By Michael Stewart@TheTruthNYG
The Giants went 0-3 in pre-season and will now open the 2021 season at home against the Denver Broncos who went 3-0 in pre-season. Now the games will count for the Giants starting this Sunday: Let’s take a look at my top 5 matchups in this game:
- Teddy Bridgewater-vs-Daniel Jones: Don’t under-estimate the addition of Teddy Bridgewater who was acquired from the Panthers in the off-season. Both quarterbacks will have a talented group of receivers to throw to and make plays. Major factor here will be which quarterback will have the time and luxury to find the open receiver; which leads us to the next matchup.
- Giant’s Offensive line-vs-Denver’s defensive front 7: The Giants offensive line has a lot of question marks; which led them to add three offensive linemen after the final pre-season game. The Broncos strength is arguably their defensive front 7 led by Hall of Famer OLB Von Miller along with OLB Bradley Chubb (questionable), OLB Malik Reed and DE Dre’Mont Jones. If the Giants offensive line struggles, it will be a long day for Daniel Jones and the Giants.
- Giants special teams-vs-Denver’s special teams: Both teams ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack in 2020 in special teams. The Giants Head Coach Joe Judge kept a few extra players on the 53-man roster who are noted as solid special team players, as the Broncos didn’t really add any significant players with special team skills, so the Giants need to win this matchup in a big way.
- Giant’s Defensive front 7-vs-Denver’s offensive line: The Giants added more speed and play making skill at the linebacker position in the off season to go along with run stuffers on the defensive line. DL Leonard Williams had a breakout season in 2020 with 11.5 sacks and looks to continue this trend in 2021. The Broncos offensive line is led by Garrett Bolles who is in the top tier among OT in the NFL. The remaining four starters all have upside and will need to win this matchup to give the Broncos a chance at a win.
- Giants running game-vs-Denver’s running game: The Giants are reportedly looking to limit the amount of touches by Saquan Barkley, so the success for the Giants running attack will be by committee with Devontae Booker getting most of the touches. The Broncos will have Melvin Gordon carrying the load.
The outcome of this game should be a nail-biter and could either way with both teams having limited opportunities on offense with both defenses setting the tone. I do project some rust from both sides offensively and in the end, I have the Broncos having a slight edge and escaping with an opening day win on the road against the Giants:
Final Score: Denver-20/Giants-16