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KLEE: No faking - Broncos will get the Giants' best shot

By: Paul Klee
September 13, 2013 Updated: September 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm
Caption +
New York Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (99) sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

NEW YORK - Aside from the obvious - Manning Bowl III - what is Sunday's showdown between the Broncos and the Giants?

The toughest game on the Broncos schedule before late October, when Peyton returns to Indianapolis. It is the Broncos' best chance for a loss before Week 7.

Chalk up two certainties here in the big city: One columnist will refer to the subway as the Light Rail, and the Giants will play as if their 16-game season hinges on this one.

This Sunday at MetLife Stadium is the reunion of football's first family. Have you heard?

"Playing against your brother in an NFL game, it's a little different than playing against him in Little League baseball or whatnot," Peyton said.

Last Sunday the Giants lost to the Cowboys. The Giants stunk it up with six(!) turnovers. Have you heard?

"The way we shot ourselves in the foot like an amateur operation ..." Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a conference call.

Amateur operation?

This is a franchise with "two Super Bowls in the last six years," as Rahim Moore told me.

The Giants are big time, even when they're not.

"I think they're an organization on the NFC side viewed a lot like the Broncos are on the AFC side," said Broncos coach John Fox, the defensive coordinator for the Giants from 1997-2001.

My cab driver from LaGuardia to Penn Station told me the Giants will win Sunday. I disagreed, politely, so he wouldn't take me to New Jersey, but don't bet your Carmelo Anthony jersey on it.

The Broncos were rooting for two teams in Week One: themselves and the Giants.

You never want to challenge a proud bulldog after the cat snuck away with his food bowl.

The Giants will be ready.

Considering how the Giants lost in Week 1, here's a guess their practice sounded a lot like Peyton in his United Way skit on "Saturday Night Live."

"I'm sorry. Do you want to lose? I throw. You catch. It's not that hard. Now get the (expletive) out of here."

Or this, from Peyton in the same skit: "I can't even look at you. Go sit in the Port-O-Let for 20 minutes. And close the door."

The Broncos had eight months to stew over their loss to the Ravens before playing the Ravens in Week 1. Judging by their shenanigans off the field, their minds wandered.

The Giants had six days to chew on their loss to the Cowboys. Judging by their coach's staged reaction, their minds are locked in.

"Right now we're 0-1," Eli Manning said.

Against the Cowboys, the Giants were a comedy of errors, complete with 11 missed tackles and turnovers on their first three possessions.

If it were a Broadway comedy, the head coach wasn't laughing.

"Embarrassed" is how Coughlin put it.

"Forewarned" is how the Broncos should put it.

In New York's season opener, running back David Wilson fumbled, twice.

How mad were the Giants?

They didn't force Wilson to carry a football from his bedroom to the practice field. They took it a step further. They signed another running back - 6-foot-4, 265-pound Brandon Jacobs. He's got a, ahem, mean streak. I covered him in college.

"He's hungry to play and to prove himself," Coughlin said. "I think he will benefit and help us to the point where our physical play is going to improve with him around."

For the Broncos, there was one positive in the Giants losing their first game: allegations the Giants were faking injuries to put the brakes on the Cowboys' speedy offense.

The Giants really sold the fake, too. One of the alleged fakers, linebacker Dan Connor, has been placed on injured reserve. His season is over with a faked injury.

The other, lineman Cullen Jenkins, returned to the game and will play Sunday. It sure looked like he was faking, and that's a good thing for the Broncos.

The Broncos play fast, faster, fastest. But now that faking injuries has been turned into a national story, the officials will watch it like a diamond purse on the Light Rail.

"It's hard for any official" to determine what's real or fake, Fox said. "They have tough jobs as it is with some of the enforcements."

Fox played that perfectly.

Will the Broncos need to play perfectly?

Just about.


Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

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