2021 New York Giants Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
Since winning the Super Bowl in 2011, the New York Giants have been nothing but a letdown. In the last nine seasons, the Giants have finished with a winning record twice (9-7 in 2012, no playoffs, and 11-5 in 2016, lost in Wild Card game). The Giants are coming off a season in which they finished just 6-10. Now, some would say that the Giants could have been better had Saquon Barkley not missed the majority of the season, but I’m not one to believe that. The Giants have many issues, and Barkley simply doesn’t play defense. Will this year be different? I would like to believe so, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
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The Giants open up their season on September 12 with a home game against the Denver Broncos. They then travel to Washington in Week 2 for a division showdown before hosting Atlanta in Week 3. Weeks 4 and 5 see them hit the road for stops in New Orleans to play the Saints and then to AT&T Stadium for a division game against the Cowboys. Week 6 has the Rams come to town and in Week 7 they welcome the Panthers. A Week 8 trip to Kansas City precedes a Week 9 home game against the Raiders before their bye week in Week 10.
As of writing this, the Giants are relative longshots to win the Super Bowl as they’ve been tabbed at +6600. To win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl, the Giants are +3300 and to win the NFC East the Giants are sitting at +450.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Key Players: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay
You have to cut the Giants some slack for the way they performed last season. It’s never easy to lose the best player on the offense for the duration of the season and then perform to the standards people are expecting you perform to. That was the situation last year when Saquon Barkley went down with a knee injury in Week 2 of the regular season. His absence not only affected the running game, but it affected the passing game as teams were now sitting back and waiting for Daniel Jones to make a mistake.
There was a lot of criticism surrounding the Daniel Jones pick when the Giants selected him with the sixth pick in the 2019 draft. In those two seasons, Jones has had ups but he’s had many more downs, and I’m curious to see how long the Giants are willing to stick with him. Jones started 13 games in his rookie year and threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Last year, he threw for just 2,947 yards in 14 games with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Again, the Giants offense as a whole was decimated the minute Barkley went down, but you would like to believe that the quarterback is able to pick up the slack and make something happen. That wasn’t the case, so to say Jones is on thin ice would be an understatement.
Thankfully for Jones, the Giants will have Barkley back in the lineup in Week 1, and they also went out and got a bonafide No. 1 receiver in Kenny Golladay from Detroit. Golladay has been in the league for four years, but he had last season cut short through injury. In the two years prior, he topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark and managed 16 total touchdowns. Having him on one side of the formation with speedsters like Sterling Shephard, John Ross and Darius Slayton opposite of him, and Barkley in the backfield, will give defenses headaches on how to stop them. The only question is can Jones be a serviceable quarterback and limit the turnovers. Only time will tell.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Jabrill Peppers, Adoree Jackson
In perhaps somewhat shocking news, the Giants were actually alright on the defensive side of the ball. They were ranked ninth in the league in terms of points allowed per game, giving up 22.3, and were just one worse in terms of ranking, sitting 10th, allowing 114.4 rushing yards per contest. Through the air is where the Giants were the most vulnerable as they ranked 17th in pass defense, allowing teams to throw for 238 yards per contest. Again, the defense was respectable but was often put in tough situations as Jones and the entire offense were turnover-prone and couldn’t really muster much by way of offense. If this year’s defensive unit holds its own like it did last year, and the offense improves drastically, which is possible (barring injuries), the Giants may be onto something in the NFC East. As for special teams, the Giants will be relying on former Panther kicker Graham Gano to kick extra points and field goals, and he’s been a very reliable kicker throughout the duration of his career.
I said it off the top and I’ll say it again, the Giants’ season was lost the minute Barkley went down with a season-ending knee injury. The offense wasn’t the same, and defenses were able to focus on Jones and the passing game because the Giants’ run game was miserable. The only way to go from here for the Giants’ offense is up, and we see that happening. Will they be good enough to compete for a playoff spot? That depends on if Daniel Jones can limit turnovers and become an accurate passer. However, the way the division is shaping out, anything is possible.
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