5 Critical Takeaways from New York Giants' Week 2 Loss
While New York kept things close in the first half—they were trailing 10-9 in the second quarter—Peyton Manning and the Broncos exploded for 31 points in the second half en route to the victory.
Peyton Manning tossed two touchdown passes, while Knowshon Moreno rushed for two scores. Denver's Trindon Holliday returned a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the icing on the cake.
Despite throwing for 362 yards, Eli Manning did not have a good game, as he threw four interceptions. David Wilson had only seven carries for 17 yards, but Brandon Jacobs ran for a touchdown in his return to the team. Victor Cruz had a good game, catching eight passes for 118 yards.
With that being said, let's take a look at five critical issues New York has to fix following their loss to Denver.
**All statistics are provided from ESPN.com**
Where is New York's pass rush?
The New York Giants defensive line deserves its fair share of blame for the loss, as it could not really get past Denver's offensive line to get any pressure against Peyton Manning, as you can see in Manning's touchdown pass.
One week after tallying only two sacks against Dallas, New York failed to record one on Sunday. That falls on the shoulders of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre Paul and company.
The Giants rely on their pass rush to cover up the holes in their secondary (we'll get to that later). Without a consistent pass rush, Peyton was able to move the ball with ease. Manning had time in the pocket and completed 30 for 43 for two scores, and he had a passer rating of 105.5
If the Giants plan on winning some games this season, their pass rush needs to get to the quarterback to alleviate the pressure put on the secondary.
David Wilson needs to step up his game
Eli Manning threw the ball 49 times on Sunday; David Wilson had only seven carries. That ratio is no winning formula, as evidenced in the Giants defeat.
With Andre Brown hurt, Wilson is the only running back with any explosiveness. When Wilson is on his game, he is capable of making big plays, evidenced by his long touchdown run against the Jets in the preseason.
Wilson also has had fumbling issues that has constantly put him in Tom Coughlin's dog house. Taking care of the football is a must, and Wilson needs prove he can secure the ball in order to earn more carries.
Wilson and New York's running game needs him to step up so that Manning does not have to throw so often.
Eli Continues to Throw Picks
When Eli Manning takes care of the football, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When he is careless with the football, the Giants usually lose, as demonstrated in the Denver game.
Manning tossed four interceptions in 49 pass attempts, which averages to one pick in 12.25 attempts. It is almost impossible for a team to win if its quarterback is that reckless throwing the ball, especially when he gets picked off in the end zone, as Manning did against Denver.
His four picks against the Broncos bring his season total to seven, which is the most in the NFL. His carelessness is one of many reasons why New York is 0-2, and the Giants need him to right the ship.
Manning has not been completely terrible, though, as his 812 yards through two weeks is just one yard behind Aaron Rodgers' total for most in the league. But those yards do not mean anything if he does not take care of the football.
New York's Week 3 matchup against the Carolina Panthers should help Manning, as Carolina has the NFL's 22nd-ranked pass defense. The Panthers are also dealing with injuries in their secondary, which should open the door for Manning to have a good game.
If the Giants are going to make any kind of impact this season, their quarterback needs to take better care of the football.
New York's Secondary Needs to Improve
New York's secondary was torched by Peyton Manning after struggling at times in the opener against Dallas' Tony Romo. Poor play by the defensive backs has had a snowball effect on the rest of the defense.
A secondary struggling means the pass rush doesn't have time to get to the opposing QB, which partly explains the Giants' anemic total of two sacks through two games.
Cory Webster is aging. Prince Amukamara and Antrel Rolle cannot seem to stay healthy, and New York does not have much depth in the secondary, especially with Stevie Brown out for the season.
With time to throw the ball, Peyton exploited New York's defensive backs. He had only two completions of more than 20 yards, but he carved up the secondary with precise passes.
New York's secondary is banged up and has struggled thus far this season. It looks unlikely that this problem will go away anytime soon.
The Giants Run Defense Disappeared
Aside from falling victim to Peyton Manning, New York also had trouble stopping the Denver running game, especially Knowshon Moreno.
Moreno ran for 93 yards on just 13 carries, good for 7.2 yards per carry. He also ran for two touchdowns, including a 25-yard run late in the third quarter, which gave Denver a 24-16 lead.
Moreno also had a 20-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, which gave Denver its first lead of the afternoon, 7-6.
The New York Giants have dug themselves into quite a hole after starting the season 0-2. New York needs to improve defensively, and Eli Manning needs to take care of the ball if they are to turn things around. I expect them to play better against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.
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