The third ever Manning Bowl was supposed to be an offensive shootout between Eli Manning's New York Giants and Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos, but for the third time in his career, big brother got the better against little brother as the Broncos rolled into MetLife Stadium and dominated over the Giants 41-23.
The Broncos got the opening kick-off and marched all the way down to the Giants six-yard line, but caught a major break when rookie running back Monte Ball fumbled the ball heading towards the goal line, which was picked up by safety Ryan Mundy, and the Giants had some early momentum on their side.
The Giants quickly got into Broncos territory with a 51-yard pass play from Eli to Victor Cruz, but the Giants were unable to get the ball in the end zone, which set up a 36-yard field goal by Josh Brown, and the Giants went up 3-0.
The Broncos and Giants traded punts in the first quarter, but it was the Broncos who were able to get the first touchdown of the game, as Denver was able to take advantage of good field position and New Jersey native Knowshon Moreno's 20-yard touchdown run with :10 left in the first quarter put Denver up 7-3.
In the second quarter, Eli marched the Giants down into Broncos territory with a 27-yard pass play to Brandon Myers. On this drive, the Giants caught a break as Rueben Randle nearly fumbled trying to score a touchdown, but Denver was called for illegal contact, which negated the turnover, and allowed the Giants to keep the ball. However, the Giants weren't able to punch it in for a touchdown, which set up Brown's second field goal of the game, a 24-yard try, and made the score 7-6.
After making Denver punt again, the Giants again marched down the field on the Broncos, but weren't able to get the ball into the end zone, and settled for a third field goal, which was from 41-yards out, and the Giants took a 9-7 lead with a little over two minutes left to go until halftime. Just before halftime, the Broncos got the ball down to the Giants 24-yard-line, and Matt Prater'2 42-yard field goal gave Denver the lead again at 10-9, which is what the score was when the two teams went into the locker room for halftime.
When the two teams came out for the third quarter, the Giants looked very flat in their first drive and quickly punted the ball back to the Broncos, who put together a solid drive down the field, which ended with Peyton Manning throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker and the Broncos were up 17-9.
The Giants quickly responded though, as Eli marched his offense down the field, going 81 yards on nine plays, which resulted in the returning Brandon Jacobs plunging into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run and the Giants were right back into the game, trailing 17-16.
However, the Giants defense was unable to stop the Broncos offense and Peyton Manning picking them apart. With 37 seconds left in the third quarter, it was Moreno again who got into the end zone from 20 yards out, as the Broncos went up 24-16 and reassumed control of the game.
The Giants got the ball back in the start of the fourth quarter, but was intercepted for the second time in the game when the ball tipped off Randle's hands and off a Denver's shoe into the hands of Chris Harris. That turnover lead to Peyton Manning taking the offense and put the ball in the end zone again, as he threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Julius Thomas and Denver really started to pull away, going up 31-16.
The ultimate back-breaker of the game was after the Giants had to punt to Trindon Holliday, who marched 81 yards through the Giants punt team and into the end zone for another Denver touchdown, putting the Broncos up 38-16. The Giants had no luck trying to get back into the game, as Eli Manning's pass on the following drive was intercepted by Rahim Moore, his third of the game, which was how many he had the previous week against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants were able to get the ball back and were able to get some points on the board, as Eli threw his first touchdown pass of the game to Da'Rel Scott from 23 yards out and made it 38-23. After the Giants scored, they attempted an onsides kick, which was recovered by Larry Donnell, but the ball didn't go 10 yards, which gave the Broncos the ball back.
After Denver got the ball back, Prater's 47-yard field goal was the icing on the cake of the day for the Broncos, which made the score 41-23 with 2:42 left in the game. The Giants got the ball back one last time and Eli Manning attempted to drive the field one more time, but was intercepted a fourth time by Tony Carter, which sealed the win for Denver, as Peyton Manning's Broncos went on to win "Manning Bowl III" and defeated his little brother and the Giants 41-23. With the win, Denver improves to 2-0, while the Giants fell to 0-2 on the season.
In the battle of brothers, it was Peyton who looked superior in the game, as he went 30-for-43 with 307 yards, throwing two touchdown passes with no interceptions; Manning has nine touchdown passes in his first two games thus far in the 2013 season. Eli on the other hand, went 28-for-49 with 362 yards and threw one touchdown but had four interceptions; Manning has seven picks in his first two games.
In a losing effort, the Giants receivers were solid against the Denver defense; Cruz had his 2nd straight 100-yard game, as he had eight catches for 118 yards, but no touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks had four catches for 83 yards and Brandon Myers six catches for 74 yards.
With the loss, the Giants are tied for last in the division at 0-2 with the Washington Redskins in the NFC East, but will look to get their first win of the season next Sunday as the Giants will travel down to North Carolina and play the Carolina Panthers, the same team they played in Week 2 and decisively defeated.
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