Upon Further Review
1. QB Teddy Bridgewater was lights-out accurate overall (28 of 36 with two drops), but he was particularly on-point on intermediate attempts. According to our game charting, he was 5-of-6 passing for 46 yards on passes that traveled 6-10 “air” yards and 6-of-6 passing for 100 yards on passes that traveled 11-15 “air” yards. Included were five gains of at least 15 yards. On the run, his best escape act came on a third-and-5 on the third quarter’s opening drive. Bridgewater had to flee and held the football for 7.53 seconds before throwing across his body to WR KJ Hamler for 10 yards.
2. Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham rushed five or more on 11 of Bridgewater’s 41 drop-backs (26.8%). Bridgewater was 9-of-11 passing (one touchdown) against extra rushers. We booked the sacks on RT Bobby Massie (albeit in 4.44 seconds, so it could be half him/half coverage) and LT Garett Bolles (3.76 seconds) because his man pushed him back into Bridgewater, who stepped on Bolles’ foot.
3. Broncos coach Vic Fangio didn’t get fancy with his pressure calls against Giants QB Daniel Jones. The Broncos rushed five or more players on only eight of 43 drop-backs (18.6%). Jones was 3-of-5 passing for 25 yards against extra rushers. OLB Von Miller’s two sacks came on four-man rushes. The first was in 3.27 seconds when he beat RT Nate Solder. The second was a gift — 1.96 seconds when Giants RT Matt Peart (and other linemen) were late reacting to the snap and Miller was unblocked.
4. Rookie CB Pat Surtain II played nearly exclusively in sub-package situations (nickel and dime). In the dime, he was assigned to TE Kyle Rudolph (no targets). Surtain was beaten for a 37-yard touchdown by WR Sterling Shepard to give the Giants their only lead (7-3). Shepard left from the right slot and ran a crossing route. Fangio said on Monday that Surtain didn’t play tight enough coverage, which allowed Shephard to gain separation. He made the catch at the 22-yard line and Surtain missed the tackle.
5. The Broncos’ offensive approach of using multiple tight ends carried over to Week 1. Out of 66 snaps, they used two tight ends on 24 snaps (2WR-1RB-2TE package) and three tight ends on 11 plays (1WR-1RB-3TE). Fullback Andrew Beck was a healthy scratch and the Broncos used a second back on just one play (TE Eric Saubert).
6. The Broncos led 17-7 when offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur made one of his best play calls. On third-and-15 from the Giants’ 32, he called a screen to RB Melvin Gordon. Led by blocks from LG Dalton Risner and C Lloyd Cushenberry, Gordon nearly got the first down, giving K Brandon McManus a 36-yard attempt (which he made).
7. Not including a Giants kneel-down and spike, the Broncos’ defense had 59 snaps — nine in base, 40 in nickel and 10 in dime.
Four Key Numbers
16 — All 17 Broncos defenders who played saw at least 16 snaps.
7.2 — Average yards the Broncos needed on their 15 third-down plays (seven conversions).
6 — Tackles for S Justin Simmons and CBs Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby to lead the Broncos.
101 — Yards rushing for RB Melvin Gordon, the 12th 100-yard regular-season game of his career.
Judge’s mistake. Giants coach Joe Judge made a bunch of mistakes, including wearing a hooded sweatshirt when the game-time temperature was 82 degrees, but also throwing a challenge flag after a Broncos touchdown. All scoring plays are reviewed so the delay-of-game cost New York a timeout. “I know you can’t challenge a scoring play,” Judge said. “That was a little bit more of an emotional (reaction).” Yikes, Big Blue could be in for a very long year.
Stout run defense. The Giants rushed 20 times for 60 yards (three-yard average). Granted, the Broncos caught a break, facing RB Saquon Barkley (10 rushes-26 yards in his return from last year’s torn ACL) in Week 1 rather than Week 6, when he should be back in top form.
Replacing Jeudy. Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy exited in the third quarter with an ankle sprain that could keep him out at least a month. Next up are WRs Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler. Patrick is a blue-collar player and Hamler is a potentially fine deep threat … so long as he catches the ball.
Giants unblocked players caused all kinds of problems for the Broncos, including two knockdowns of Bridgewater, two run “stuffs” (gain of one or fewer yards) and 2 1/2 pressures of Bridgewater. … WR KJ Hamler and TE Eric Saubert had dropped passes. … DE Dre’Mont Jones had two run “stuffs” and one stupid penalty (post-whistle personal foul). … The Broncos had six pass break-ups, including two by CB Ronald Darby.
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