DENVER — Eli Apple soared with his arms outstretched through midfield when time expired on the Giants’ 23-10 win Sunday night, looking as if he were taunting the Broncos.
“No,” Apple said. “I dunno. I think I thought I was a plane.”
He’d be excused to feel like he was flying Mile High. The Giants’ secondary, in turmoil with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suspended and Apple disgruntled last week, bounced back in a huge way playing for the head coach a handful of them had clashed with in Week 5.
Landon Collins first intercepted Denver QB Trevor Siemian and then Janoris Jenkins (interception, forced fumble) took his own back 43 yards for the pick six to give the Giants a stunning 17-3 halftime lead at Mile High. Fans booed the Broncos going into halftime.
“That was big. I was mad at (Jenkins) because I was like if I was healthy I would’ve taken mine back, too, you feel me?” Collins said with a laugh. “But no, I’m glad for him, we harp going back and forth on who’s gonna be the best defensive player on our team.”
The two first-half interceptions doubled the Giants’ season total through five weeks, with Darian Thompson’s Week 5 pick of Philip Rivers the defense’s lone INT prior to Sunday night.
Collins said McAdoo “stayed affirmative” and positive with the secondary and defense despite the tumultuous week.
Jenkins had a difficult start to the game defending the big and physical Demaryius Thomas, surrendering an unusual seven receptions to start the game. But then he jumped Siemian’s pass to the left sideline late in the second quarter and sprinted to the pylon.
Jay Bromley celebrates Janoris Jenkins’ pick-six.
(Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports)
“We were talking about it on the sideline that he likes to lock on and just stay on the receiver,” Jenkins said. “And I told Coach how he was attacking us and he told me one time just sit on it and take it.”
Jenkins also forced a fumble in the second half that Apple recovered. Apple played better in coverage than he has most of this season. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison was dominant. Jason Pierre-Paul erupted for three sacks. Rookie Avery Moss led the way on a fourth-quarter goal line stand. Kerry Wynn blocked a Brandon McManus field goal. And the defense came in allowing 139 rush yards per game and held Denver to 46.
“That was real,” Moss said of the goal line stand, which Jenkins also had a hand in as well.
Rodgers-Cromartie and McAdoo are expected to talk early this week and the expectation is the corner’s indefinite suspension will be lifted after only one week. But NBC did report new news that McAdoo had said “four separate incidents” had led to the suspension, so we’ll see if this really is over.
STILL ON ONE KNEE
Inactive defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), who began kneeling for the national anthem in Week 3 in Philadelphia, knelt on the sideline for a fourth straight week at Mile High on Sunday night. Teammates Damon Harrison and Donte Deayon stood on each side of Vernon and each placed a hand on his shoulders.
NINE MEN OUT
In addition to the suspended Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants played without these nine injured players (deep breath): wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle, out for season), Marshall (ankle, out for season), Sterling Shepard (ankle, out weeks) and Dwayne Harris (foot, out for season), running back Paul Perkins (ribs, out weeks), center Weston Richburg (concussion), Vernon (ankle, out weeks), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), defensive end Romeo Okwara (knee sprain, out weeks). Linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) also left mid-game.