The stumbling Broncos look to end their skid Thursday night when they host the Giants, who halted their four-game slide four days earlier.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Giants -7 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Thursday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on the Giants -7 (View NFL bet percentages).
Denver (6-4) looked like one of the elite teams in the NFL during its 6-0 start under new coach Josh McDaniels. The Broncos had a 3 1/2-game lead on San Diego in the AFC West heading into their bye week Oct. 25.
Since returning to action, Denver has been outscored 117-37 and fell one game behind the Chargers with a 32-3 home loss to San Diego on Sunday. The Broncos haven't scored an offensive touchdown in dropping their last two at Invesco Field.
"I think the good thing is for a team in our situation, coming off a tough division game, is obviously we didn't play nearly the way we wanted to and on a four-game losing streak, we are eager to get back on the field and play again," McDaniels said. "This might be a good time for our team."
New York (6-4) has endured similar highs and lows. The Giants were dominant during a 5-0 start before losing four straight going into their bye. They ended that skid with a 34-31 overtime win over Atlanta on Sunday.
Coach Tom Coughlin understands what Denver is dealing with but doesn't have any advice for rookie coach McDaniels and the Broncos this week.
"There are some thoughts that we had that we utilized last week," Coughlin said. "I had rather not share. Denver media would like to know, I think, which I don't know whether there is any magic - there is no magical answer. You have to play your way out of whatever issues you have and it has to be settled on the field. A lot of it is, as I said, your approach."
McDaniels expects to have Kyle Orton back as his starting quarterback after his sprained left ankle made the coach go with Chris Simms last week. Simms looked shaky in his first three series, and Orton entered and went 15 of 29 for 171 yards and an interception.
Orton has practiced fully in preparation for this game and could be excited by what he has seen from New York's defense. The unit is ranked second in the NFL but allowed its last two opponents to go the length of the field for touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to tie or take the lead.
"Well, we need to get some things shored up on our end, but we are excited to get going here on Thursday," Orton said. "I think if we play our best ball, we'll have a good chance."
The Giants allowed the Falcons to score 24 points on four second-half possessions Sunday, surrendering the final 14 of regulation. They survived by winning the overtime coin toss and driving 49 yards for Lawrence Tynes' winning 36-yard field goal.
"I think we have done very well in certain situations, but we haven't played as well as I think we can," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "I think it is important for everybody to keep on listening to what the coaches are saying and go out there and try to execute our defense. I think if everybody does that, we will be pretty good."
Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce is expected to miss his second straight game with a neck injury.
New York is tied with Philadelphia for second place in the NFC East, one game behind Dallas, and heads to Denver with concerns in the backfield.
Brandon Jacobs expects to play after he missed the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday with an injured right leg, saying he could have re-entered the game. Ahmad Bradshaw, however, is wearing a protective boot on his sprained left ankle, and it's uncertain whether he'll make the trip.
The Giants managed 88 yards rushing on 26 carries, forcing Eli Manning to shoulder the load. Manning threw for a career-high 384 yards and three scores.
"I felt good," Manning said. "I felt in rhythm and guys were making plays and getting open. And the offensive line was protecting, so I felt good."
Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer with 5 seconds left for a 24-23 win four years ago in these teams' last meeting. The Giants fell 31-20 in their lone visit to Invesco Field on Sept. 10, 2001.
Posted: 11/24/09 7:45PM ET