NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 27, New York Giants 13

Sep 12, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) avoids New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) to throw a touchdown pass during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Led by Teddy Bridgewater and a late Melvin Gordon III touchdown run, the Denver Broncos cruised to a 27-13 win over the New York Giants in East Rutherford.


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Denver Broncos

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater put on an absolute show against New York. He earned a 90.0-plus PFF passing grade on first review of the broadcast film, completing 28-of-36 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in the process.

Bridgewater was particularly impressive under pressure. He avoided sacks on multiple dropbacks and completed a handful of impressive throws outside the pocket, including a third-quarter touchdown pass to Albert Okwuegbunam on fourth down. His PFF passing grade under pressure should clear reviews as one of the best single-game marks of his career.

Running Back

Both Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams struggled to get anything going on the ground against the Giants’ front seven through the first 58 minutes of the game. Neither back averaged more than four yards per carry before Gordon broke off a 70-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Second-year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught six passes for 72 yards before going down with an ankle injury that led to him being carted off the field in the third quarter. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported after the game that X-rays on Jeudy’s ankle came back negative, but he still suffered a high-ankle sprain. 

Tim Patrick and Okwuegbunam caught both of Bridgewater’s touchdown passes, but K.J. Hamler also dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone. Tight end Noah Fant finished second behind Jeudy for the team lead in receiving yards, with 62 on six receptions. 

Name POS Routes Targets Receptions Yards YAC TD 1D Drops ADOT
Melvin Gordon III HB 20 3 3 17 22 0 0 0 -1.67
Eric Saubert TE 7 2 1 7 8 0 0 1 0
Tim Patrick WR 27 4 4 39 7 1 4 0 8
Albert Okwuegbunam TE 18 3 3 16 16 1 2 0 0
Noah Fant TE 27 7 6 62 26 0 3 0 8.57
Courtland Sutton WR 33 3 1 14 1 0 1 0 16.33
Jerry Jeudy WR 24 7 6 72 10 0 4 0 11.71
K.J. Hamler WR 20 4 3 41 5 0 3 1 21.25
Javonte Williams HB 15 1 1 -4 4 0 0 0 -8
Offensive Line

None of Denver’s offensive linemen earned grades above 70.0 on PFF’s first review of the broadcast film. Graham Glasgow, Dalton Risner, Garett Bolles and Lloyd Cushenberry were all charted with at least two pressures allowed.

Defensive Line

Von Miller should finish reviews as one of the Broncos’ highest-graded defenders. He led the group with six total pressures, including two sacks. Interior defensive linemen Shelby Harris and Dre’Mont Jones also earned high PFF run-defense grades on first review.

Linebacker

Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson were standout performers against New York. The duo combined for three defensive stops, and Jewell recorded a key forced fumble while tackling a scrambling Daniel Jones to help Denver secure the win. Jewell also recorded a quarterback pressure and a pass breakup.

Secondary

Veteran Kyle Fuller arguably had the best performance of the Broncos’ defensive backs with his two forced incompletions, but he also allowed five receptions for 91 yards on PFF’s first review of the broadcast film. Safety Kareem Jackson finished as the team’s highest-graded defensive back on first review.

New York Giants

Quarterback

Daniel Jones was impressive and relatively mistake-free to start the game, going 12-of-18 for 154 yards and a touchdown before his costly lost fumble late in the third quarter. Jones scrambled for seven yards on first down to get to the Denver 15-yard line but coughed up the ball. The Broncos recovered it, and Jones never recovered from the error. Jones now has 49 career combined interceptions and fumbles in his career, the most of any quarterback in the NFL since 2019.

Jones proceeded to go 10-of-20 for 113 yards and zero touchdowns to close out the game.

Running Back

Saquon Barkley was seldom utilized and had little success on his few opportunities with the football. He recorded 27 scoreless yards and two forced missed tackles on 11 touches, including 10 carries and just one reception from one target.

Backup Devontae Booker was somehow less productive. He rushed for seven yards on four carries.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Veteran Sterling Shepard was far and away the Giants’ most impressive receiver on the day. He caught four of his seven targets for 113 yards, including an impressive 37-yard touchdown. Five of his targets went for first downs, and he also forced a missed tackle on one of his receptions. 

Darius Slayton finished second on the team with 65 receiving yards on his three receptions, but he also dropped three balls. Kenny Golladay caught four of his six targets for 64 yards, with just two of the yards coming after the catch. 

Name Team POS Routes Targets Receptions Yards YAC TD 1D Drops ADOT
Kyle Rudolph Giants TE 29 5 2 8 2 0 0 0 6.8
Sterling Shepard Giants WR 42 9 7 113 42 1 6 0 9.89
Devontae Booker Giants HB 15 1 1 6 5 0 0 0 1
Elijhaa Penny Giants FB 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Kenny Golladay Giants WR 40 6 4 64 2 0 4 0 16.33
C.J. Board Giants WR 3 1 1 6 0 0 1 0 6
Darius Slayton Giants WR 35 8 3 65 3 0 2 3 11
Kaden Smith Giants TE 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Saquon Barkley Giants HB 17 3 1 1 7 0 0 1 2.67
Gary Brightwell Giants HB 7 1 1 6 6 0 0 0 0
Kadarius Toney Giants WR 4 2 2 -2 9 0 0 0 -5.5
Offensive Line

Second-year offensive tackle Andrew Thomas should finish the review process with one of the highest single-game pass-blocking grades of his career. He allowed just two pressures on the day.

The combination of Nate Solder and Matt Peart at right tackle was nothing short of disastrous. The duo combined for six pressures allowed on first review.

Defensive Line

The Giants’ trio of interior defensive linemen, Dexter Lawrence, Austin Johnson and Leonard Williams, was a notable highlight for the defense. All three earned 75.0-plus PFF grades on first review.

Rookie Azeez Ojulari was bodied quite a bit in the run game. He picked up his first career sack against Denver, but he otherwise struggled to hold his own in the trenches.

Linebacker

Veteran Reggie Ragland was by far the Giants’ most impressive off-ball linebacker on the day. He recorded three defensive stops, zero missed tackles and a 78.0-plus PFF run-defense grade.

Secondary

Logan Ryan was a mad man against Denver. He should finish reviews as one of the team’s highest-graded players after recording seven tackles, two defensive stops and an incredible forced fumble and recovery.

The rest of the Giants’ secondary was unimpressive. Darnay Holmes, Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson recorded sub-55.0 PFF grades on first review.

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