‘Things I think’ after Giants’ disheartening loss to Denver

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Big Blue View 12 September, 2021 - 09:18pm 17 views

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The Denver Broncos (0-0) will go on the road to face the New York Giants (0-0) in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season on Sunday, Sept. 12 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:25 p.m. MT and the game will air regionally on select Fox channels. Broncos WireHow to watch and stream the Broncos' game vs. Giants

More of the same from Giants and QB Daniel Jones in loss against Broncos

Detroit Free Press 12 September, 2021 - 06:51pm

A defense that just can't get off the field when it needs to end drives most.

Crushing penalties. Empty possessions in the red zone.

Allowing a long touchdown run to add salt to the wound and pop the balloon late.

The Giants lost their fifth straight regular-season opener Sunday, falling 27-13 to the Broncos in an outcome that raises questions as to whether they are truly ready to move past the things that have dragged the franchise down in recent years.

Now the Giants must dust themselves off, and the challenge won't get easier as they travel to Maryland later this week for a Thursday night game against the Washington Football Team, which will also be seeking its first win. 

Jones fumbled. The Broncos recovered. And yet another gut punch for the Giants as they tried to get back in the game.

Up until that point, Jones had played well. As has been the case in his career, all of a sudden, he doesn't, and everything comes crashing down.

This was the worst kind of start to the season for the Giants, who looked a lot like the team that got off to a 1-7 beginning in Joe Judge's first year as head coach. This isn't supposed to be about moral victories anymore, and quite frankly, the Giants didn't do enough to even get verbal bouquets on that front. 

The Broncos played well, winning their first September game in eight tries under coach Vic Fangio. But that's no excuse for the Giants, who failed to make enough plays and change the narrative when it mattered. A lot of that falls on Jones and the offense's inability to sustain any momentum after Sterling Shepard's touchdown in the first half.

Barkley finished with 11 touches, including 10 carries for 26 yards. Jones finished 22-of-37 for 267 yards, a touchdown pass and a touchdown run on the final play of the game.

Instant Analysis: Giants fall to Broncos, 27-13

Giants.com 12 September, 2021 - 06:19pm

UP NEXT: A quick turnaround to Week 2. The Giants (0-1) will travel to face the defending NFC East champion Washington Football Team (0-1) on Thursday Night Football in Landover, Maryland. Big Blue has won its past five games against Washington and is 12-4 in their past 16 meetings. The Giants have won their past three trips to FedExField. Washington lost its season opener to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Check out the best photos from the Giants' season opener against the Denver Broncos.

🔹 Saquon Barkley cleared the final hurdle in his comeback. The dynamic running back and three-time team captain played in his first game since he suffered a serious knee injury last Sept. 20 and underwent surgery on Oct. 30. Barkley, who is the first player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, was limited in practice this week and listed as "questionable" on the final injury report.

Fittingly, Daniel Jones handed the ball off to Barkley on the first play from scrimmage, which he turned into a five-yard gain. Barkley finished with 10 carries for 26 yards and one catch for one yard.

🔹 Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured active Giants player, had one of the best camps of his career over the summer. He carried it over to the regular season and scored the Giants' first touchdown of the season. He broke two tackles along the way to the 37-yard score, giving the Giants a 7-3 lead for the time being in the second quarter. Shepard went on to notch his 10th career 100-yard game.

🔹 Barkley wasn't the only playmaker making his much-anticipate return. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (four catches for 64 yards), tight end Kyle Rudolph (two catches for eight yards), and rookie first-round pick Kadarius Toney (two catches for a loss of two yards) made their debuts in Giants uniform after missing time in training camp due to injuries.

🔹 In the week leading up, coach Joe Judge called Denver's Von Miller a "unicorn" edge rusher who can "ruin your day in a heartbeat." The eight-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl MVP racked up three tackles for loss, including two sacks.

🔹 With his team marching into Denver territory and trailing by 10 points, Jones lost a fumble after a seven-yard scramble late in the third quarter. Josey Jewell jarred the ball loose, and Malik Reed recovered at the Broncos 13.

🔹 Recently voted one of seven team captains, defensive back Logan Ryan made a nifty play late in the first half when he seemingly just tackled tight end Albert Okwuegbunam on the left sideline inside the Giants' 10. But he did more than that. Ryan stripped the ball and gained possession for the takeaway before they both fell to the ground. Ryan entered the season as one of three active DBs with 15+ career interceptions (18) and 10+ career sacks (12).

