G-Men turn to offensive weapons to make noise in NFC East
Despite winning just six games a season ago, the New York Giants finished just one game out of qualifying for the playoffs. That’s just how the NFC East played out. But there’s been quite the buzz surrounding the team after its fourth straight season of double-digit losses.
Returning to the Giants is running back sensation Saquon Barkley, in addition to some free-agent spending and quality draft picks, which should bolster a struggling offense.
BETUS also has the G-Men pegged to finish third in the always tight divisional race in the NFC East. New York has +350 odds of winning the East, which is behind favorite Dallas (+140) and the Washington Football Team (+160).
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Last season, the Giants dropped their first five games of the season and seven of their first eight games. Losing Barkley in the second game obviously did not help matters, but even in the NFC East getting off to that slow of a start simply cannot happen if you wish to make the playoffs.
This season the G-Men have a chance to get off to a much better start. New York plays host to Denver in NFL Week 1, at Washington in NFL Week 2, and hosts Atlanta in NFL Week 3 before traveling to New Orleans in NFL Week 4.
Heading into its Week 5 showdown with the division favorite Cowboys at 2-2 would be a win-win situation for the G-Men and is well within reach.
Other Key Non-Divisional Contests
After Dallas, the Giants host the Los Angeles Rams and new gunslinger Matthew Stafford in Week 6. Two weeks later, New York travels to Kansas City with the Top-10 defense from a season ago will once again be tested.
Coming out of its bye in Week 10, New York once again hits the road to face defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay and Tom Brady.
Three more swing games that could prove pivotal in their chances at a division title came in Weeks 13, 14, and 17. The Giants face Miami and the Los Angeles Chargers in back-to-back weeks and Chicago in Week 17. All three games are on the road.
Third Year the Charm?
Could this be Daniel Jones’ big break-out season? Time will tell, but with the off-season moves the team made, the Giants’ brass has made a point to give the young QB out of Duke the tools around him to be successful in New York.
One thing is for sure, and Jones will have to have a big bounce back from last season in which he tossed just 11 touchdowns against 10 picks. In his rookie season, Jones produced 24 scores through the air and 12 interceptions in one less game played.
Improvement on Offense
With Barkley returning to the backfield after an ACL tear last season, the 31st rank offense will no doubt get an immediate boost. But the Giants also made headlines by opening up their pocketbooks in the offseason in reeling in Kenny Golladay in addition to drafting Kadarius Toney.
With Sterling Shepard returning to the receiving core as well as tight ends Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph, Jones will have plenty of options. Devontae Booker is also expected to see a heavy workout in the backfield to try and preserve the health of Barkley. Last season, the Giants only mustered just 300 yards from scrimmage. The only team with less production was the New York Jets.
Building on Defense
Despite putrid numbers offensively, the G-Men were effective on the defensive side of the ball. New York finished 13 in total defense by allowing 350 yards and 23 points per game. Those numbers would be better if not for being even in the turnover battle (22 takeaways, 22 giveaways).
The defense is expected to receive a boost with the addition of second-round draft pick Azeez Ojulari. The 2020 Second-Team All-SEC finished his Georgia career with 15 sacks and 18.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Four of the Giants’ six 2021 draft picks came on the defensive side of the ball.
A big key to the success of the 2021-22 New York Giants will be how they perform on the road. A strong showing away from MetLife Stadium could be what keeps the team competitive in the East.
Ultimately, it will most likely be what makes them come up short.
2021-22 Win Total Prediction: 7-10.
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