Updated: November 26, 2009 at 12:00 am
Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton didn’t show any ill effects Thursday night from a left ankle injury that kept him from starting four days earlier.
Orton was sharp at the start of the game, completing 12-of-19 passes for 159 yards before halftime. The Giants came into the game with the second-ranked pass defense in the NFL. Orton did throw an interception early in the third quarter on an ill-advised pass.
Orton’s top two targets in the first half were tight end Tony Scheffler, who caught three passes, including a big catch on fourth-and-5, and receiver Brandon Marshall, whose sensational one-handed catch in the second quarter set up a Knowshon Moreno touchdown.
Bailey special teams
The Broncos, stuck in a four-game losing streak, were willing to make some changes to improve. Included in that was putting cornerback Champ Bailey on special teams. Bailey played on the kickoff coverage and punt return teams. The last season Bailey was used much on special teams was the first few games of the 2007 season.
Odds and ends
Last week, rookie first-round pick Robert Ayers was deactivated, and Jarvis Moss took his place. The roles were reversed Thursday, as Moss was inactive and Ayers took his usual spot at outside linebacker in the nickel defense. … Rookie second-round pick Alphonso Smith took most of the plays at the third cornerback spot in the nickel defense. Veteran Ty Law had been the nickel corner since signing with the Broncos earlier this month, but he started his first game. … Receiver Eddie Royal left the game with a thigh injury. Correll Buckhalter took over kickoff returns and Smith returned punts. … Right tackle Tyler Polumbus left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury and was replaced by Brandon Gorin. Polumbus returned later in the drive. Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas injured his shoulder late in the third quarter.