Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants’ new era truly begins in Nashville on Sunday.

Head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen have had a pretty solid honeymoon. There is plenty of optimism about the future after what has been a lost decade for the most part after Super Bowl XLVI. People even think Daboll may have a shot to salvage Daniel Jones’ career and make him the Giants’ franchise quarterback.

But first up: the 2022 season opener against the Titans (4:25 p.m., FOX). The Giants are 5.5-point road underdogs according to Sports Betting Dime. How will they fare? Here are the ESNY staff picks:

James Kratch, managing editor: There has not been enough talk about how bad this Giants defense could be, especially early on. The unit struggled last year. Then Daboll and Schoen jettisoned James Bradberry, Blake Martinez and Logan Ryan. Yes, there were valid salary cap and/or schematic reasons for each move. But that doesn’t change the fact three above-average defensive players with a combined 282 NFL starts walked out the door without proven replacements. And pass rushers Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux may not play this week as well. Wink Martindale may be a good defensive coordinator, but he’s not a miracle worker. And Derrick Henry is on the other team. So. Titans 33, Giants 13.

Matt Musico, editor: A new era is officially starting this weekend as Daboll is getting Week 1 as Giants head coach under his belt. He’ll have a healthy Saquon Barkley in the backfield, but there are still plenty of question marks surrounding this team. You know, like how Jones is going to adjust to the coaching changes in his prove-it year. The Titans have their own issues to deal with, but New York must try and stop Henry, which is no small feat. The Giants haven’t won a Week 1 game since 2016, and I don’t think that drought ends this year. Titans 24, Giants 13.


Josh Benjamin, staff writer: Well, where do I begin? The Giants have been bad with Jones at quarterback and will continue to be bad with Jones at quarterback. The Daboll/Schoen era will get off to a rough start when the defense faces Henry and the Titans. Oh, and did I mention Thibodeaux likely isn’t playing? Titans 28, Giants 10.

Ryan Honey, staff writer: The Giants must stop the run and constantly pressure Tannehill on passing downs to give themselves even a slight chance to win (the Giants offense isn’t expected to provide much help). The problem is they don’t have the depth to do either of those things. Thibodeaux and Ojulari may not play and the Giants just released Martinez, who would’ve been a starter. So now you’re likely left with Tae Crowder and rookie Micah McFadden on the inside with Oshane Ximines and Jihad Ward serving the edge-rushing duties. And on top of that, a lack of true experience in the secondary. That’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t expect this Giants defense to take pressure off a Jones-led offense that can’t be trusted. Titans 27, Giants 13.

Danny Small, staff writer: It’s going to be a rebuilding year for the Giants and everyone inside the building knows it, even if they won’t admit it outright. Starting off against the juggernaut that is Henry is going to be tough for a defense that dumped Martinez. Injuries on defense and question marks on offense means this will be a cakewalk for Tennessee. Titans 27, Giants 13.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.