Manning Bowl 3.0 Will Be a Shootout for the Ages

By Daniel Brennan
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is going to have to move over. On Sunday, the New York Giants square off against the Denver Broncos in what should be a mesmerizing shootout.

The Manning Bowl 3.0 features two of the NFL‘s premier quarterbacks. Most people would agree that Peyton Manning ranks in the NFL’s top-three quarterbacks and Eli Manning, at the very least, is somewhere in the top seven. Archie Manning must have had these two running no-huddle, two-minute drills during recess in the fourth grade.

The only thing that keeps Eli from cementing himself in the top five is his tendency to commit turnovers. Eli suffers from mental lapses that Peyton has been immune to throughout his career.

In the NFL’s opener, all Peyton did was toss for 462 yards and seven touchdowns. The touchdowns tied an NFL record. Against the Cowboys, Eli compiled 450 yards through the air and four touchdowns. The ultimate difference for the ill-fated Giants was the three interceptions that polluted Eli’s stat line.

After week one, the Broncos and the Giants rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total passing yards.

Also after week one, the Giants rank 29th in rushing yards and the Broncos rank 24th. Neither team had a player rush for 30 yards or more in their opening campaign. It’s obvious that both these teams are most successful when the offense is fixated on moving the ball through the air.

Part of the reason for that is both team’s lack of effective personnel in the backfield.

The Giants are currently drowning in frustration at the running back position. Andre Brown was placed on the injured reserve prior to the season and David Wilson, who was supposed to be Ahmad Bradshaw‘s heir apparent, coughed up two costly fumbles on Sunday. He will likely get one more chance, but if he squanders that, he will find himself checking for splinters from riding the bench so long.

Running back Da’Rel Scott is currently listed as probable and New York also signed Brandon Jacobs this week. We’ll just have to wait and see how the Giants use the big guy.

On the other side, Denver uses a committee of running backs that includes Knowshon MorenoMontee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. However, none of the three looked like a No. 1-caliber running back in week one.

Another reason that both teams rely on the passing game is due to the high dosage of receiving talent that each team has on display.

The Giants boast a wide receiving corps of veterans Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, and also a budding star in Rueben Randle. All three players had over 100 yards receiving against Dallas.

Denver’s lethal wideouts include Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker. Thomas and Welker each caught two touchdowns in the opener.

Any one of these six receivers is capable of a game-changing performance. The fact that each quarterback has three go-to guys is a recipe for a highlight reel of excitement.

It’s going to be hard for the Mannings to top their “Football On Your Phone” rap, but anything is possible. Sunday in MetLife stadium is sure to be a shootout so prolific, it’s going to look like something directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for Follow him on Twitter @DBrennan30 and add him to your network on Google.


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