Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning may have abused the Ravens for seven touchdowns in Week 1, but that performance doesn't mean much to Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who will have the pleasure of facing Manning Sunday in the latest installment of the Manning Bowl.
"Peyton, we all know what he brings to the table, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, a true Hall of Famer. But at the same time, that doesn't fear us," Rolle said Monday, via the New York Daily News. "We're going to go out there and we're going to play defense the way we know how to play defense. We all put on our pants the same way.
“I'm a true fan of Peyton Manning, but at the same time, he is going to be the opponent come Sunday. So we're going to put our best foot forward and make sure as a defense that we continue to grow and make sure we get on the same page, at the same time, because we know Peyton's going to have a lot coming our way.”
This rates pretty low on the pregame gum-flapping scale (compared to this, which is a 10, we'd give Rolle a 1.5), and the reality is that if the Giants' front four can get after Manning like they did Tom Brady in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, then Eli Manning -- he's the one with two Lombardi Trophies -- can get the best of a pass rush without Von Miller and a banged-up secondary.
“You definitely have to get him out of rhythm,” Rolle said. “Peyton is a rhythm kind of quarterback and he loves the game to be ran to his tempo … Once you get him out of his comfort zone, he's like any other quarterback.”
Big if, though. But Rolle can explain.
“You have to do things to make him uncomfortable,” the safety continued. “You have to rush him. You have to get some hits on him. Peyton does not like to be hit. That's one thing I'm sure of, he hates to be hit. He doesn't like to be sacked. And just jump the ball. If he puts it out there, make a play on the ball."
This is exactly what happened in the first half against the Ravens. The pass rush got to Manning, he was uncomfortable in the pocket, and the Broncos' offense sputtered. The Giants' D will have a similar game plan, one they hope to maintain for 60 minutes.
Also worth noting: Peyton's mind-boggling Week 1 stat line -- 27 of 42 for 462 yards -- wasn't much different from Eli's 27-of-42 for 450 yards. Of course, Peyton threw 7 touchdowns and no interceptions versus 4 and 3 for Eli, but if the Giants can limit their turnovers Sunday (they had six against the Cowboys), there's every reason to think they can win.