Saquon Barkley
Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants face the Broncos in a Week 1 matchup. Daniel Jones must show up and show out.

The Giants‘ regular season has finally arrived.

And fans will be in MetLife Stadium to watch Big Blue begin their 2021 campaign against the Denver Broncos.

Will Daniel Jones take the leap we’ve all been talking about? Will the offensive line impress? Will the defense repeat its strong 2020 performance? Will Jason Garrett utilize some creativity in his play-calling with plenty of offensive weapons now in place?

Many of our questions will begin to be answered this weekend. But above all that, a victory to begin such a crucial season is the goal of the highest importance.

Game Info

Denver Broncos @ New York Giants
Sunday, September 12, 2021 — 4:25 PM EDT
Radio: WFAN660


Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Giants Total Points: Over-19.5 (-120), Under-19.5 (-110)
  • Broncos Total Points: Over-22.5 (-120), Under-22.5 (-110)
  • First Team to Score: Giants (+100), Broncos (-130)
  • Last Team to Score: Giants (+100), Broncos (-130)
  • Giants Total TDs: Over-1.5 (-180), Under-1.5 (+140)
  • Broncos Total TDs: Over-2.5 (+115), Under-2.5 (-145)

Players to Watch

giants broncos daniel jones
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones

It’s a make-or-break third season for Daniel Jones — simple as that.

After an up-and-down first two years in the league, the 2019 No. 6 overall draft pick still needs to prove he’s the long-term answer at the Giants’ quarterback position. While there were flashy moments in both 2019 and 2020, the turnovers and crushing mistakes trump all, and the impatience among fans will rear its ugly head if Jones doesn’t undergo at least a promising 2021 campaign.

His first test will be against a Denver defense with a dominant front seven. The unit includes the talented likes of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb — Jones and the offense need to get off to an intriguing start, or else the fans, the headlines, and the radio stations will be expressing their overwhelming frustrations once again.

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is returning to the game field for the first time since his grueling September 2020 ACL tear. He underwent a meticulous ramp-up period and rehab program, came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list last month, and was deemed to be “100 percent” by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett earlier this week.

There will be a couple of things to watch with Barkley — will he be on a snap count? Will he be as tough to take down as he was prior to the injury? Will he be utilized in the passing game a decent amount? Can he pass block?

In my mind, the first of the aforementioned questions will be a resounding yes, due to the fact the Giants play their Week 2 game just four days following their season opener. That, and the major injury itself, will lead to the Giants erring on the side of caution with their top back.

Regardless, many eyes will be fixated on this game just because No. 26 is on the field to begin with.

Andrew Thomas

Ah yes, the young left tackle who many aren’t intrigued with up to this point.

After being taken with the No. 4 overall draft pick in 2020, Andrew Thomas experienced a less-than-ideal rookie campaign, one that included 8.5 allowed sacks, an underwhelming 62.4 Pro Football Focus grade, and a benching due to a missed meeting.

The left tackle position hasn’t exactly encompassed the most significant of talent in East Rutherford over the better part of the last decade. The struggles of Ereck Flowers and Nate Solder enhanced the impatience among fans, and Thomas’ issues are only making it worse.

Dave Gettleman has vowed to fix the offensive line; this has to be the year it all comes to fruition, and it starts with the sheer improvement of the blindside tackle.

Thomas’ first test of 2021 will be Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. A daunting task indeed, but he’s no longer a rookie — time to put the excuses in the rearview.

Player Prop Picks (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Teddy Bridgewater Under-246.5 Pass Yards (-115)

I would certainly take the under on Teddy Bridgewater’s passing-yard total this weekend given the strength of the Giants secondary and defensive unit as a whole.

Look, Bridgewater is not a legitimate starting quarterback in this league anymore — that’s why the Broncos are likely using him as a bridge quarterback to eventually draft their potential long-term starter.

This Patrick Graham defense will pressure Bridgewater throughout the game and the defensive backfield (with the likes of Logan Ryan and Pro Bowler James Bradberry) will do its job.

Saquon Barkley Under-14.5 carries (-125)

Saquon Barkley is coming off a major injury, wasn’t “100 percent” until this past week, and there’s a brief turnaround between the Giants’ first two regular-season games.

He’ll most certainly be on a snap count, which will lead to his carry total sitting below 14.5.

Given the circumstances, the Giants will likely look to Devontae Booker to assume some of the duties at the running back position.

Sterling Shepard Over-4.5 Receptions (+100)

The Denver defense will be focused on Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Saquon Barkley this Sunday afternoon, to the point where it might overlook Sterling Shepard.

The sixth-year receiver will be going against No. 2 and/or potentially No. 3 cornerbacks this season given Big Blue’s alternative receiving options. Expect him to have a big year and for it to commence with a decent performance this Sunday afternoon.

Over 4.5 catches at +100 is certainly a lock — Shepard averaged at least five per game in three of his first five seasons.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Get a bonus of up to $1,050 when you click here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.