For the first time in years, New York Giants fans have something to be excited about. New York had one of the most improved defenses in the NFL under Patrick Graham (who is bound to become a head coach someday), and the unit is expected to get even better with the offseason addition of Adoree' Jackson and Leonard Williams returning to the fold. The Giants were determined to improve the second-worst offense in the NFL by adding Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph in free agency -- and selecting Kadarius Toney in the first round. With a healthy Saquon Barkley back, the Giants will be contenders for the NFC East title in 2021 and a playoff spot for the first time in five years. This is a pivotal year for the franchise -- and quarterback Daniel Jones.
Here's a full rundown of the Giants' 17-game schedule, including key matchups and a season prediction:
2021 Giants schedule
at Washington (TNF)
at Chiefs (MNF)
at Buccaneers (MNF)
|18||vs. Washington||Jan. 9||1 p.m.||FOX|
Giants key games
- Week 5 at Cowboys: The Cowboys are the favorites in the NFC East, but the Giants played them tough in both matchups last season (Dallas hit a game-winning field goal with no time left in the first matchup and New York won the rematch). A healthy Dak Prescott makes the Cowboys the team to beat for the Giants, renewing one of the top rivalries in the NFL. The Giants will have to beat the Cowboys in Dallas to make a statement in the division.
- Week 12 vs. Eagles: The Eagles-Giants rivalry is in full swing after what transpired to New York in Week 17 of last season. Philadelphia lost to Washington -- a game which the Eagles pulled starting quarterback Jalen Hurts to better their draft position. The Giants weren't happy about it as an Eagles victory would have clinched them the division -- even though New York was 6-10. The Giants will want payback for this one, now that they finally snapped their eight-game losing streak to Philadelphia.
- Week 8 at Chiefs: A true test for the Giants defense here, as New York will square off against Patrick Mahomes for the first time. Mahomes will be at the top of his game, but the Giants defensive front will be an excellent test for the Chiefs revamped offensive line. The Giants haven't played in Arrowhead Stadium since 2013.
Giants toughest matchup
Week: 11 | Date: Nov. 22 | Time: 8:15 p.m.
Opponent: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Giants are the team that gave Tom Brady two of his three Super Bowl losses -- and have the defense to make his life miserable again. Traveling down to Tampa will be a tough task, even if the Buccaneers were only 5-3 at home last year. This Buccaneers team is loaded -- and should sweep the entire NFC East. If the Giants can pull off an upset in Tampa, that may be the difference in winning the division. Also, Brady hasn't lost to the Giants since Super Bowl XLVI -- nine years ago.
Giants projected win total
2021 record prediction: 7-10
New York's defense is on the cusp of becoming an elite unit, which could ultimately play the difference in the Giants making the postseason for the first time in five years. Here's the problem with the Giants -- the quarterback is an unknown and the offensive line is still one of the worst in football. Even with a healthy Saquon Barkley back and much-improved pass catchers, Jones will be running for his life if the offensive line doesn't make significant improvements. The middle of the schedule (Chiefs, Raiders, Buccaneers, Dolphins in a six-week stretch) doesn't help either.