Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season could not have started out on completely oppposite ends of the spectrum as it did for the brothers Manning, Peyton and Eli.
Peyton and his highly acclaimed Broncos team kicked off the entire season back on Sep. 5 by demolishing the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. In that game, Peyton showed us all that he’s quite possibly not of this earth by firing a mind-boggling seven touchdown passes against a defensive unit consistently talked about as one of the best in the game.
Eli, on the other hand, did not enjoy the same success as his older sibling. Against the Cowboys last Sunday night, things got off to an eerily rocky start. In what was a foreshadowing of bad things to come, Eli dropped back on the first play from scrimmage and fired off a screen under pressure, a screen that was immediately picked off by DeMarcus Ware.
The younger Manning wound up having what you can consider an inconsistent evening, going 27-of-42 for 450 with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
But now, with those games behind both of them, it’s time for the two brothers to clash head-to-head on the field for the third time in their careers. Peyton holds the victories in both of those contests–one in 2006 and one in 2010–so a win here for Eli would go a long way not just for his team not dropping to 0-2 early on in the season, but for personal bragging rights as well.
However, two brothers battling it out isn’t the only thing to keep a close eye on on Sunday.
Here’s three things to watch for today:
1) Can the Giants secondary keep up with Peyton and the Denver receivers?: While it’s still early and we’re not exactly sure yet what to make of the Ravens secondary, a QB throwing seven touchdowns in a single game is a bold statement regardless of who it’s against. This Giants secondary let Tony Romo complete a little over 73% of his passes last week. Now I’m not a Romo basher like most seem to be in this side of the Western Hemisphere, but I do know that Tony Romo is not Peyton Manning.
2) Does Giants RB David Wilson have his mind right?: While Eli Manning may not have had the best start to this season last week, it’s exponentially safe to say that his RB, David Wilson, had a much worse opening performance. The second-year back lost two fumbles in the loss to the Cowboys last week, drawing the ire of Tom Coughlin enough to bench the Virginia Tech product as well as to force the organization to bring in former Super Bowl champion Brandon Jacobs mid-week. Wilson’s back is against the wall now and it’s up to him to perform to a level that will gain back his trust from Coughlin.
Speaking of Coughlin….
3) How will Giants fans react if the team drops their second game in a row to start the season?: Look, you know, and I know that it would be a tad absurd to look at the job security of a coach that has won two Super Bowls in less than a five-year span just because of a short skid. However, New York print media and loyal Giants supporters don’t often see that perspective. Some will look at a loss today as their organization not being able to keep up with the elite in the game anymore, thus unnecessarily causing Coughlin’s head to be called for publicly.
As always, enjoy the game and follow along here on Fansided for updates as I will have them throughout this afternoon’s game.