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Giants looking to feast on Broncos in Thanksgiving show down

November 25, 2009

Denver fans aren't too happy with the 4-game losing streak

What a difference a month makes.

Everybody knows the story by now:  Broncos hire a young, inexperienced coach, trade away their star quarter back, bench their star wide receiver only to kiss and make up, miraculously start the season 6-0, and now have lost four straight.  At 6-4, and after relinquishing its’ division lead, the Denver Broncos are left looking for answers.  What once looked like a Superbowl contender, now looks like a team destined for an 8-8 finishing record. 

The Giants are pretty familiar with Denver’s woes, as they just ended their own four-game slide last Sunday.   The Giants offense took over the game, and thanks to a favorable coin-flip, the G-Men are looking to start another winning streak.  The Giants sit at 6-4, and are right in the mix for not only a wild card berth, but a division title.  The Giants cannot look ahead however, even though they do face the Cowgirls and Iggles at home the next two weeks. 

In their last four games, Denver has been outscored 117-37 and fell one game behind the Chargers with a 32-3 home loss to San Diego on Sunday. The Broncos haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in dropping their last two at Invesco Field.

“I think the good thing is for a team in our situation, coming off a tough division game, is obviously we didn’t play nearly the way we wanted to and on a four-game losing streak, we are eager to get back on the field and play again,” McDaniels said. “This might be a good time for our team.”

If Orton doesn't play, this one could get ugly

Coach Tom Coughlin understands what Denver is dealing with but doesn’t have any advice for rookie coach McDaniels and the Broncos this week.

“There are some thoughts that we had that we utilized last week,” Coughlin said. “I had rather not share. Denver media would like to know, I think, which I don’t know whether there is any magic – there is no magical answer. You have to play your way out of whatever issues you have and it has to be settled on the field. A lot of it is, as I said, your approach.”

Both teams are also dealing with crippling injuries.  Kyle Orton is expected to start, but is still suffering from a left ankle sprain.  Nonetheless, Orton’s eyes have to light up when he watches film of the Giants defense the last five weeks.  The Giants allowed the Falcons to score 24 points on four second-half possessions Sunday, surrendering the final 14 of regulation.

“I think we have done very well in certain situations, but we haven’t played as well as I think we can,” defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. “I think it is important for everybody to keep on listening to what the coaches are saying and go out there and try to execute our defense. I think if everybody does that, we will be pretty good.”

Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce is expected to miss his second straight game with a neck injury.  Brandon Jacobs is expected to play despite missing the fourth quarter against Atlanta, however Ahmad Bradshaw is doubtful after suffering a left ankle sprain of his own.   While the passing game has been top-notch for the Giants, the running game has been inconsistent and not nearly as effective as last year.  New York managed just 88 yards rushing last week, on 26 carries.  Not a great average for what is thought of as one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL. 

Jacobs and the Giants running game must pick it up

I sense that this will be a low scoring game, but I’m not sure how the short work week will affect the Giants.  The Broncos are reeling, and although I was sold on them earlier in the season, I have lost complete faith in that team.  I think Orton and Marshall will be able to make some plays, but I hate Denver’s running game and feel like the Giants pass rush is primed for a big game, with Orton forced into a lot of third and longs. 

One thing is for certain, if the Giants want to keep themselves in good position for a playoff spot, you better take care of the Broncos.  A Denver loss, and I think the Mile-High Bandits are done.  

 

Key Matchup:  Corey Webster vs. Brandon Marshall

Prediction:  Giants 20, Broncos 17

News and Notes:  Eli Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer with 5 seconds left for a 24-23 win four years ago in these teams’ last meeting. The Giants fell 31-20 in their lone visit to Invesco Field on Sept. 10, 2001. Aaron Ross will return for the Giants, and will be asked to most likely cover Eddie Royal.  Royal has been a non-factor receiving this season, but poses a huge threat in the return game.  It is uncertain whether Ahmad Bradshaw will even make the trip to Denver.  Brandon Jacobs called out the Giant fans after Sunday’s game, saying they aren’t loud enough and sit on their hands too much.  He has taken some heat back home, but luckily for him this weeks game is in Denver.

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