Early look at Week 1 opponent: Denver Broncos
With training camps coming to a close around the NFL, many teams have wrapped up their quarterback competitions. The Giants certainly kept an eye on them this summer as two of their first four opponents had questions at the most important position. Now, they have their answers.
In Big Blue's season opener, the Denver Broncos will travel to MetLife Stadium with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback after he beat out Drew Locke.
The former Carolina Panther impressed in his first two games this preseason by completing 84.2 percent of his passes, posting a 141.0 passer rating, and earning an 84.2 PFF grade. Denver also scored points on all four drives that he led in those contests.
"It was very exciting. I'm just happy that I get an opportunity," Bridgewater said after being named the starter. "It's an opportunity for us to continue to grow as a team, and I'm looking forward to that."
Three weeks after facing the Broncos, the Giants will travel to the New Orleans, where the Saints recently named Jameis Winston as the heir to legendary quarterback Drew Brees after a competition with Taysom Hill.
"I think we are just great teammates," Winston said about his relationship with Hill. "Our main focus is to win and protect the football. We're constantly trying to help each other with that, especially the winning part. It's about this team more than it is about us individually."
Winston turned heads in a primetime exhibition matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner threw for 123 yards, unloaded two impressive touchdown passes to receiver Marquez Callaway, and posted an impeccable 157.5 passer rating.
The Giants also have a Week 17 clash with the Chicago Bears, who named Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback last week. Chicago is opting for the veteran to begin the season over rookie Justin Fields. The Bears traded with the Giants on draft night to move up to the 11th pick to select the Ohio State product.
In total, Big Blue plays six teams that go into the 2021 season with a new quarterback, including five in their first seven games.
How tough is the Giants' schedule? Click to view each team's strength of schedule for the 2021 season based on the records of their opponents from 2020.
Standouts: Final showcase before real thing begins
Joe Judge apologized for being late to his postgame press conference after the Giants lost to the Patriots in the final tune-up before the regular season.
With less than 48 hours until all NFL clubs must reduce their rosters from 80 players to the regular-season limit of 53, the second-year head coach thought it was the appropriate time to go around the locker room one by one. The Giants are about to break a grueling training camp, which included three preseason games, two rounds of joint practices on the road, and of course, a lot of conditioning.
"This being the situation and which game it is, you want to take the time to go around and see all your players and look them in the eye and tell them thank you," Judge said. "I was proud of the way the guys fought tonight."
"Saw a lot of guys competing tonight, competing for playing time, competing for jobs," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "It was impressive to see on both sides. Kind of like last week, this capped off a really good week for us with the Giants practices and then tonight. It's a good opportunity over the course of that time to really see everybody, give everybody a chance to play and compete against good competition, against another good football team."
Whether they were tuning up or still trying out for the team, here are the standout players from Sunday:
LB Blake Martinez
The middle linebacker thinks he is a defensive back now. He told DB coach Jerome Henderson as much after he made one of the better defensive plays you will ever see – from any position. With his back to starting quarterback Cam Newton, Martinez tracked Jakobi Meyers 35 yards down the middle of the field and wrestled the ball away from the wide receiver as they both hit the turf.
"So Jerome at halftime was like, 'Hey, we can't let the linebackers beat us,'" Martinez said. "But, I was like, 'Whoa, I'm part of your guys' group now.' So, I'll try to help them out."
📸 Must-see photos from Giants vs. Patriots
The Giants came up short in the preseason finale, falling to the New England Patriots 22-20.
Check out the gallery below to view must-see photos from the final tune-up game before the start of the regular season.
Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason finale against the New England Patriots.