The 2013 edition of the Manning Bowl kicks off at 4:25 ET at MetLife Stadium on CBS. Here are five things to watch in what has the makings of a great battle.
Giants receivers vs. Broncos secondary
Last week, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle each registered 100-yard receiving days, the first time a trio of Giants wideouts accomplished such a feat in franchise history. The Broncos secondary will be weakened by the absence of cornerback Champ Bailey, who has been declared out of Sunday's game.
The Broncos picked off Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco twice in the opener, but allowed more than 300 yards through the air. Can Eli Manning exploit the secondary with his talented receiving corps or will he fall victim to the turnovers?
David Wilson: Take 2
Fumbles. Benched. Brandon Jacobs. This week probably felt more like a year for second-year back David Wilson, who has not yet been proclaimed the starter for the Giants at running back but is expected to play a large role on offense against Denver.
Two fumbles helped Wilson enter Tom Coughlin’s doghouse early, but a strong performance in what has the makings of a shootout could help Wilson weasel his way out and solidify his position atop of the depth chart once again. Wilson is far and away the most talented back on the roster, but he’ll have to show he’s capable of securing the rock before his coach trusts him to be an every-down back.
Peyton Manning being Peyton Manning
The older brother has taken both previous match-ups against the little brother, and his team is one carrying all of the momentum over from Week 1. However, the Giants seemingly need this win a little bit in order to jump start the season.
Last week Manning tossed seven touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens, and this week he’ll face a Giants defense that limited Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys to 244 yards through the air. Prince Amukamara is lsited as questionable, although he has passed his concussion test and practiced Friday. Safety Antrel Rolle is also listed as questionable due to a sore groin, but is expected to play. If Amuakamara can’t go, it’ll be Aaron Ross opposite of Corey Webster at corner.
How much will Jason Pierre-Paul play?
Would he or wouldn’t he – that was the question all offseason and throughout training camp in regards to Jason Pierre-Paul suiting up Week 1. JPP obviously played – 52 snaps in total – which is just two shy of his defensive line mate Justin Tuck.
In Week 2 Pierre-Paul’s snap count is expected to increase, but as far as by how much remains unknown. He and the rest of the Giants pass rushers will have to play an integral role to pressure Manning and stymie the Broncos high-octane passing attack.
Mark Herzlich gets the start
Dan Connor beat out Mark Herzlich for the starting middle linebacker job, but Connor was lost for the year in the season-opening loss. Now, the job falls back into the hands of Herzlich, who will be counted on to lead a very mediocre linebacking unit.
But all semantics aside, Herzlich has not done much to prove he's capable of being a playmaker at the position. Herzlich will have the first crack at starting, though he'll need to impress -- early and often -- to secure the job.
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