kick out of three, pushing a 35-yarder wide right and watching
a 53-yarder get blocked.
That makes five misses in 13 tries. Last year, he missed five times in 34 tries.
"I haven't missed a kick in practice or warm-ups this season," McManus said.
"It's just the games. And right now in the games I stink."
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AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed.
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton