The New York Giants will look to start the Pat Shurmur era with a winning season as they begin their 94th season in the NFL on Sept. 9.
The preseason is over and the games will count for real for the New York Giants beginning on Sept. 9 as they face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
General manager Dave Gettleman has made huge upgrades to the roster that the organization believes will make Pat Shurmur’s first year as head coach with Big Blue a winning one.
It won’t be easy as the Giants schedule is tied for eighth toughest in the league, but there’s a quiet confidence surrounding the team this season and they believe they have what it takes to make the 2018 season a successful one.
Here are our game-by-game predictions for the Giants:
Week 1 vs. Jaguars
The 2018 campaign starts with a tough one for the Giants as they take on the AFC South division champions and the second-ranked defense from a season ago in the Jacksonville Jaguars. This matchup will be a huge test for the Giants revamped offensive line.
The Jaguars also had the top-ranked rushing offense from a season ago. But the strength of the Giants defense is how their front seven is able to stop the run. With the Jaguars not having a viable number one receiving option, the Giants will put eight defenders in the box to shut down the run and force Blake Bortles to beat them.
This game will also be highlighted by the return of Odell Beckham Jr. as he’ll be matched up often against the brash Jalen Ramsey. Look for OBJ to win his one on one match with Ramsey and for the Giants to win a close low scoring game.
Week 2 @ Cowboys
The Giants play the Cowboys in Week 2 for a change instead of the season opener. The Cowboys week receiving corps along with the loss of Travis Frederick due to autoimmune disease will hamper the Cowboys offense. The Giants balanced offense led by Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley will carry the Giants to their second win of the season.
Week 3 @ Texans
The Giants seem to always struggle when facing a mobile quarterback. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will present all kinds of problems for the Giants defense running the ball and throwing it to DeAndre Hopkins. This could be a high scoring game, but the Giants will suffer their first loss of the season.
Week 4 vs. Saints
The Giants return home to face the high powered Saints offense led by quarterback Drew Brees. Fortunately for the Giants, the Saints offense isn’t nearly as prolific on the road as they are at home. The Giants get back on track and pick up the win.
Week 5 @ Panthers
The Giants attempt to get Dave Gettleman some revenge on his former team will come up short as the Giants will once again be done in by a mobile quarterback, this time the culprit will be Cam Newton.
Week 6 vs. Eagles
Nobody likes playing on Thursday night, especially when it’s against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Eagles have perhaps the best offensive line in football and their defense is one of the best units in the league as well. The game will be close as most Giants versus Eagles games are but Philly will leave MetLife Stadium with the win.
Week 7 @ Falcons
The Falcons are one of the few teams that can match-up with the Giants playmaker-for-playmaker on offense. Playing the Falcons in Atlanta is always a tough task and despite the Giants having 10 days to prepare the Falcons will win a shootout.
Week 8 vs. Redskins
One division opponent that Giants have gotten the better of the past few seasons is the Washington Redskins. Big Blue will frustrate Alex Smith just as they did last season when he was with the Chiefs. The Giants will end their three game slide and come away with a win as they go into their bye week is a 500 record.
Week 9 Bye
Week 10 @ 49ers
Despite coming off a bye week and having a chance to get some rest after a tough first half of the season, the Giants will start the second half of their season with a loss to Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers on Monday Night Football.
Week 11 vs. Buccaneers
Jason Pierre-Paul makes his return to MetLife Stadium. It won’t take long for him and the rest of the Buccaneers to realize this Giants team is vastly better than the team from a season ago. The Giants will win this game by double digits.
Week 12 @ Eagles
For whatever reason, the Giants always struggle in Philadelphia as they haven’t won in Philly since 2013. The Giants will lose in Philly for the fifth consecutive year, but at least Saquon Barkley will score the team’s first rushing touchdown in Philadelphia since 2009.
Week 13 vs. Bears
The Bears will be a more formidable opponent with the recent addition of Khalil Mack. But the Giants and their improved offensive line will limit Mack’s effectiveness in being able to pressure Manning. Giants win a close one.
Week 14 @ Redskins
The Redskins will get their revenge from their Week 8 defeated and avoid being swept by Big Blue and come away with a close victory.
Week 15 vs. Titans
Landon Collins and the rest of the Giants defense will come up big as the shutdown Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense and keep their fading playoff hopes alive. In this game, Barkley will go over 1,000 yards becoming the first Giants to rush for 1,000 yards since 2012.
Week 16 @ vs. Colts
The Colts don’t have the defense to slow down the Giants offense much less stop it. Andrew Luck will be able to put up points against the Giants defense, but Eli Manning will have one of his better games of the season as he picks up his first career win against the Colts, and the Giants go above 500 for the first time since October.
Week 17 vs. Cowboys
The Giants will complete the season sweep over their heated rivals as they secure Pat Shurmur a winning season in his first year as their head coach. Depending what happens with the rest of the conference, the Giants might sneak into the playoff as a wildcard.
When you go through wholesale changes in the front office and coaching staff, they’ll always be a period of adjustment. The defense will get better as the season goes along as they get more acclimated with James Bettcher’s 3-4 defense.
Eli Manning will show that he still has some left in his tank, and Odell Beckham Jr. has another 90+ catch season and is voted to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time.
More importantly, the team will bring back credibility to the franchise after a 3-13 season in 2017, and show that Gettleman and Shurmur have them on the right path.