Schon: Live Game Notes Broncos - Giants

Ok, so here's an original line – without a doubt, this is the most important game of the season for the Denver Broncos… Of course I've been saying that the entire month of November now - but this time I really mean it.

Ok, so here's an original line – without a doubt, this is the most important game of the season for the Denver Broncos… Of course I've been saying that the entire month of November now - but this time I really mean it. Four straight losses, a defense that resembles Michael Strahan's teeth and a ‘deer in the headlights' coaching philosophy have landed the once 6-0 Broncos in a position about as embarrassing as my first marriage.

But the good news is, things can change – maybe - depending on boy wonder and his Thanksgiving Day bag of tricks. Not that I'm suggesting another out of the blue-jacked up-onsides kick, but an offense that's actually being aggressive might be nice. We'll see how it goes…

Kickoff is less than twenty, teams are taking the field and I'm ready to strap one on… BTW – Happy Thanksgiving – let's shake it up.

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1st Quarter
You know, for a Thanksgiving Day crowd – these guys pretty loud… Giants first series stalls out under the noise just short of midfield – On the flip side, Denver's drive gets off to a rough start when Orton gets sacked for a 10-yard loss on the first play and Weigmann gets flagged for Ineligible Downfield on third and nine. Everybody's favorite punter, Mitch Berger, actually nails a decent one 57-yards and NY takes possession at their own 37.

(Cut and Paste) Giants roll three and out and it's back in the Broncos court for Take II.

Don't look now but McD's opened the playbook – Orton to Gaffney pulls down a sweet 28-yards. Buckhalter on the ground nets seven and a quick toss to Scheffler adds another 13. Broncos cross midfield with a little fire – Orton on a rollout his Daniel Graham for 17 and it's first and ten from the 17.

Typical Broncos Red Zone – Denver can't roll it in – Prater picks up the three but it's still disheartening to be unable pull the trigger after covering that much real estate. Denver lights it 3-0 with about 40% of the crowd headed for beer.

Gotta hand it to the Denver "D" – maybe it was the player's only meeting or just the fact they've been getti9ng their lunch handed to them the past month – either way, they're tight – Manning can't seem to get started and it's back to three and out for the Giants. Broncos field the kick on their own 29.

With the clock winding Orton unload it deep to Marshall – flags fly on NY – Roughness penalty moves it all the way up to the 44-yard line as the first closes out. Denver stays on top 3-0.

2nd Quarter
Orton's keeping up the pressure – Broncos move it to the 29 and on 4th and 5 gamble with a perfect strike to Scheffler on a crossing pattern – Chains move and it's first and goal from the 7-yard line.

Out of the shotgun – here comes trouble – flags on Graham for a false start and it moves it back to the 12. Double trouble – Clady gets the same flag on second down and the ball is back to the 18… If I wasn't so sober I might find this funny. Back to the shotgun – pass to Buckhalter is dropped. Second and 18 – Orton to Marshall picks up nine and they're back where they started for third down. Flags fly on Weigmann – false start – third of the drive – and the ball is back to the 14. Orton to Scheffler incomplete – here comes Prater – splits it from 32 and Denver moves up by three – 6-0.

From what I remember the last time the Broncos scored a touchdown in the red zone I was just learning to shave.

Broncos "D" still looking strong – till the flags fly – Manning's looking at third and five and DJ Williams gets tagged with defensive offsides – automatic first down – chains move out to the 30 and baby Manning gets another shot.

Redemption time – OLB Mario Haggan busts it loose from Danny Ware – Brian Dawkins picks the fumble… Broncos ball on the Giants 38.

Here comes the highlight reel – Orton to Marshall who makes a vicious one-handed grab about ten feet in the air – you gotta check out Sportscenter for this one – trust me. Three plays later it's ‘Oh No' Moreno off right tackle for the score. Collectively 70,000 + hold their breath in fear of a fumble. Denver scores a touchdown and the bandwagon is taking reservations.

It's all in the momentum – Defense blows it up – Sack, incomplete, incomplete, here comes the punter – Broncos field it on their own 49.

