There's no quarterback controversy for the Denver Broncos yet, just the comforting knowledge that John Elway has a capable backup.
Elway engineered two quick touchdown drives before leaving the game in the second quarter with a bruised right shoulder, and Tommy Maddox, the rookie from UCLA, coolly maintained the lead as the Broncos defeated the New York Giants, 27-13, Sunday night.
X-rays taken at halftime proved negative, but Elway was unable to continue.
"It's pretty sore right now," Elway said. "I'll take it day by day. There's nothing wrong with the joint, which is good. As I understand it, as long as I can handle the pain, I can throw. It's just a matter of getting rid of the swelling.
"I actually thought I could continue in the first half, but then I went back in and threw the interception and hurt it again trying to make the tackle."
Maddox, barely 21, became the youngest quarterback to throw a pass in the NFL in 46 years when he made a brief appearance earlier this season. He started the second half Sunday night and led Denver (7-3) to scores on three of the team's first four possessions.
"In that situation, you don't have time to think," Maddox said. "You just go in and try to be solid and make some plays. This is what you play for.
"John was great. He helped me a lot in the second half. He calms you down, and it's a real confidence-builder to have him on your side."
The Giants (5-5), playing without All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor, out for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon, had little success stopping the Broncos, who generated a season-high 379 yards.
New York managed a meager 159 yards, only 39 passing.
Denver, maintaining its one-game lead over Kansas City in the AFC West, won at home for the ninth consecutive game and snapped the Giants' three-game winning streak.
Elway guided Denver to touchdowns on the team's first two possessions, including a 51-yard scoring pass play to Mark Jackson. Elway injured his shoulder while diving for a first down with 10:22 left in the half and, after returning for three plays that included an interception, he left with the Broncos heading to a 14-3 halftime lead.
Maddox drove the Broncos to field goals of 25 and 46 yards by David Treadwell, and Greg Lewis' one-yard touchdown run.
Giant quarterback Jeff Hostetler suffered bruised ribs while absorbing his fifth sack late in the game.