By Michael Stewart @TheTruthNYG (Projected Record)
The New York Giants finished with a 0-3 record in the pre-season and although many of the projected starters saw limited action; there was enough concern to add three new offensive linemen (Billy Price/Ben Bredeson (53 man roster) and Matt Skura (Practice Squad). These predictions will not have scores, just a win or lose verdict as scores will be added in my pre-game articles prior to each game throughout the year. These predictions will also be solely based on two main categories: Injuries and the overall performances of the offensive line as a unit.
I believe the Giants could win as much as ten games with an offensive line ranked in the top half and as little as six wins with an offensive line ranked in the bottom half of the league. So here are my game-by-game predictions for the Giants 2021 season.
Game 1/Denver Broncos: The Broncos will have Teddy Bridgewater under center, but the strength of this Denver team is on the other side of the ball. I expect both offenses to be a little behind their respected defenses to start the season. This matchup should be a back-and-forth affair with the Giants coming up a little short. Denver Wins (Record 0-1)
Game 2/at Washington Football Team: The Giants have swept Washington the past two seasons and have a 5 game winning streak as this matchup should feature a heavy dose of defense from both teams. This game should go down to the wire as Washington ends their losing ways. Washington Wins (Record 0-2)
Game 3/Atlanta Falcons: I can definitely see this matchup displaying more offense from both teams. Atlanta has a lot of firepowers offensively but will have trouble keeping opposing teams out of the end zone; even the Giants. The Giants will squeak out a victory here as their defensive unit comes up big. Giants Win (Record 1-2)
Game 4/at New Orleans Saints: The Giants haven’t fared well at the Super Dome with their last win coming on September 19th, 2005 with a 27-10 victory. It’s unclear if Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill will be the starter at this point or possibly a combination of both. This game will still be a struggle regardless of who the quarterback is as the Saints have a solid defense. The Saints manage to hold on in a close one. New Orleans Wins (Record 1-3)
Game 5/at Dallas Cowboys: A healthy and productive Dak Prescott changes the entire makeup of the Cowboys on offense. Defensively; the Cowboys have added talent, but they will rely on their offense in 2021. The Giant’s defense will limit the Cowboy’s offensive chances, but I think in this scenario, the Cowboys win a close one at home. Dallas Wins (Record 1-4)
Game 6/Los Angeles Rams: The Rams will have Matthew Stafford who should provide the Rams with an explosive offense even against a tough Giants defense. This should be a fun game to watch, but I just don’t see the Giants keeping up with the Rams offensive attack and lose a tough one. LA Rams Win (Record 1-5)
Game 7/Carolina Panthers: Giants look to rebound and break a two-game losing streak and face a Panthers team that could offer some problems. In the end, the Giants prevail with a win. Giants Win (Record 2-5)
Game 8/at Kansas City Chiefs: This is not to dismiss the Giant’s first 7 games, but this game should really measure who the Giants are. Playing in Kansas City is arguably one of the toughest places to play on the road and this game will be no different. The effort will be there and the Giants will make some plays on both sides of the ball, but it won’t be enough. Kansas City Wins (Record 2-6)
Game 9/Las Vegas Raiders: After playing their toughest opponent in the Chiefs and preparing on a shortened week; this game could go either way and should test the makeup of this Giants team. I believe Joe Judge will not allow a letdown as the Giants bounce back with a win. Giants Win (Record 3-6)
Week 10/Bye Week
Game 10/at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After a well-rested bye week the Giants must shift into high gear and play the defending Super Bowl Champions led by Tom Brady. Last season, the Giants played Tampa down to the wire, but these are not the same Buccaneers. Tampa has basically the same roster and should be able to get a win at home against the Giants. Buccaneers Win (Record-3-7)
Game 11/Philadelphia Eagles: Joe Judge circled this game the moment the schedule was announced. The aftermath of the final game last season by the Eagles has left a bitter taste in the Giants mouth and you can bet the Giants will be ready to play this one. Giants Win (Record 4-7)
Game 12/at Miami Dolphins: This will be a tough match-up for the Giants as the Dolphins have a solid unit on both sides of the ball. Both teams should have their moments offensively, but in the end, the Dolphins find a way to win at home. Dolphins Win (Record 4-8)
Game 13/at Los Angeles Chargers: After a tough loss last week against Miami, the Giants can’t regain any momentum against the Chargers. The game was close in the 1st half, but the Chargers pull away in the 2nd half. LA Chargers Win (Record 4-9)
Game 14/ Dallas Cowboys: The Giants haven’t forgotten the loss earlier in the season at Dallas and look for revenge in a game that will have a direct impact on the NFL east divisional winners. Giants prevail in a nail-biter and even the series with the Cowboys. Giants Win (Record 5-9)
Game 15/at Philadelphia Eagles: Historically; playing in Philadelphia hasn’t fared well for the Giants as they have lost their last 7 times in Philadelphia with their last win coming in 2013. This should be a very physical matchup as both teams will look to cash in on any mishaps by the other team. I’m betting on the Giants breaking the curse with a game-winning field goal by Graham Gano. Giants Win (Record 6-9)
Game 16/at Chicago Bears: This game will have major ramifications for the Giants in the 2022 draft as the Giants own the Bears 1st round pick. (via Trade). The Giants could bury the Bears with a victory and cementing that pick possibly in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL draft. Giants Win (Record 7-9)
Game 17/Washington Football Team: Giants come out strong in their final game in 2021 and play well on both sides of the ball with a strong game by quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquan Barkley as both come up with big plays down the stretch and seal the win for the Giants. Giants Win (Record 8-9)
I’ve got the Giants winning four straight in dramatic fashion to finish out the season with an 8-9 record, only because I believe the offensive line will struggle early in the season and once the right personnel is in place; they should have a better 2nd half of the season. Despite not making the playoffs, the Giants did win two more games in 2021. This may not seem like a consolation to most of the fan base or even Giants ownership as GM Dave Gettleman will more than likely be let go.
Daniel Jones showed some improvements overall by limiting his fumbles and having nearly a 2 to 1 ratio of TDS/INTS that should be enough to warrant a return in 2022. Running Back Saquon Barkley started out slowly with limited touches, but came on strong in the 2nd half of the season and ran for nearly 1000 yards and more importantly; avoided the IR.
An 8-9 record should project the Giants somewhere between picks 10-15 in the 2022 draft with the Bears (their other 1st round pick) pick possibly falling somewhere between 7-12 in the 1st round, based on my projections.