The NY Giants were an Eagles win away from making the postseason in 2020, but Doug Pederson had other ideas as the Washington Football Team won the division at 7-9.
Finishing one game out of the division, but sweeping the team that won the division would leave most teams with plenty of optimism heading into the next season. The problem is that this happened to the Giants with a disappointing 6-10 record.
However, the Giants can hold hope for potentially winning the NFC East in 2021. The Eagles are expected to trade Carson Wentz, Washington has a QB battle of Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke, and The Cowboys have most likely Dak Prescott returning from a horrific leg injury.
Depending on who you ask, having Daniel Jones at quarterback is just as bad as the QB situations in the rest of the NFC East. But Jones is the only one who will have a full 2020 season under his belt with a better team in 2021 through the NFL Draft and free agency, life should get better for Jones with more pieces joining this NY Giants squad.
The Giants have many issues they need to address heading into 2021, whether there are roster holes to fill or areas that need to improve, these issues can be fixed and addressed for next season.
So what do the NY Giants need to do if they want to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season? Here are five of those goals the team needs to go for this upcoming season:
No. 5) Saquon Barkley needs to have a superstar comeback season in 2021
Saquon Barkley is one of the most exciting players in the entire National Football League.
One of the most fun players to watch, Barkley had his season derailed in Week 2 against the Bears after an ACL tear sidelined him for all of 2020.
The Giants missed him as the offensive production took a significant drawback with the offense missing its most lethal weapon. Barkley was a crucial factor in the receiving and rushing game from the running back position and is one of the most dynamic players the NY Giants have ever seen put on that jersey.
Many take a look at the season Daniel Jones put together as a regression, but when the player your offense is designed around is injured in the second week of the season, it is very difficult to adjust from that.
Barkley is a game-changing player and it is hard to imagine the NY Giants not winning some of their closer games such as Week 5 against Dallas and Week 7 against Philadelphia, and maybe even Week 8 against the now Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay which all ended within two or fewer points.
The idea of Barkley having a comeback season similar to Adrian Peterson in 2013 after coming back from a similar injury and then rushing for over 2000 yards and carrying the Vikings and Christian Ponder to the playoffs. With the talent Barkley has with the fact that one can come back stronger after ACL surgery, this may happen and exceed expectations.
While 2000 yards may not happen, a season with over 1200 yards rushing and over 650 receiving yards is entirely possible, and if the Giants can take Devonta Smith or one of the other dynamic receivers in this class, this offense could become truly special.
Wayne Gallman is a good running back, but having a superstar running back in an offense that needed his production is going to change this NY Giants offense for the better. If Jones improves as expected and all goes well, the Giants could put up the points necessary to win enough games to take the NFC East in 2021.