This weekend the New York Giants play the defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts. This game has become known as the Manning Bowl because of the matchup between brothers Eli and Peyton Manning. Before the season the Colts would have been heavy favorites to win this game, but after week one the story may be a little different. Heading into this weekend the big question is, do the New York Giants have what it takes to beat the Colts this Sunday?
In week one the Giants were led to a 31-18 victory over the Carolina Panthers by their defense, while the Colts were defeated by the Houston Texans 34-24. The Giants defense finally looks like they returned to their Super Bowl form. In week one the defense held the Panthers to 237 yards and only 62 yards to star running back DeAngelo Williams. They forced 5 turnovers and sacked Matt Moore 4 times. The defense looks much improved since being taken over by Perry Fewell.
Heading into week two the Giants defense knows they have a much tougher challenge ahead. The Colts are led by star quarterback Peyton Manning, who may be the best quarterback in the league. They also have to find ways to match up with Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and the rest of the Colts impressive receiving corps. In week one Manning threw for 433 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Giants secondary will have to play extremely solid to stop the Colts aerial assault. Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips will have to stop the deep ball, while Cory Webster and Tim Thomas will be responsible for covering Reggie Wayne. If the Giants want to win this game, the defense will have to continue to play as solid as they did against Carolina.
In week one the Giants offense looked like a good offense, but not a great one. In order to beat the Colts, the Giants will have to play like a great offense. The offense struggled holding on to the ball against the Panthers loosing 4 turnovers (3 INT, 1 FumL). To beat the Colts, the Giants cannot keep giving Peyton Manning and the colts electrifying offense back the ball. If the Giants turn over the ball, even more of the burden will be placed on the defense, and it is impossible to stop the Colts Offense for an entire game.
The Giants Running backs and Wide Receivers played well. Bradshaw and Jacobs combined for 120 yards against Carolina, and they will be heavily relied on in week two. The Colts allowed 260 yards rushing to the Texans including 231 to Arian Foster, a running back with the same rushing style as Bradshaw. The Giants are going to look to run the same way as the Texans against the Colts. If the Giants can run the ball they can secure a victory against the Colts.
The big statistic that the Giants will have to control is time of possession. The Giants dominated the Panthers in time of possession. This stat becomes essential against the Colts. The Giants offense needs to have the ball most of the game. If they can control the ball, it will leave the Colts offense off the field and give them less time to score while leaving the defense well rested.
This is a big game for the Giants. They want to prove that they are back to their winning ways, which disappeared in the second half of last season. There is no better way to prove this than to beat the defending AFC champions. To win this game the Giants will have to put everything together, but they certainly have a good chance and are no longer the underdogs people may have thought they were just one week ago.