Giants vs. Broncos at a glance
The Giants welcome the Denver Broncos to MetLife Stadium this Sunday for the 2021 season opener.
This is the 13th regular season game between the two clubs, with the series tied at 6-6. In the last meeting between the Giants and Broncos, Big Blue forced three turnovers and emerged with a 23-10 win at Sports Authority Field.
For Joe Judge and Vic Fangio, Sunday will be each of their first matchups against the opposing team as head coach.
Here are notes for players on both the Giants and Broncos ahead of the Week 1 contest.
*QB Daniel Jones passed for 2,943 yards & 11 TDs in 2020. He was one of four NFC QBs with 400+ rush yards (423) last season. Jones has 100+ rating in two of his past three starts at home.
*QB Teddy Bridgewater makes his Denver debut. He set career highs in pass yards (3,733) & TD passes (15) last season with Carolina. He completed 15 of 25 passes (60 pct.) for 168 yards & a TD for a 93.4 rating in only career game vs. NYG (12/27/15 with MIN).
*RB Saquon Barkley has 3,563 scrimmage yards (2,344 rush, 1,219 rec.) & 23 TDs (17 rush, 6 rec.) in 31 career games. Barkley has 528 scrimmage yards (105.6 per game) & 4 rush TDs in five career home games vs. AFC.
*RB Melvin Gordon rushed for 986 yards & 9 TDs in 2020 & is one of two RBs with 800+ scrimmage yards in each of the past six seasons. Gordon is the only player with 8 or more rush TDs in each of the past five seasons. Since 2015, he ranks 4th in the NFL with 45 rush TDs. Gordon had 163 scrimmage yards (105 rush, 58 rec.) in his only career game vs. NYG (10/8/17 with LAC.).
*WR Kenny Golladay makes his NYG debut. He had 183 catches for 3,068 rec. yards & 21 TDs in four seasons (2017-20) with DET. Golladay had 6 receptions for 66 yards & a TD catch in his only career game vs. DEN. (12/22/19 w/ DET). WR Sterling Shepard tied his career high with 66 receptions last season. He aims for his 4th game in a row vs. AFC with 50+ rec. yards. WR Kadarius Toney was selected in the 1st round (20th overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft and is hoping to make his NFL debut vs. DEN. TE Kyle Rudolph makes his NYG debut. He had 453 catches for 4,488 rec yards and & 48 TDs in 10 seasons (2011-2020) with MIN.
*WR Jerry Jeudy had 52 catches & ranked 5th among rookies with 856 rec. yards in 2020, both 2nd-most ever by DEN rookie. WR Courtland Sutton had 72 catches, 1,112 rec. yards & 6 rec. TDs in 2019. TE Noah Fant set career highs in catches (62) & rec. yards (673) in 2020.
*LB Blake Martinez ranked 3rd in the NFL with 151 tackles in 2020, his 4th-consecutive 100+ tackle season. DL Leonard Williams led the team with a career-high 11.5 sacks & 14 TFL. He had 2 sacks in his last game vs. DEN (10/7/18 w/ NYJ). CB James Bradberry tied-2nd in the NFL with a career-high 18 PD in 2020 & is the only player with 10+ PD in each of the past five seasons. S Jabrill Peppers set career highs in tackles (89), TFL (8), PD (11) & sacks (2.5) last season. DB Logan Ryan is one of three active DBs with 15+ career INTs (18) & 10+ career sacks (12).
*LB Von Miller has 106 career sacks, most in the NFL since 2011. He had a sack in the last meeting between the two teams. He has 7 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 FFs & FR in five career games vs. NFC East. LB Malik Reed led team with career-high 8 sacks last season. LB Bradley Chubb had 7.5 sacks, 9 TFL & a FF in 2020. S Justin Simmons recorded his 3rd-consecutive season with 90+ tackles (96) & tied-4th in NFL with career-high 5 INTs. He is the only safety in the NFL with 2+ INTs in each of the past 5 seasons. CB Ronald Darby & CB Kyle Fuller make DEN debuts. CB Pat Surtain III was selected with the 9th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
View photos of the Denver Broncos starters ahead of the Week 1 matchup against the Giants.
Daniel Jones, Jason Garrett bond beyond Xs & Os
For Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett, some of the best and most enjoyable work on the practice field occurs after everyone else has left.
That's when Jones, the Giants' quarterback, and Garrett, the team's former backup QB and current offensive coordinator, compete to see who can throw the most footballs into a garbage can – or hit the goal-post crossbar – or anything else they can think of to throw a ball at.
"There's several different games we play and the last one is a target game where we pick a target and go for it," Jones said this week as the Giants prepared for their season-opening game Sunday against the Denver Broncos. "It's kind of a game we play, an ongoing competition. There's score kept and we're competing. It's not a B.S. situation (laughs)."
"We do like spending extra time having our competitions afterwards – accuracy competitions and ballistics throwing competitions and just how you can perform in nut-cutting time competitions," Garrett said. "It's something we've done with quarterbacks for a long time."
The statistics they compile or the stakes on the line are not why the exercise is important. It is instead strengthening the bond between a coach and his most important player, who is essentially an extension of him on the field.
"I think you're always trying to do that when you're a coach," Garrett said. "You're trying to build relationships with your players. Certainly, you build them in the meeting rooms, but outside the meeting rooms with all your guys, you're trying to develop those relationships, because what I would argue is that that's what allows you to coach them hard and coach them to a high standard, them knowing that you care about them and you want what's good for them individually and what's good for us as a team. So, I think Daniel understands that. For me, we've had a really good relationship right from the start."
Giants vs. Broncos: Players to watch in opener
As they say, it's not about the Xs and Os. It's the Jimmys and Joes.
Here are the players to watch in the season opener between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos:
QB Daniel Jones
The Giants' moves in the draft and free agency centered around helping Daniel Jones get over the hump. His third season begins Sunday against a talented defense under Broncos coach Vic Fangio. Jones was asked this week if it's make-or-break time.
"I'm not really seeing it that way, I guess," Jones said. "I think my mindset is just to go out and help this team win games. I think we're in a position, we've had a good camp and we're prepared, and my job is to put the team in a position to win games, to protect the football and distribute the ball to guys who can make plays for us. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.
Joe Judge Report: Breaking down the Broncos
Check out the video below to view the 2021 debut of the Joe Judge Report, where the head coach takes a look at the Broncos, presented by Stop & Shop.