The Teddy Bridgewater era in Denver is off to a good start.
Bridgewater threw two touchdowns and the Broncos dominated time of possession for much of the afternoon on the way to a 27-13 road win over the Giants. It’s the first opening day win for head coach Vic Fangio in his third season on the Denver sideline.
The Broncos offense was able to move the ball well early, but a strong Giants defensive stand and a lost fumble limited the return on those possessions. The Giants were able to take a 7-3 lead while the Broncos were floundering, but Bridgewater hit Tim Patrick for a two-yard score just before halftime to stake the Broncos to a 10-7 lead.
It was almost all Broncos from there. They scored their second touchdown after a 16-play, eight-minute drive to open the second half and used a 10-play drive to set up a field goal after a fumble by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Melvin Gordon capped their scoring with a 70-yard run one play after Giants rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari handed the Broncos a first down with an unnecessary roughness penalty for hit on Bridgewater.
Jones fumbled at the end of a scramble and it marks the 18th time that he has lost fumbles in 28 career games. The turnover issues have been the biggest flaw in Jones’ game and Sunday’s opener made it clear that he has yet to eradicate them.
Saquon Barkley ran 10 times for 26 yards and ran once for a yard in his first game since last year’s torn ACL. The Giants could never establish enough offensive momentum to lean on the run game in the first half and the score limited the chances to get Barkley going after halftime. They’ll face Washington on the road next weekend.
Bridgewater finished the day 28-of-36 for 264 yards while completing passes to nine different receivers in exactly the kind of efficient and effective performance the Broncos were hoping to see when they gave him the job over Drew Lock. He’ll try to keep it going in Jacksonville in Week Two.