Giants vs. Broncos: 4 biggest storylines for Week 1

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The New York Giants host the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to open up their 2021 regular season schedule on Sunday.

Here are four storylines to follow.

Giants are predicted to lose

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What else is new? The Giants are currently 2.5-point underdogs and the over/under is 42.5 points, which means oddsmakers are predicting a defensive battle in which the Broncos will win by a field goal or less. This is no surprise to Giant fans. They were underdogs in seven of their eight home games last year. They were 3-8 against the spread at home last year.

Who's playing and who isn't

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The Giants have a lot of new faces on their roster, especially on offense. Fans will be eager to see them all on Sunday but may be disappointed as many of them have not been practicing in full all summer. On offense, first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney and prize free agent Kenny Golladay have both been nursing hamstrings and have been limited. Tight end Evan Engram (calf) is out. He will be replaced by free agent Kyle Rudolph, who has all been limited this summer with a foot issue. The Giants' third tight end, Kaden Smith, is dealing with a knee issue. Running back Saquon Barkley (knee) remains questionable and left tackle Andrew Thomas has been going through an ankle issue but is expected to play. On defense, cornerback Adoree' Jackson (ankle) remains questionable. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton (neck), linebacker Justin Hilliard (foot) and cornerback Josh Jackson (calf) were all limited in practice this week. For the Broncos, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (ankle) is questionable.

The crowd returns

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Sunday will be the first regular season game since 2019 the Giants will have their illustrious fanbase in full attendance. COVID-19 restrictions keep fans from attending last year. That will be less the case come Sunday, when nearly 80,000 fans will pile into MetLife Stadium.

Daniel Jones is on the clock

AP Photo/John Munson

Don't think there isn't any pressure to win this year? The Giants are 18-46 over the past four seasons. Co-owner John Mara said this summer the losing has to stop. They will be major changes again after this season if it doesn't. Jones is the key. If he struggles again, the Giants will have to seriously consider going in another direction. He can change the narrative on Sunday with a strong performance against a tough Denver defense.

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