Giants' 2021 schedule: Game-by-game predictions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·7 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Joe Judge treated image blue pullover, Giants hat, mask pulled down, red background
Joe Judge treated image blue pullover, Giants hat, mask pulled down, red background

The Giants’ 2021 schedule features seven games against teams that went to the playoffs last year, and six games against teams that finished over. 500. It also gives the Giants a great chance to get off to a hot start and have a strong finish, though there certainly are some challenges in between.

Here’s a look at the 2021 slate, as acquired from various NFL sources, with some analysis and some way-too-early predictions on how their season will go:

Week 1: vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 12

The Giants will ease into the 2021 season against a bad Broncos team, with a weak offense run by their old coach, Denver offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The Broncos might be transitioning to a new quarterback, too (Teddy Bridgewater). Meanwhile, the Giants will be reloaded, will have a healthy Saquon Barkley back, and will be fired up to be in front of an actual home crowd for the first time since Dec. 29, 2019.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 2: at Washington Football Team, Thursday night, Sept. 16

Yes, the Football Team won the NFC East, with a huge Week 17 assist from former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. They might even be favorites to repeat. Don’t underestimate Ron Rivera or quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. But this will be a statement game for the Giants, signaling to a national TV audience that they’re back.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 3: vs. Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 26

There has to be a letdown at some point, right? It could be here. The Falcons are going to be overlooked by a lot of teams after their 4-12 season. But with a healthy Julio Jones and the addition of Kyle Pitts, they’ll present a huge challenge for Patrick Graham’s defense. But the energy of a hot start and the home crowd will carry the Giants one more week.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 4: at New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 3

It’s hard to find a louder stadium in the NFL than the Superdome. It’s a painfully tough place to play, especially against a team as good as the Saints. Yes, these Saints no longer have Drew Brees. But they still have a Top 5 defense, Sean Payton as their head coach, and quarterback Jameis Winston isn’t exactly terrible. Winning in New Orleans will still be hard.

Early prediction: LOSS

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) calls a play in the second quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) calls a play in the second quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5: at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 10

Let’s face it: If Dak Prescott hadn’t gotten hurt in Week 5, the NFC East would’ve looked a lot different. They have more offensive weapons than anyone, and would have won this awful division going away. So they should be the favorites heading into 2021. And in this game, too, since the Giants have won just one of their last eight games in Arlington.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Oct. 17

The Giants put up quite a fight in Los Angeles last year, but still lost, 17-9. They learned why the Rams are the NFL’s best defensive team. And now, with Matt Stafford in for Jared Goff, they should be a little better on offense, too. This is a bad matchup, even if it is on the East coast this time.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 7: vs. Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 24

Sam Darnold’s return to the Meadowlands! OK, it won’t be as big a deal against the Giants, especially since he’ll have gotten his revenge against the Jets in Week 1. But it’s still a medium deal. Darnold will be settled in by now on a team with some dangerous weapons. But can he be trusted against a defense as deceptive as Graham’s?.

Early prediction: WIN

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws the ball as Denver Broncos linebacker Malik Reed (59) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws the ball as Denver Broncos linebacker Malik Reed (59) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8: at Kansas City Chiefs, Monday night, Nov. 1

OK, no matter how good you think the Giants are going to be, no matter how explosive you think their new weapons are, and no matter how much you trust their growing defense … these are still the Kansas City Chiefs. At home. In prime time. So dream on.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 9: vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 7

The Raiders were 6-3 last season before a late collapse. They certainly do have talent. Running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Darren Waller, and receivers Henry Ruggs and Will Snead can make them explosive. And now Yannick Ngakoue is added to the defense, too. But it’s hard to get rid of the image of them coming to the Meadowlands last year and needing a last-second miracle to beat the Jets.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday night, Nov. 22

The good news is that the Giants have two full weeks, plus a day, to prepare for the Super Bowl champions, who are bringing the entire band back this season (including the greatest quarterback ever). The bad news? With Eli Manning retired, the Giants don’t have their Brady kryptonite anymore.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 12: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 28

The Giants have to wait a long time for revenge against the Eagles for the way they laid down in Week 17 last year and cost the Giants a playoff spot. Of course, that was all about a Doug Pederson decision and he’s gone. Still, that won’t stop the Giants from taking out their frustrations – as long as their secondary can shut down the almost-Giants receiver, DeVonta Smith.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 13: at Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 5

Ah, the bonus 17th game added to the schedule. If nothing else, it will give the Giants a nice, mid-winter trip to sunny South Florida. The Dolphins won’t be an easy team to beat, especially now that Tua Tagovailoa has his old friend Jaylen Waddle running routes for him. Brian Flores’ defense figures to be tough, too.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 12

What’s most interesting about this game is that if Justin Herbert had come out of college in 2019 instead of 2020, he might be the Giants’ quarterback right now. Instead, the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year returns to a team with an array of weapons and a Top 10 defense. Add in the long flight and this is a tough trip.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 15: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 19

It’s a good bet both teams will be in the playoff race, if not in a fight for the division. And with what will almost certainly be a full house by then, this will feel like the biggest Giants game in many years. The Cowboys are still loaded with offensive talent. But the Giants’ defense should be up to the task.

Early prediction: WIN

Nov 15, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Joe Judge fist bumps quarterback Daniel Jones (8) before their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Joe Judge fist bumps quarterback Daniel Jones (8) before their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16: at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 26

The Giants will have already gotten their revenge, and that’ll have to be enough. Yes, they’ll be better than the Eagles this year. But they still haven’t won in Philly since 2013. That’s seven straight losses. And overall in the series they’ve lost eight of nine and 12 of 14. They haven’t swept the Eagles since 2007. It won’t happen this year.

Early prediction: LOSS

Week 17: at Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 2

It would be a shock if the Bears haven’t turned their whole operation over to rookie quarterback Justin Fields by now, unless Andy Dalton has somehow dragged them into contention. Assuming it’s Fields, he’ll be at the end of his rookie season in a likely meaningless game in frigid temperatures against a team trying to lock up a playoff berth. Advantage: Giants.

Early prediction: WIN

Week 18: Vs. Washington Football Team, Sunday, Jan. 9

Jones is 4-0 against Washington, with a completion percentage of 68.3, eight touchdowns and only three interceptions. He’ll have probably made it 5-0 in Week 2, too. So unless the Giants are resting their regulars for the playoffs, don’t bet on Jones to lose.

Early prediction: WIN