The Giants defense was put in bad positions all night on Sunday by the offense’s inability to stop handing the ball to the Cowboys, but the unit stopped Dallas from running away with the game and gave the Giants a chance to win until the sixth turnover of the night iced the game for Dallas.
It wasn’t a perfect performance, but it was enough to leave safety Antrel Rolle feeling confident about the defense’s chances of thwarting the offense they’ll face in Week Two. That offense belongs to the Broncos and is led by quarterback Peyton Manning, who was last seen throwing an NFL single-game record seven touchdown passes against the Ravens last Thursday night. Rolle acknowledges Manning’s greatness, but says the Giants defense won’t play with any fear.
“Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning, definitely one of the best quarterbacks to play this game,” Rolle said, via the New York Daily News. “Hall of Fame quarterback, but I don’t see all of that come Sunday. We go out there and play ball. We play against him as we play any other quarterback. This is no time for fear and no one on the defense is going to fear Peyton because we’re going to go after him as we do any other quarterback.”
Rolle said the key to slowing Manning would be making him uncomfortable, which means hitting him early and often because Manning, according to Rolle, “does not like to be hit.” It’s a sound game plan that the Giants have used to throw quarterbacks off their game in the past, but many have tried to do it to Manning without succeeding.
Since few teams can pull that off and few, if any, can ever truly stop a Manning-led offense, the Giants’ own offense is going to have to play a role. Turning the ball over and giving Peyton extra chances would be asking for a loss, so that needs to get under control if the team wants to avoid a two-game losing streak to start the year.