10 years is a long time.
The New York Giants enter the 2021 season in pursuit of their first NFC East title in a decade. For a franchise with a proud history and two Super Bowl rings since 2007, missing the playoffs in nine of the last 10 seasons seems almost unthinkable.
For the Giants to turn things around this fall, they’ll need improved play from the offense (and specifically quarterback Daniel Jones). New York was next-to-last in the NFL in both points scored and yards gained a year ago. If Jones can better his touchdown-to-interception ratio this time around (he threw 10 picks and only 11 scoring passes in 2020), the Giants should be able to get off to a better start. Five straight losses to begin the 2020 campaign doomed New York’s chances in what should have been an extremely winnable division. The Giants ultimately finished 6-10, while division champion Washington was just 7-9.
A healthy Saquon Barkley should make a big difference for the Giants this year. After Barkley rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, his season-ending injury in Week 2 last year left a gaping hole in New York’s rushing attack. The wide receiver position has also been upgraded, with Kenny Golladay (free agency) and Kadarius Toney (first-round draft pick) joining the G-Men.
The Giants return Pro Bowlers James Bradberry (cornerback) and Evan Engram (tight end), but didn’t have a single player earn AP All-Pro honors a season ago. If New York can find a way to capture the NFC East crown this year, expect that to change.
The schedule starts with a September 12 date against the Denver Broncos, followed immediately by a Thursday night trip to Washington to begin division play. The Giants will grab the national television spotlight in November, with Monday night road games against both Super Bowl LV participants. New York travels to Kansas City on November 1, and visits defending champ Tampa Bay three weeks later.
Things don’t get easier from there, with four of the Giants’ last six games coming away from MetLife Stadium. The regular season ends with another NFC East showdown against the Washington Football Team on January 9: could that game have playoff implications?
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