Patriots

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Giants stun Broncos 23-10 for first win

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SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Giants stun Broncos 23-10 for first win

DENVER -- It was a wipe-out all right, just not the one expected by just about everyone outside the New York Giants.

"I don't think anyone picked us to win this game," Eli Manning said after the Giants' first victory Sunday night, a 23-10 romp of the Denver Broncos in a prime-time stunner.

Manning called it "a special win" for a reeling team that was without six starters a week after losing three wide receivers to season-ending injuries, including star Odell Beckham Jr.

Capping a stormy week of injuries and infighting, the Giants (1-5) pulled off one of the season's biggest upsets by dominating Denver in every phase from start to finish.

The Broncos (3-2), who are averaging just 14 points since their 42-17 rout of Dallas a month ago, blew a golden opportunity to close in on Kansas City in the AFC West after the Steelers knocked off the last unbeaten team in the league earlier Sunday.

"It's the National Football League," Denver's Von Miller said. "It's not about who you've got playing for you or what stars are in the game or what the team looks like. It's any given Sunday."

Visiting teams went 8-5 in Week 6 and are 46-44 overall this upside-down NFL season.

Jason Pierre-Paul had a trio of sacks for the Giants, who came into Denver tottering from a tumultuous week in which three wide receivers landed on injured reserve, five other starters were sidelined with injuries and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was suspended for insubordination.

"Nobody is giving us a chance in hell to win this ballgame," coach Ben McAdoo declared as he prepared to bring his team to Denver, where the Broncos were healthy, coming off a bye and leading the league in defense and swagger.

Yet the Giants had a goal-line stand to go with four sacks and two interceptions, double their season total. And it was the Broncos who bumbled their way through a nightmarish night filled with muffs and mistakes, flags and frustration.

"Our record wasn't good, but that doesn't mean we're a bad team," said McAdoo, who handed offensive play calling duties to coordinator Mike Sullivan for the first time. "We're a good football team."

So are the Broncos.

"Sometimes it just ain't your day," defensive end Derek Wolfe said, adding, "We didn't overlook this team. It wasn't like, `Oh, they're 0-5 and we're going to overlook them.' No, we were like, `These guys are a good team and we have to go out and play our best. We didn't play our best and that's why I'm (ticked)."

The sheer amount of sidelined starters actually worked in the Giants' favor.

"We didn't know what offensive linemen were playing, where they were playing, what receivers were playing," Wolfe said. "When you don't know who's playing, it's hard to game plan against them."

Quarterback Trevor Siemian was knocked out of the game briefly, and he lost his right tackle Menelik Watson (right calf) along with receivers Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Isaiah McKenzie to ankle injuries. Demaryius Thomas limped through a 10-catch night.

Before being soundly booed as they retreated to the locker room trailing 17-3 at the half, the Broncos kept hollering at each other in the huddle, couldn't convert third downs and gave up more big plays than they had all season.

The biggest came when Siemian, who earlier threw into triple and even quadruple coverage while overlooking open targets, threw a pick-six to cornerback Janoris Jenkins . His 43-yard interception return for a touchdown with 48 seconds left before halftime gave New York a two-touchdown cushion and left Siemian writhing in pain.

Siemian dived at Jenkins as he scooted past him near the goal line, and Siemian jammed his left shoulder into the ground. It's the same shoulder that bothered him almost all of last year and required surgery in January. He was replaced by Brock Osweiler but returned to start the second half.

"I tried to tackle the guy and that's certainly not my specialty," Siemian said. "I'm fine, a little sore, but I'm fine."

On this night, it was the Broncos who were the team in turmoil, falling behind 20-3 before Siemian hit Jeff Heuerman from 13 yards out with four minutes remaining.

KICKING WOESBrandon McManus' miss from 35 yards out, his fourth missed chip shot of the season, was an ominous sign for Denver. He also had a 53-yard attempt that was blocked.

McManus has been anything but money since signing an $11.25 million extension last month. He's missed five field goals in 13 tries. Last year, he missed five times in 34 tries.

Coach Vance Joseph, however, said he won't be bringing in another kicker anytime soon.

"We'll address it with him," Joseph said. "But sitting here right now he's our guy."

BIG GAIN: The Broncos were allowing just 50.8 yards rushing per game. Orleans Darkwa gained almost that many on one run in the second quarter when he knifed right up the middle and wasn't pulled down until safety Justin Simmons caught up with him 47 yards later.

That set up Manning's 5-yard TD toss to tight end Evan Engram that gave New York a 10-0 lead.

Darkwa finished with 117 yards, the most this season against Denver.

The Broncos gained just 46 yards on the ground and C.J. Anderson failed to punch it in from the 1 even though it appeared he might have nudged the nose of the football over the goal line.

"For whatever reason," Siemian said, "we just didn't get it going collectively."

UP NEXT

New York returns home to host the Seattle Seahawks before a bye week.

The Broncos visit the Los Angeles Chargers in the first of three consecutive road games.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Ryan's 2 TD passes enough as Falcons hold off Seahawks 34-31

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Ryan's 2 TD passes enough as Falcons hold off Seahawks 34-31

SEATTLE - Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons did enough through 3 1/2 quarters that even the best comeback attempt by Russell Wilson fell short this time.

A couple of yards short to be exact.

Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes, Adrian Clayborn returned a fumble 10 yards for a score and the Falcons watched Blair Walsh's 52-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds fall short, holding off the Seattle Seahawks for a 34-31 win on Monday night.

Atlanta won its second straight to stay on the heels of New Orleans and Carolina in the NFC South, and handed Seattle a second consecutive home loss.

"What an absolute team win from the guys tonight," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. "Coming here, in this environment, with the crowd, we thought it would be two competitive, tough teams that were going to battle for it in the biggest way."

Ryan threw TDs to Mohamed Sanu and Levine Toilolo, while Tevin Coleman added a 1-yard TD run on Atlanta's opening possession.

But it was Clayborn's fumble return that helped break the game open early in the second quarter and gave Atlanta a 21-7 lead. He scooped up a loose ball after Wilson was crunched by Takk McKinley and Courtney Upshaw.

"I think we're moving in the right direction. We keep proving we can finish games and beat guys. We have to take the momentum and keep rolling with it," Clayborn said.

With Seattle down 11 points, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin on a 29-yard TD with 3 minutes left and then threw to Jimmy Graham for the two-point conversion. Seattle got the ball back and moved in range for Walsh, whose attempt was on line but landed short of the crossbar.

"That was in our range, and in hindsight I would have just driven it more," Walsh said. "I would have driven it more and not left it short. I was too accurate and didn't have enough on it."

Wilson again was the entirety of Seattle's offense, throwing for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and running for another 86 yards and a TD.

But it was an awful night for the Seahawks, filled with more injuries and questionable decisions by coach Pete Carroll. He called for a fake field goal late in the first half rather than attempting a 35-yard kick. He also made a questionable challenge in the fourth quarter that didn't go his way and left Seattle with just one timeout.

That lack of timeouts came back to haunt Seattle on the final drive when seconds ticked away and rather than running one more play, Walsh was sent out to attempt the 52-yard kick. His long for the season is 49 yards.

The conclusion only amplified Carroll's baffling decision at the end of the first half, when Seattle ran a fake field goal rather than having Walsh attempt a 35-yarder that would have pulled Seattle within 24-20. Holder Jon Ryan completed his shovel pass to Luke Willson, but Grady Jarrett read the play and tackled Willson for a 4-yard loss.

Willson said Atlanta's defense on the play was different than what Seattle had seen on film.

"It would have been a really good call if we had made it," Carroll said. "Terrific opportunity right where we wanted it and the defensive tackle made a better play."

Seattle played a game for the first time since the end of the 2010 season without Richard Sherman. His streak of 99 consecutive starts in the regular season was snapped because of a torn Achilles tendon suffered against Arizona. The Seahawks were also without safety Kam Chancellor because of a neck injury, leaving their vaunted secondary with several new faces.

"Those two are phenomenal players. ... It was a lot different," Sanu said. "They did a lot of different things but we just had to take advantage of our routes."

MATTY ICE

Ryan was more than happy to pick on a defense without Sherman and Chancellor. He was 19 of 27 passing for 195 yards and rarely faced pressure. Seattle had one sack, and the Falcons went 9 of 14 on third-down conversions.

Sanu made a great one-handed grab for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Ryan found Toilolo on a 25-yard TD in the third quarter to give Atlanta a 31-20 lead. Matt Bryant added a 19-yard field goal with 3:49 left to put the Falcons ahead by 11, and Wilson's late heroics weren't enough.

Ryan's streak of 64 straight games passing for at least 200 yards was snapped.

INJURIES

Seattle's injury woes continued. The Seahawks lost rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin to a concussion on the second play of the game, forcing newly signed veteran Byron Maxwell into a more prominent role than expected.

Early in the second half, promising running back Mike Davis was lost to a groin injury after taking a screen pass 21 yards. Davis had two receptions and had carried six times for 18 yards before getting hurt. Seattle also lost starting guard Oday Aboushi in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

Atlanta got a scare when safety Keanu Neal was checked for a concussion in the first half. He was cleared to return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday to open a three-game homestand.

Seahawks: Travel to division foe San Francisco on Sunday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

EX-PATS PODCAST: How Belichick the perfectionist will find flaws in win vs. Raiders

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EX-PATS PODCAST: How Belichick the perfectionist will find flaws in win vs. Raiders

0:55 - Patriots playing great as they stream roll the Raiders but Koppen explains that Belichick will knock them down as he strives for perfection. Also talk about how it takes a couple months into the season for the coaches and players to learn each other again.

5:40 - Stephon Gilmore playing excellent lined up against Michael Crabtree. Malcolm Butler bounces back but gives up the only score to Amari Cooper. Koppen suggest Butler’s contract situation might be affecting his play. 

7:50 - All in on the Patriots defense yet? Giardi and Koppen discuss the defensive play and the upcoming offenses the Patriots will be facing.

10:30 - Dan Koppen talks about job security in the NFL and if he ever worried about somebody else taking his job, and the cutthroat nature of the Patriots. 

13:50 - Tom Brady picking apart the Raiders and Jack Del Rio’s defenses throughout his career. 

17:45 - A debate about Patriots backup quarterbacks and if Matt Cassel was actually a good NFL QB. 

21:20 - A few game notes: Rex Burkhead’s fumble vs. the Raiders, LaAdrian Waddle filling in for Marcus Cannon.