Broncos deliver convincing 27-13 win over Giants in season opener at MetLife Stadium
Say goodbye to those September sorrows, Broncos fans, at least for one day.
After going 0-7 in the first month of the season during coach Vic Fangio’s first two seasons, Denver delivered a convincing 27-13 road victory over the Giants in the 2021 opener at MetLife Stadium.
The Broncos dominated time of possession, forced a critical takeaway and deployed an array of dangerous offensive weapons in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s Denver debut. However, they also saw wideout Jerry Jeudy carted off the field with an ankle injury in the second half.
Denver allowed New York into their territory on the opening drive, but buckled down and forced a punt. The teams traded punts on the next two possessions before Brandon McManus capped a 15-play, 62-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
But the Giants struck right back the next possession, with Daniel Jones looking sharp as he guided New York down the field.
The drive was capped by wideout Sterling Shepard burning the Broncos on consecutive plays. First, Jones and Shepard capitalized on a mismatch on linebacker Josey Jewell on third down, then Shepard toasted rookie Pat Surtain II for a 37-yd touchdown. That put the Giants up 7-3 midway through the second quarter, the home team’s final lead of the day.
Bridgewater was in rhythm again on Denver’s next drive, but tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was stripped by cornerback Logan Ryan at the Giants’ 4-yard line. Ryan recovered the ball near the sideline and the turnover was upheld on replay review.
But Denver’s defense responded by forcing a three-and-out, and then Bridgewater & Co. went into two-minute mode.
With 2:25 left in the half, Bridgewater connected with four different targets — including Courtland Sutton on a key 4th-and-2 conversion at midfield, Sutton’s first catch of 2021 — en route to the TD. The drive was finished off by a 2-yard touchdown reception by Tim Patrick to give the Broncos a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Broncos opened the second half with another lengthy drive to assert control. KJ Hamler dropped a sure 50-yard touchdown pass, and then Jeudy (six catches for 72 yards) exited with an ankle injury a few plays later. But the Broncos scored on a four-yard touchdown catch by Okwuegbunam on fourth down.
Jones and the Giants were poised to respond with a scoring drive of their own late in the third quarter, but Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell converged on Jones to force a fumble, then Malik Reed (playing for the injured Bradley Chubb) pounced on it.
Melvin Gordon iced the game with a 70-yard touchdown run with 4:37 left, one play after the Broncos had their drive extended on a roughing-the-passer call on third down.Jones scored on a quarterback draw as time expired.