EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Peyton Manning threw for 307 yards Sunday against the New York Giants. The Denver Broncos scored 41 points. The most discouraging thing about the Giants' 0-2 start, however, is that you can't pin it on the play of the defense, much-maligned a season ago.
The Giants' biggest problem is their offense. Particularly the inability to run the football.
The Giants now have 10 turnovers in two games. Eli Manning threw four interceptions Sunday and leads the NFL with seven. The Giants finished 1-for-11 on third downs. They ran the ball 19 times for an embarrassing 23 yards, with their longest run being a six-yarder by David Wilson. They have now run for a whopping total of 73 yards in two games.
A drive the Giants started at the Denver 43-yard line, their best field position of the day, was a comedy of errors that typified the efforts of the offense in the first two games.
Tight end Brandon Myers caught a pass on second-and-12 from the 45-yard line. He had a clear path to the end zone, but was tackled by the Turf Monster at the 18, tripping helplessly with no defender near him on a play that should have been a touchdown.
On the next play, Rueben Randle caught a pass at the 7-yard line, turned for the end zone and fumbled the ball just before crossing the goal line. Denver recovered, but a Broncos' penalty on Duke Ihenacho gave the Giants another chance with a first down at the 13. They still couldn't convert, settling for three points after Manning fired a third-down pass too high and hard for Myers.
Late in the half, with Denver leading 10-9 and having driven to the Broncos' 28-yard line, Manning launched an ill-advised pass toward Hakeem Nicks that never had a chance and was picked off by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, denying the Giants a chance for a halftime lead.
In the second half the Giants did get a touchdown, but got 36 yards of Denver penalties to help them along. It actually six plays from inside the 10-yard line for the Giants to get a 1-yard TD run from Brandon Jacobs. The score at the time was 17-16 Denver, and it was all downhill for the Giants from there.
The Giants did get a bad break when a slant for Randle was tipped, bounced off the foot of Tony Carter and was intercepted by Chris Harris. Still, the offensive effort was pretty much exactly that. Offensive.
There is no excuse for Manning's horrible first-half throw. The red zone offense is painful to watch. The run-blocking is non-existent. Looking for a positive? Wilson didn't fumble. I guess you could point to Victor Cruz having a nice day as well, with seven catches for 106 yards.
The Giants caught a huge break in the division Sunday when the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys all lost. Can they rebound from 0-2 and take advantage of the fact that they are only one game out in the division? Not unless their offense plays better.