DENVER — Three thoughts on the Giants’ 23–10 victory against the Broncos in Denver on Sunday Night Football.
1. My runaway Week 6 MVP is Giants guard Justin Pugh, who slid out to right tackle in the latest reshuffling of the New York offensive line and shut out Von Miller while the game was still close. Miller, arguably the NFL’s best healthy pass rusher at the moment, managed a bull rush for a sack when it was a three-score game in the second half, but he was otherwise shut down by Pugh and a modest assortment of double teams and running back chips. Pugh’s competence on the outside allowed the Giants to scheme some highly favorable matchups with undersized tight end Evan Engram, who led the Giants with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
2. The Broncos lost two offensive players they couldn’t afford to lose on Sunday, with right tackle Menelik Watson going down with a calf injury, and Emmanuel Sanders leaving the game with a leg injury. Watson was no stud in the first quarter of the season, but his replacement, Billy Turner, has no business playing tackle in an NFL game. Jason Pierre-Paul celebrated Watson’s absence by brushing by Turner for a critical third-quarter sack of Trevor Siemian. In four games, the versatile Sanders had paced the Broncos with 34 targets and 20 catches. If his injury is a long-term setback, it’s up to the inexperienced Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor to fill the void.
3. The Broncos (3–2) gave up an early pick-six to Janoris Jenkins and subsequently abandoned the run game. Down 17–3 at the half, Denver chose to run the ball just once on first down for the rest of the game. Siemian tied a career-high with 50 pass attempts, connecting on 29 with a touchdown and two interceptions. It’s hard to judge Siemian on this performance alone, given the left shoulder injury that knocked him out of the game briefly in the first half, the rotating cast of receivers and near constant pressure from the likes of Pierre-Paul and Damon Harrison.