Four trips to the Red Zone and Prater nails his third FG of the day… Broncos take a 16-0 first half lead…

Strange what you'll notice when you really look – dude three rows below the press box is slamming whiskey like there's no tomorrow…smuggled in liter of JD… now that's a Happy Thanksgiving…

Manning's giving it a shot but just can't get it together – drive is topped off with Elvis Dumervil's 13th sack of the season – Broncos take it at the 11 with a buck forty-one left in the half.

Broncos got more flags than a U.N. Assembly – 20-yard pick up for Moreno is brought back for holding on Graham – if I'm not mistaken that's his 27th penalty of the half. Orton takes a knee and the Broncos close out with a 16-0 lead over the Giants. Just got word that Eddie Royal may be out with a thigh injury – return is questionable.

Headed to burn one and grab some liquid during the half – return is questionable….

3rd Quarter
Kind of nice to get back to a little of what September and October used to be… Broncos are actually looking good on both sides of the ball. Orton to Marshall for Highlite #2 – 33-yard strike - ball is moved down to the Giants 36. Two plays later it's back to Marshall for six bringing up third and three from the 29.

Out of the shotgun Orton on a perfect strike to Terrell Thomas – unfortunately Thomas is wearing a Giants jersey and you can almost feel the momentum change… if you're a Broncos fan you gotta hate the second half – here comes Manning.

Just got a text from someone that wanted to point out that out of the 1,100+ words I've slammed out so far, she actually found something funny… I'm speechless.

Almost.

Giants break out the first real threat of the game – Nine plays, 39-yards and Lawrence Tynes drills it for three – Broncos feel it tighten 16-3.

You ever get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach and your ears start to bleed? Welcome to the second half – it just might be the beginning of the end… Offense looks sloppy – drive stalls short of midfield and it's Berger with the kick – Giants field it at the 14 and appear to be wide awake.

Another long drive for NY – another long drive for the defense… Ball moves inside the Denver thirty and more flags fly – WOW – it's on the Giants – loss of ten for holding – serves them right. Manning to DJ Ware on the sideline – Champ Bailey with the decapitation… that was brutal – adding insult to injury NY gets flagged with offensive pass interference – third and 24 from the 34 – HUGE play coming up…

Noise… noise… in-com-plete – Broncos dodge a bullet – 52-yard field goal attempt splits the uprights and the gap is narrowed once again - Broncos lead 16-6 with thirty-one seconds left in the third. If the Giants start to find the end zone this could get ugly.

4th Quarter
Broncos begin to multi-task – Orton mixing it up on the ground. Pretty decent job by the "O" line and the Broncos cross midfield. Out of the shotgun Orton connects with Gaffney – ball is down to the 19 for first and ten. Moreno off tack;e for a short three. Back to Moreno who hits a wall – loss of one. Third and eight and the Broncos need the end zone.

Heard through the grapevine – NFL Network just caught McDaniels dropping a perfect F-bomb…that's my boy.

Out of the shotgun – Orton to Stokley (my new best friend) – Broncos touchdown – almost dropped an F-bomb myself, but it was in a text so we're cool… I think.

Broncos hold the lead and the momentum – 23-6 lead with ten minutes on the clock and the Giants are looking at first and ten from the 16… Crowd is loud and pumped – Manning quiets them down a bit with a strike to Hicks at the 32-yard line. Broncos retaliate with a vicious sack to Manning – FUMBLE – DJ Williams recovers and the Broncos take it at the Giants 31.

For those of you still sober you gotta be loving this… Orton's on the move – first and ten from the ten – Buckhalter on the ground goes nowhere - incomplete to Marshall in the end zone brings up third and ten. Giants get flagged for encroachment and we're looking at third and five from the five. Back to Buckhalter and the giant wall – loss of one and it's Prater hitting the spotlight once again – straight down the middle – 26-6 and this one is all but in the books.

Rolling to the locker room now and if I survive I'll slam out all of the post game quotes and notes for everybody still awake… Nice way to end the skid – interesting to see how it will all play out.

Starting to fall in love with the refresh button... is that wrong?



Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve-years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio and Internet stations around the country. You can follow all of Schon's updates on Twitter or drop him an email at Michael John Schon



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