Broncos deliver convincing 27-13 win over Giants in season opener
Broncos deliver convincing 27-13 win over Giants in the season opener.
At least for a day, Broncos supporters can put their September woes behind them.
Denver beat the Giants 27-13 on the road in the 2021 opening at MetLife Stadium, after going 0-7 in the first month of the season during coach Vic Fangio’s first two seasons.
In quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s Denver debut, the Bronco’s controlled time of possession forced a crucial takeaway and used a variety of deadly offensive weapons. In the second half, though, wideout Jerry Jeudy has carried off the field with an ankle injury.
On the first drive, Denver let New York into their territory, but they held firm and forced a punt. On the next two drives, the teams exchanged punts until Brandon McManus kicked a 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter to complete a 15-play, 62-yard drive.
The Giants, on the other hand, scored back on the following drive, with Daniel Jones looking crisp as he led the team down the field.
Wideout Sterling Shepard burned the Broncos on consecutive plays to finish the drive. On third down, Jones and Shepard took advantage of a mismatch on linebacker Josey Jewell, then Shepard toasted rookie Pat Surtain II for a 37-yard score. Midway in the second quarter, the Giants went ahead 7-3, their last lead of the day.
From then on, Denver was unstoppable.
On Denver’s following drive, Bridgewater was in fine form, but tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was stripped at the Giants’ 4-yard line by cornerback Logan Ryan. The turnover was upheld on video review after Ryan recovered the ball along the sideline.
However, Denver’s defense forced a three-and-out, and Bridgewater and company went into two-minute mode.
Bridgewater connected with four different receivers on route to the touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the half, including Courtland Sutton on a crucial 4th-and-2 conversion near midfield, Sutton’s first catch of 2021.
Tim Patrick’s 2-yard touchdown catch capped the drive, giving the Broncos a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Broncos took control of the game early in the second half with another long drive. KJ Hamler fumbled a likely 50-yard touchdown throw, and Jeudy (six receptions for 72 yards) left the game a few plays later with an ankle injury. On fourth down, though, the Broncos scored on a four-yard touchdown grab by Okwuegbunam.
Late in the third quarter, Jones and the Giants were ready to reply with their own touchdown drive, but Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell converged on Jones to force a fumble, which Malik Reed (filling in for the injured Bradley Chubb) pounced on.
With 4:37 remaining in the game, Melvin Gordon sealed the game with a 70-yard touchdown run, one play after the Broncos’ drive extend on third down due to a roughing-the-passer penalty.
As time expired, Jones scored on a quarterback draw.