clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants finally got a win! Here's what we learned from it.

The Giants actually looked good.

We assumed this Sunday Night Football matchup between the Giants and the Broncos would be one-sided. We were just wrong about which team was going to be on the right end of it. In this case, it was the Giants. New York finally got a victory with their 23-10 win over the Broncos.

The Giants are coming off of a truly abysmal week. They lost both Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall to injured reserve after a Week 5 loss to the Chargers. A dispute about playing time with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie led to Ben McAdoo suspending the cornerback “indefinitely.”

But the Giants offense looked competent, and the defense was aggressive and kept Denver at bay. Here are five things we learned from the Giants’ first win of the season.

1. Ben McAdoo made the right decision about play-calling duties

There are a lot of reasons why the Giants offense has struggled. The offensive line has been terrible, there’s no run game to speak of, and injuries in the receiving corps have been catastrophic. But the Giants are also predictable, which has made them easier to defend.

Ben McAdoo handed over play-calling duties to Mike Sullivan, the offensive coordinator, and it was a smart call. Eli Manning didn’t have the most impressive day statistically, with 128 yards and one touchdown. But he had a consistent connection with tight end Evan Engram and didn’t turn the ball over once.

Look at Eli rolling out! That’s not something you see often.

It’s just one game, but the Broncos defense is good, and the play-calling change seemed to breathe new life into this offense.

2. The Giants may have a run game all of a sudden

The Broncos have shut down better backs than Orleans Darkwa all season. Denver held Ezekiel Elliott to just 8 yards. Melvin Gordon had 54 against the Broncos, LeSean McCoy managed just 21 yards, and Marshawn Lynch couldn’t get more than 12 yards.

Orleans Darkwa? He had 117 yards.

Darkwa was the team’s leading rusher coming into this game with just 122 yards total over five games. He nearly matched that against the Broncos.

Being able to get things going on the ground does take a little pressure off of Manning and the offensive line. And while the line still let Manning take three sacks on Sunday, they actually were more consistent with opening lanes for Darkwa against Denver.

3. New York’s defense was actually good

The offense deserves recognition, but the Giants defense was pretty damn good too.

Before Sunday, the Giants had one interception all season. They doubled up that number on Sunday, picking off Trevor Siemian twice. Janoris Jenkins returned one 43 yards for a touchdown.

The Giants sacked Siemian four times and hit him our times. The Broncos didn’t get in the end zone until just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. And the Giants’ 28th-ranked run defense held the Broncos to just 46 yards on the ground.

4. Brock Osweiler is tall

Brock Osweiler is back with the Broncos and he was forced into action when Trevor Siemian left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. It gave Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels plenty of opportunities to remind us that Osweiler is 6’7, which is quite tall.

Osweiler went 2-of-4 for 18 yards in Siemian’s absence. Siemian was able to return to the game after the half, but at least we got our semi-regular reminder of Osweiler’s impressive height.

5. Limiting mistakes was key for the Giants

New York came into this game with a -3 turnover ratio. The defense’s two interceptions and a Demaryius Thomas fumble that was recovered by Eli Apple helped. But Manning didn’t throw a single pick, and the only Giants fumble of the night was recovered by Manning.

It’s a small sample size, but even one game against a very good defense is enough reason for hope that the Giants may actually be improving.

The top stories from Sunday’s NFL action