DENVER — The Giants’ game plan made sense, given the loss of four wide receivers to injury the previous week: run the ball, and keep running it.
There were two complications: The Broncos entered Sunday night’s game at Sports Authority Field with the top-ranked rushing defense in the NFL.
And the Giants’ featured back, Orleans Darkwa, never had rushed for more than 153 yards in an entire season in his four-year career.
No matter. Darkwa carried the ball 21 times for 117 yards in the Giants’ 23-10 victory, including a 47-yarder that set up their only offensive touchdown and a key 15-yarder in the fourth quarter that got them out of trouble from their own 1-yard line.
Afterward, Darkwa credited the offensive line, the game plan and the Giants’ grit.
“This is what we expect as a group,” he told reporters. “Y’all wrote us off, but I know the talent we have in that room and I know the talent we have on that line and the offense as a whole. I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
That remains to be seen, but if it could be a workable plan against the Broncos — at altitude, yet — why not have it work against other teams?
Darkwa wants to keep being in the middle of it.
“When it’s time to close it out, they want to go to me; that’s a blessing in itself, especially on this stage,” he said. “You dream of it as a kid when you’re watching all those games and you see those interviews. When I was a kid, I was watching. So it’s a blessing, but at the same time, you can’t get complacent.”
Darkwa knew he would pay for it physically come Monday morning, but he did not mind.
“It’s been a long time since I got 20-plus [carries],” he said. “I’m pretty drained. But hey, I love that feeling. I’ll probably be sore tomorrow, but I love that feeling . . . It was fun. The environment was fun. It always feels good to come and shut the crowd up . . . I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. It’s not going anywhere.”
That chip extends to how he believes the Giants were perceived entering Sunday’s game.
“Y’all try to kill us every time y’all get a chance,” he told reporters. “It is what it is . . . We were 0-5. We know y’all are going to grill us. But we believe in ourselves and we feel like we’re all we’ve got as a team.”