🔹 The Giants gave up a touchdown with just eight seconds left in the first half and lost the lead in the process. Teddy Bridgewater, who won an offseason competition with Drew Lock, connected with Tim Patrick for a two-yard score to complete a seven-play, 57-yard drive.

🔹 A major turning point of the game came with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter. Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry landed on Jerry Jeudy after a 20-yard gain, and the wide receiver lost control of the ball. Jabrill Peppers recovered the fumble, but the call was reversed after an official review showed Jeudy, who was injured on the play, was down before the ball came out. It set up a first down at the Giants' 13. Four plays later, the Broncos converted a fourth down on an Okwuegbunam four-yard touchdown from Bridgewater. It gave Denver a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter.

🔹 Running back Melvin Gordon III put the game away with a 70-yard rushing touchdown, which gave the Broncos a 27-7 lead with 4:37 left in the game.

🔹 Rookie linebacker Azeez Ojulari, the team's second-round pick, recorded his first career sack early in the third quarter.

NYG: DB Logan Ryan (cramping) returned.

DEN: WR Jerry Jeudy (lower leg)

NYG: WR Collin Johnson, CB Josh Jackson, CB Sam Beal, LB Justin Hilliard, TE Evan Engram, LB Quincy Roche

DEN: OLB Bradley Chubb, OT Cameron Fleming, DE McTelvin Agim, FS Jamar Johnson, CB Kary Vincent, RB Nate McCrary, TE Andrew Beck

A limited number of Giants 2021 single game tickets are on sale now

RB Barkley cleared for Giants' opener, per source

ESPN 11 September, 2021 - 08:48pm

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The wait is over for Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants.

Barkley was medically cleared and will be ready for the season opener Sunday against the Denver Broncos, a source told ESPN on Saturday.

Barkley, who tore the ACL in his right knee in Week 2 last season, is officially listed as questionable.

Tight end Evan Engram (calf) is out Sunday.

The only way Barkley wouldn't be ready come game time would be if something unexpected happened between now and 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday.

"I wouldn't go out there if I didn't feel confident that I could protect myself and be helpful for the team," Barkley said Friday.

With the Giants proceeding with extra caution throughout Barkley's rehab while taking a long-range approach, the Pro Bowl running back was up against the calendar in recent weeks. Everything needed to go perfectly.

But the summer went smoothly and Barkley passed all the requisite tests, including practices with contact this week and last, to be deemed ready for the opener. Friday was the final obstacle, and he said afterward there were no setbacks.

"I mean, practice and the game [are] totally different, but I've been having a really good week of practice just getting back out there trusting the knee, getting my football conditioning back in the flow of things, getting a feel for the run game, for the pass game, for pass-pickup and all that," Barkley said.

Barkley is still expected to be eased into action, with the Giants having two games in five days to start the season. Barkley will likely split time with offseason acquisition Devontae Booker in the backfield early on.

After Sunday's opener, the Giants play again Thursday night on the road against the Washington Football Team.

Barkley underwent surgery Oct. 30, 2020, to repair the ACL and damage to his meniscus. He did not practice in the spring and began the summer on the physically unable to perform list before being activated Aug. 9. Barkley did not appear in a preseason game or participate in live drills until less than two weeks ago, wearing a red, no-contact jersey in New England.

Still, he has been moving well and without any restrictions.

"I think he looks great," quarterback Daniel Jones said after Wednesday's practice in full pads. "I think he's done a great job following what the trainers and the doctors have told him to do. He looks good practicing."

Barkley's first taste of contact came in a padded practice Sept. 2 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The Giants had another practice with pads Wednesday. He came through without any problems.

He had to endure three straight practices this week to receive final clearance Friday.

"His work on the field is very promising," Giants coach Joe Judge said before Friday's workout. "He's done a lot of things we needed to see."

The Giants offense will now be close to whole in time for their opener. It's a far cry from the summer, when Barkley, wide receivers Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and Kadarius Toney (COVID-19/hamstring) and tight ends Kyle Rudolph (foot) and Engram (calf) were all sidelined.

The New York defense is also expected to be whole. Cornerback Adoree' Jackson will be available Sunday after being listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

The Broncos have been preparing as if Barkley would play.

"Yeah, he's obviously eligible to play," coach Vic Fangio said earlier in the week. "He's on the roster. We're under the assumption that he will play, and until we know otherwise, that's the assumption we'll take. He's a hell of a player obviously, and I'm sure they'll play him if he's ready to go."

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