NFL schedule: Breaking down NY Giants’ path to return to playoffs

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants stands under center in the first half against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on November 08, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants stands under center in the first half against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on November 08, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler (Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

AFC West

Denver Broncos

All-Time Record: New York Giants lead series 7-6

Last Meeting: 10/15/17 – NY Giants 23, Broncos 10

2021 Meeting: Week 1 (Home)

The last time these teams played was the perfect example of why no wins come easy in the NFL.

The NY Giants were 0-5 and without their top four receivers, were 11.5 underdogs, and went on to beat a Denver team that was two years removed from the Super Bowl by 13 points. Janoris Jenkins’ pick-six and Orleans Darkwa’s 117 rushing yards paved the way for the upset.

Four years later and both teams will open up their 2021 seasons vs each other, and it will be one of the best matchups in the NFL in week one. The biggest storyline of this game will be Denver’s secondary vs New York’s new and improved offensive weapons.

The Broncos added Kyle Fuller and Kareem Jackson in free agency and drafted the top corner in this year’s draft class in Patrick Surtain II. Them coupled with Justin Simmons makes for some incredible matchups with Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Kadarious Toney. A healthy Von Miller back paired opposite of Bradley Chubb will give tackles Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart/Nate Solder little time to get their feet wet as well.

Right now, the Broncos are tabbed a 1-point favorites, but I can see that line changing often the closer we get to the season.

Kansas City Chiefs

All-Time Record: New York Giants lead series 11-3

Last Meeting: 11/19/17 – NY Giants 12, Chiefs 9 (OT)

2021 Meeting: Week 8 (Away, Monday Night)

Most of what was said in the Buccaneers’ section can apply to this section as well.

The Chiefs feature one of the league’s best offenses commanded by Patrick Mahomes and severely upgraded their offensive line this off-season, which was their biggest offensive weakness at the conclusion of last season. The Chiefs’ defense is somewhat of a question mark. At times last year they did not look great and finished the season as a middle of the pack unit.

Either way, given the circumstances of playing at Arrowhead Stadium in a primetime matchup, this will be the toughest game of the season for the NY Giants. Again, it will be a great measuring stick as to where this team is at compared to one of the best teams in the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders

All-Time Record: Las Vegas Raiders lead series 8-5

Last Meeting: 12/3/17 – NY Giants 17, Raiders 24

2021 Meeting: Week 9 (Home)

The last time these two teams met was the infamous decision by former NY Giants head coach Ben McAdoo to bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith.

A decision that was completely unnecessary in a lost season and ended Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive games started, the 3rd longest streak in league history. The Raiders are one of the few teams New York plays this fall with their quarterback firmly in place as the starter.

After an 8-8 campaign in 2020, the Raiders have seen a good amount of roster moves this off-season, mainly being the offensive line moves (trading right tackle Trent Brown, center Rodney Hudson, and guard Gabe Jackson) and adding an above average pass rusher in Yannick Ngakoue.

On paper this is a fairly even matchup, with the edge going to the Giants who have a more solid WR corps and secondary. This will be a huge matchup heading into the bye week and gaining momentum heading into the second half of the season.

Los Angeles Chargers

All-Time Record: Los Angeles Chargers lead series 7-5

Last Meeting: 10/8/17 – NY Giants 22, Chargers 27

2021 Meeting: Week 14 (Away)

This matchup has not been kind to the Giants over the years, having lost four straight to the Chargers.

New York’s last win over the Chargers came all the way back in 1998.

Los Angeles will feature an explosive offense led by rising superstar Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler, and wide receiver Keenan Allen. After adding tackle Rashawn Slater in the draft and center Corey Linsley in free agency, they bolstered their offensive line as well. Defensively, they are led by Joey Bosa and Derwin James (if healthy). Bosa will be one of the best EDGE players the NY Giants will see all season. This feels like a game that should be high-scoring and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big game from the Big Blue offense. This will be the final west coast game of the season for New York and will come before the final stretch of the season where they’ll face 3 division opponents in 4 weeks.