Giants and Broncos looking to rebound from poor 2020 seasons

DENVER (5-11) at N.Y. GIANTS (6-10)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: Denver by 1, according to FanDuel SportsBook

SERIES RECORD: Giants lead 7-6

LAST MEETING: Giants beat Broncos 23-10 on Oct. 15, 2017 in Denver

BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (23), RUSH (13), PASS (26), SCORING (28).

BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (25), PASS (T16), SCORING (25).

GIANTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (31), RUSH (19), PASS (29), SCORING (31).

GIANTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (12), RUSH (10), PASS (T16), SCORING (9).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Broncos minus-16; Giants 0.

BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Jerry Jeudy. The 15th overall pick in last year’s draft caught 52 passes for 856 yards and three TDs. He has worked hard to cut down on drops. A precise route runner, he had a season-high 140-yard game against the Raiders on the final weekend. It included a 92-yard TD reception, the NFL’s longest pass play in 2020.

GIANTS PLAYER TO WATCH: Sterling Shepard was the most consistent and healthiest receiver in training camp. He had 66 catches for 656 yards and three touchdowns last season. He also might be the guy Daniel Jones looks for with Kenny Golladay, Evan Engram and Darius Slayton a little nicked up.

KEY MATCHUP: The Giants’ offensive line was terrible last season, and it showed little improvement in the preseason. It will have its hands full against linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in passing situations. Jones could take a pounding.

KEY INJURIES: Chubb has been dealing with an ankle injury. … Giants TE Evan Engram (calf) has been limited lately. RB Saquon Barkley, WR Golladay (hamstring), CB Adoree Jackson (ankle), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring) may be game-time decisions.

SERIES NOTES: Both teams are coming off poor seasons in 2020, although the Giants had a chance to win the weak NFL East on the final day. … The biggest game between the teams was Jan. 25, 1987. The Giants won their first Super Bowl with a 39-20 win before 101,063 fans in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. … This will mark the first time capacity crowd will be at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for a regular-season game since the end of the 2019 season. … This is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Coincidently, the Giants played in Denver on Sept. 10, 2001 and flew home after the game, just before airline traffic was grounded.

STATS AND STUFF: Teddy Bridgewater will be the Broncos’ 11th starting quarterback since Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired a month after Super Bowl 50. … The Broncos haven’t been back to the playoffs since and they have four consecutive losing seasons. The last time they were above .500 was Sept. 30, 2018. … Melvin Gordon III is the league’s only running back with eight or more TD runs in each of the last five seasons. … The Broncos managed just 16 takeaways in 2020 and were minus-16 in turnover margin. … … Even though he missed all of last season, OLB Miller’s 106 career sacks are the most in the NFL since 2011. … Justin Simmons is the league’s only safety with multiple interceptions in each of the last five seasons. … LB Malik Reed led the team with a career-high eight sacks in 2020. … The Giants have not won their season opener since 2016, the last time they made the playoffs. This is their first season opener at home since 2010. … Daniel Jones was one of four NFC quarterbacks to rush for 400-plus yards last season. … Barkley has not played in a game since tearing an ACL in the second match last season. … After catching 183 passes for 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns in four seasons with the Lions, Golladay is expected to make his Giants debut. …LB Blake Martinez was No.3 in the NFL with 151 tackles last season. … DL Leonard Williams had a career-high 11 1/2 sacks in 2020. … CB James Bradberry was tied for second in the NFL with a career-high 18 passes defended in 2020. … Logan Ryan is one of three active DBs with 15-plus career interceptions and 10-plus sacks.

FANTASY TIP: Barkley. Hey, this is a fantasy tip! His status for the opener has been uncertain since OTAs and even this week because of his ACL rehab. The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year returns Sunday with one long TD run, one big catch and 150 yards combined offense. Maybe even two TDs. The fantasy stars are aligned.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2021 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Comments

Sign up for breaking news alerts