Logan Ryan left MetLife Stadium with an untested theory that the Broncos defense would have struggled to contain all the Giants playmakers.
No one will ever know for sure — though it seems unlikely based on a small sample size — because the Ryan-led Giants defense failed to get a stop on so many third and fourth downs that the Broncos held a 10-minute advantage in time of possession in coasting to a 27-13 season-opening victory.
“You play more defense, bad things happen,” Ryan said. “We didn’t make their defense play enough defense.”
The Broncos converted 7 of 15 third-down conversions and 3 of 3 fourth-down conversions, which Ryan described as the “story of the game.” Three of the Broncos’ five scoring drives lasted at least 10 plays and two chewed up more than eight minutes of clock time.
“I believe their defense probably would’ve been bad, too, if they would’ve played longer,” Ryan said. “We just have to get our offense more touches. I felt our offense was moving the ball pretty well, and I felt bad we didn’t get them a chance to play a lot.”
Here’s the best example of how badly everything went for the Giants defense: Blake Martinez, the surest tackler on the team with at least 130 each of the last four seasons, missed a fourth-and-goal stop that would’ve prevented the decisive touchdown. He dove and lowered his shoulder, but Albert Okwuegbunam broke the tackle, navigated the sideline and dove for the pylon.
“I read and saw the scramble play, and the guy came loose,” Martinez said. “I went for his legs, and he made a play and stayed up.”