This past Thursday the NFL released its schedule for the 2020 season. It’s something to look forward to amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19, specifically in the sports world. The Giants outlook is no different and what is ahead presents a few interesting challenges and scenarios for Big Blue. A prime time showdown with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers stands out. Continually, the divisional match-ups with a bolstered Cowboys offense and slightly improved Eagles and Redskins’ teams will be very fun as well. Let’s take a closer look.
What to Look Forward Too
The Renewal on the Brady Rivalry
As we alluded to before, the New York Giants will play host the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. Not only will it be a new installment in the long time war between Brady and Big Blue but the Monday match-up at MetLife Stadium possesses a few positional battles that should be noted.
First, the high powered receiving corps of the Buccs versus the Giants replenished secondary. Both these units have tons of versatility. How will the Giants counter the multiple tight end sets Tampa Bay will experiment with? They have one safety, Xavier McKinney, who matches up the best against O.J Howards‘ pass-catching and route running as well as Gronkowski and Brate’s size.
There are still tons of variables with the Buccaneer’s tight ends. However, the Giants have one of the best defensive back groups for physicality and different looks. It’ll be interesting to see how Deandre Baker and James Bradberry deal with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Both Giants cornerbacks are best when they keep their receiver in front of them and have active hand usage on the outside. Evans and Godwin offer a hard contrast to that style, with excellent body control and speed, as well as the ability to take the ball over the middle, with inside routes.
That brings us to another Tom Brady and Daniel Jones quarterback duel. In Week 6 of 2019 against New England Jones had a strong start and was eventually overwhelmed by the pressure of the Patriots. On the other side, Brady was calm, cool, and collected, throwing for 334 yards on 41 attempts to 31 completions. Expect the script to flip in 2020 with the new surroundings. Tampa Bay placed 29th in scoring defense in 2019 and Jones can place his balls accurately among a depleted secondary. Contrarily, Brady may have trouble against the different packages the Giants can bring on defense.
Want a closer look at the 2020 Baltimore Ravens schedule? Check it here!
Other Interesting Games
The Giants face a myriad of challenges in the NFC East. How will the Dallas Cowboys come out with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup? How will the Giants defend the speed of both them as well as the Eagles’ Jaelen Reagor and Redskins’ Terry McLaurin. What do the Giants throw at the dynamic Chase Young in two games this season? These questions on top of the questions of where they ultimately fall in the division make for intriguing situations.
The Pack of Unknowns
This group of teams coming up is full of unknowns. First, the Los Angeles Rams. How will they come out on offense without Todd Gurley III? Can the Giants disrupt Jared Goff? Also, what will they throw at game-wrecker Aaron Donald? Most importantly, how does the Big Blue secondary counter the personnel packages the Rams can use with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and the multi-TE sets with Higbee and Everett.
Within the same division, the Arizona Cardinals pose an interesting threat. In last season’s contest, the Giants got tore up on the ground. There is a possibility of that happening again with the definitive runner, Kenyan Drake, being introduced to the fold. However, the Giants have built up on run defense. They’ve added Blake Martinez, Kyle Fackrell and athletic, rotational linebacker Cam Brown, so they’re prepared. Bringing the defensive backs back up, Kyler Murray will be faced with the aforementioned versatility.
The Heavy Hitters
These are the games that truly add to the strength of schedule. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are the most complete teams the Giants will face in 2020. As well as bringing talent, they bring great coaching and technicality. On top of the speed in the passing game for both San Fran’ and Baltimore the Giants will face the hardest running attacks all year.
The Giants output in 2020 will boil down to two things. One, the progression of Daniel Jones and two, the ceiling of the defense. The lowest they’ll seemingly go is 7-9 and the highest is 10-6.
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