The New York Giants finished the 2020 season with a record of 6-10, but there is a ton of optimism surrounding the team heading into the 2021 season.
It was a streaky season for the Giants, who had three separate streaks of at least three wins or losses. After beginning the season 0-5, the Giants were able to battle back in the NFC East, finishing the season 6-5. The ineptitude of the rest of the division certainly helped, but it was encouraging to see the team not give up despite the early hole they had dug themselves.
New York gave themselves a chance defeating their rivals in the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, but ultimately finished in second place.
With the offseason behind them and training camp next up on the ledger, the Giants are ready to get back to the top of the division. Here are four reasons the Giants will win the NFC East in 2021.
4. Joe Judge Looks To Be The Real Deal
Having a good coach in the NFL is imperative to a team’s success. While many people were unsure of Joe Judge when he was hired to become the team’s head coach, he proved that he is the real deal.
Judge got the most out of the roster last season as he held everyone, players and his staff, accountable. His no-nonsense, team-first attitude was a breath of fresh air in the Meadowlands after some truly difficult seasons.
Heading into Year 2, and with a more structured, in person offseason, Judge’s imprint should be even more present on this team.
3. Motivation From Last Season
While the Giants have no one to blame but themselves for finishing the season 6-10, how the season finished left a sour taste in their mouths. That is what happens when you rely on another team having to help you make the postseason.
Needing the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the Washington Football Team in the last game of the regular season, the Giants and football fans around the world watched Philadelphia make a mockery of the game, essentially tanking for a better draft spot. They pulled starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, and many people, including players on the team, questioned some of the decisions made that night.
Relying on other teams is not a recipe for success. The Giants should be motivated to not see that happen again.
2. Ever Improving Defense
The Giants defense was excellent in 2020 and on paper, they look even better for 2021.Stopping the pass has become imperative to a team having success and the Giants took that to heart.
They have ace cornerback James Bradberry locking down one side of the defense and signed Adoree’ Jackson to play opposite of him. Darnay Holmes had an excellent rookie season and veteran Logan Ryan can chip in when he isn’t playing safety. At safety, Jabrill Peppers has come into his own and the organization is excited about what 2020 second round pick Xavier McKinney can do in a full season while healthy.
The secondary is deep and talented, while the front seven is improving as well. Leonard Williams was retained in free agency and Azeez Ojulari was selected in the second round to improve the pass rush. Reggie Ragland was added to help boslter the middle of the defense, where Blake Martinez played like a Pro Bowler.
This unit will win more games for the Giants in 2021 as they did in 2020.
1. Daniel Jones Has A Ton Of Weapons
This season is a make-or-break year for Daniel Jones. If he doesn’t step up, the organization could be on the look for a new quarterback next season. The organization did everything they could to ensure that does not happen.
Last season the Giants struggled generating offense consistently, but Jones has a ton of weapons at his disposal this season. Getting Saquon Barkely back from injury will help the running game, but it was the passing game Dave Gettleman and company really upgraded.
In free agency, wide receivers Kenny Golladay and John Ross and tight end Kyle Rudolph were signed. The Giants used their first round pick on Kadarius Toney, giving New York an incredibly deep pass catching group. Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Dante Pettis are holdovers from last season, in addition to Pro Bowl tight end Evan Engram.
Jones now has arguably the deepest group of pass catchers in the NFL to throw the ball to. As long as the offensive line holds up, as they improved down the stretch in 2020, it will be up to Jones to capitalize.