Giants rookie linebacker Azeez Ojulari recorded his first NFL sack on Sunday in a 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium (308408)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Giants’ 2021 regular season opener looked similar to many of their games in 2020. A costly fumble by quarterback Daniel Jones, poor execution and mental mistakes marked their 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium this past Sunday.They will now open the NFL Week 2 schedule against the Washington Football Team on the road. Washington lost their season opener at home 20-16 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Giants entered the game versus the Broncos having closed their preseason schedule with a poor performance against the New England Patriots. Looks weren’t deceiving and it portended a listless showing to begin the regular season as the Broncos exploited holes in the Giants’ defense on all three levels. The offense, which had the second lowest points per game average in the league last season at 17.5, continued a disturbing trend of low output.

Jones also has not corrected his propensity to amass fumbles at an alarming rate. In 28 career games the third-year QB has 30 fumbles, 18 of which have been recovered by the opposition. He coughed up the ball in the Red Zone on Sunday in the third quarter on a crucial drive with the Giants down 20-7. On the day he was 22-37 for 267 yards and one touchdown.

The return of running back Saquon Barkley did not help bolster the Giants attack as he rushed for just 26 yards on 10 attempts. It was Barkley’s first game action since tearing the ACL in his right knee on September 20 of last year in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears.

“How I’m feeling? I’m feeling pretty good,” said Barkley to the media on Tuesday. “It felt good to get out there on Sunday. Obviously, a short week. Just trying to get my body back and get ready for Thursday night.

“I mean, I haven’t gotten tackled in a whole year or played in a football game in a whole year,” he continued. “Obviously, I didn’t play the full game…but there’s always going to be some soreness. Definitely a quick turnaround this week, but that’s why I’ve got to be a pro and get my body ready and take care of my body.”

In also speaking with the press on Tuesday, Giants head coach Joe Judge said he has to get his entire team ready with only three days in-between games. “All right, so we spent yesterday obviously cleaning up the tape from Week 1,” said Judge, who is 6-11 since taking over the reins of the team in January of 2020 after former head coach Pat Shurmur was fired after only two seasons. Shurmur got a measure of revenge on Sunday as the offensive coordinator for the Broncos.

“Before we left yesterday,” elaborated Judge, “we introduced the Washington Football Team to our players to make sure they had a brief glimpse in terms of big picture of who they are. The players spent last night looking through the scouting report and some of the preliminary cutups we had made for them and then came in today.

“In talking about the NFC East, it’s a unique division. I think these are different types of division games. Every division wants to talk about having passion and who you play. I think it’s important to recognize the history of all the teams in this division, the physicality, the passion, the fan bases. These things all play a part in terms of how we have to prepare for this game and understand the environment we’re walking into.”