Peyton and Eli Manning faced off for the third time as professionals on Sept. 16. However, this was the first time the Mannings played in a game between the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Yet just like he did twice with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton took care of Eli as the Broncos rolled to another high scoring 41-23 victory.
The elder Manning didn’t throw seven touchdown passes like he did against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5. The first sign that this would be a more difficult game came on the first drive, when Manning led the Broncos to the goal line, only to see Montee Ball fumble the ball before reaching the end zone.
The rest of the first half was a relatively low scoring affair, as the Broncos carried a mere 10-9 lead into the locker room. With no touchdowns from Peyton and Eli only leading three field goal drives, the Manning Bowl looked to be a non-starter. But it was the older Manning who finally got going in the second half, although the Broncos gave him their share of help.
Wes Welker caught Manning’s first touchdown pass early in the second half, but the Giants came back with a score from once and future starting running back Brandon Jacobs. Yet 17-16 was as close as the Giants got, as the Broncos came right back with Knowshon Moreno’s second touchdown run of the day and never looked back.
Manning tossed one more touchdown to Julius Thomas, then Trindon Holliday put the nail in New York’s coffin with an 81-yard punt return. The Giants’ Manning threw a garbage time touchdown, although it came in the midst of a four interception performance, while his big brother was mistake free.
With the Broncos at 2-0 after scoring 90 points in two games, the stage is set for their Manning to make another Super Bowl run -- and try to get the second ring that the Giants’ Manning already has. However, Eli is 0-2 and is already seeing his chances at a third Super Bowl teeter for 2013.
The soonest possible date for Manning Bowl IV is at this year’s Super Bowl back in Metlife Stadium. Nevertheless, only one Manning looked ready to play in that stadium again next February, as the other may play out the string there this December if he doesn’t bounce back quickly.