The New York Giants showed flashes of potential in 2020 but still ended up with a 6-10 record. The defense is a definite strong point for this team and the offense has added some viable playmakers. Second-year head coach Joe Judge appears to have this New York team trending in the right direction.
Two important factors for a successful 2021 for the G-Men will be the health of RB Saquon Barkley and the continued development of QB Daniel Jones. The NFC East should again be wide open, and the Giants could make a run at the division title if all the puzzle pieces come together.
QB Daniel Jones seemed to take a step backward in 2020. The 24-year old threw 11 touchdowns but also had 10 interceptions last season. The former Duke Blue Devil has plenty of arm strength but has never looked settled as an NFL quarterback. The Giants brought in plenty of wide receiver help to hopefully make Jones’ life easier in 2021.
Star RB Saquon Barkley only appeared in two games last year because of a horrific knee injury. The former Penn State superstar is one of the most dynamic backs in the league when he’s healthy. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett hopes to see Barkley put up stats that match his 2018 level of production (1307 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns). The Giants brought in Devontae Booker and Corey Clement as insurance policies if Barkley isn’t fully healed.
New York’s front office did a great job of addressing the team’s receiver needs. First-round pick Kadarius Toney will add some much-needed speed to this unit. Bringing in veteran wideout Kenny Golladay from Detroit was also a wise move. Expect Dante Pettis and John Ross III to help out quite a bit at receiver as well.
The Giants defense put together some impressive numbers in 2020. Last year’s squad ranked ninth in points per game allowed (22.3) (footballdb.com). They also did an admirable job against the run by only allowing 111.4 rushing yards per contest.
The defensive line is full of beasts with guys like Leonard Williams, Austin Johnson, and Dexter Lawrence leading the way. Williams is coming off his best season as a pro with 11.5 sacks. The linebacking crew is solid and may be even better this season with second-round pick Azeez Ojulari adding even more depth.
Former Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers anchors a strong secondary for the Giants. Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Adoree Jackson all have good speed and decent covering skills.
2021 Special Teams
Veteran kicker Graham Gano will be back with the Giants this season. Gano was one of the most accurate kickers in the league in 2020 by hitting 31 out of 32 field goal attempts. Riley Dixon will return as the Giants punter in 2021 after averaging 44.8 yards per punt last year.
The bulk of the return duties will be handled by Jabrill Peppers and Darius Slayton. Peppers had 187 punt return yards in 2020. Slayton has a ton of speed and should help the kick return team.