One of the biggest marquee matchups for the New York Giants in 2020 will be when they take on the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium.
With the world at a standstill due to COVID-19, all we can do is practice social distancing and hope that this pandemic is over sooner rather than later.
In terms of sports, we’re able to focus on NFL free agency and watch old games and highlights. Oh, and also look ahead to what will happen once this pandemic concludes.
The 2020 NFL schedule has yet to release but all teams are aware of their opponents. With that said, there are several intriguing matchups that fans are excited to witness.
The New York Giants, for one, have a number of intriguing games in addition to their six divisional contests. But perhaps the matchup that will garner the biggest notoriety will be when the Cleveland Browns travel to MetLife Stadium.
This game will be highlighted by the return of Odell Beckham Jr., who played his first five seasons with the Giants. During that tenure in East Rutherford, he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2014 and earned three Pro Bowl nods.
Beckham became one of the most recognizable faces around the world during his time in New York. His antics were wearing thin with ownership though, and last March, general manager Dave Gettleman traded him to the Browns.
In return, the Giants acquired safety Jabrill Peppers (11 starts last season) along with the No. 17 and 95 overall picks in the 2019 draft, which turned out to be defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and edge rusher Oshane Ximines, respectively.
🚨 PICK-6 ALERT!
Jabrill Peppers takes it to the 🏠#WASvsNYG
— PFF (@PFF) September 29, 2019
The Giants are happy with what they received as all three players could be starters in 2020. But being that New York finished the 2019 campaign 4-12 and the Browns finished 6-10, it’s far too early to determine a winner in this trade. Nonetheless, the final decision of this matchup would be a crucial first step in the overall declaration.
In addition to the return of Beckham, this game will showcase two young quarterbacks in Daniel Jones and Baker Mayfield. The 2018 No. 1 overall pick took a slight jab at Jones shortly after the Giants selected him in 2019.
Baker Mayfield Rips the Giants for Daniel Jones Draft Pick
In a new interview with 'GQ,' the Browns quarterback doesn't hold back his thoughts on Jones going sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/rzveCY9tZh
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) August 20, 2019
Mayfield’s comments would be the beginning of his disappointing 2019 season. His completion percentage dipped from 63.8% in 2018 to 59.4%. Mayfield’s quarterback rating additionally dropped from 93.7 to 78.8.
Jones, on the other hand, surprised his critics and performed better than many originally expected. He threw 24 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and finished with an 87.7 quarterback rating. If not for a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss two games, he would’ve likely broken Mayfield’s record for most single-season touchdown passes by a rookie (27). He does need to cut down on the turnovers though. Jones gave the ball up a total of 23 times last year.
With the magnitude of Beckham’s return along with the quarterback battle, this could very well be a primetime game in the first half of the 2020 season. If that happens, it would be an ideal opportunity for the Giants to retire Eli Manning’s jersey at halftime and induct him into the Ring of Honor. He’d thus be on the national stage one more time.
No matter how you look at it, this game will be one of the most talked-about matchups of the entire 2020 campaign.