Broncos turn back Giants
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
DENVER -- It was a bittersweet celebration for the Denver Broncos.
Playing their first game in a new stadium, the Broncos welcomed back former MVP Terrell Davis and showed why they are considered Super Bowl contenders with a 31-20 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night.
While Davis proved healthy with 101 yards on 21 carries, Denver lost starting wide receiver Ed McCaffrey to a broken leg. McCaffrey, who caught a team-record 101 passes last year, could miss the rest of the season.
The devastating injury to McCaffrey seemed to inspire the Broncos, particularly Rod Smith, who caught a 25-yard touchdown pass that gave Denver a 21-14 lead three plays after McCaffrey was injured midway through the third quarter.
The Broncos also scored on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter, ensuring they would open $400 million Invesco Field at Mile High on a winning note.
Smith, one of McCaffrey's best friends, finished with nine catches for 115 yards, and Brian Griese, eight months removed from reconstructive shoulder surgery, was 21-of-29 for 330 yards and three touchdowns.
New York finished with 308 yards total offense -- 90 coming in the final five minutes.