The New York Giants' 2021 regular-season schedule will officially be unveiled at 8 p.m. ET tonight. Several intriguing matchups are on tap for the Giants to be played out both in and outside of their division. Here is a ranking of the list of opponents the Giants will face in 2021.
Note: "H" denotes a home game, "A" an away game and "D" a division game in which there will be a home and away game.
14.) Los Angeles Chargers (A)
This game might have drawn a higher ranking if Eli Manning were still the quarterback since it’s one of two teams Manning never beat in his career. But with that storyline retired, the Giants will get their first look at Chargers franchise quarterback Justin Herbert, a player whom New York was rumored to have their eye on in 2019 until Herbert decided to return to school.
13.) Las Vegas Raiders (H)
This game might have ranked higher if it was on the road since it would have been the Giants’ first trip to Vegas. Other than that, the Raiders, who finished 8-8 last year (and who handed the Kansas City Chiefs one of their two losses of the season and very nearly came close to sweeping the regular-season series), seem to be a team that's hard to predict.
12.) Carolina Panthers (H)
The Giants were interested in hiring Matt Rhule as their head coach, but Rhule never made it to New York for his interview, spurning the Giants.
Granted, the Giants aren’t exactly broken up about how things worked out, not after they landed Joe Judge, but still, no one would blame anyone if any “what if?” moments popped up.
11.) Los Angeles Rams (A)
The Giants will get another crack at Aaron Donald and company, whom they almost beat last year were it not for time running out on the Giants' offense. This time, though, the Giants will be facing Matthew Stafford, the former Lions starting quarterback traded in the off-season.
Oh, and if Rams head coach Sean McVay thought that the Giants' defense last year was a “pain” to prepare for, given all the upgrades the Giants made to that unit, something tells me he hasn’t seen anything yet.
10.) Denver Broncos (H) - Announced as the regular-season Opener (4:25 PM kickoff)
On the surface, this is a "meh" type of game, though if the Broncos somehow land Aaron Rodgers—a longshot, mind you but a possibility that still exists—this game will take on another level of excitement from a football perspective.
Beyond football, this game comes 20 years and a day after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. And for those who don't know, the Giants played the Broncos at Denver back in 2001 on a Monday night game, returning to New Jersey in the early morning of 9/11--hours before the attacks on New York and Washington, DC commenced.
9.) New Orleans Saints (A)
Sean Payton and company begin their first season without Drew Brees, who went 6-2 against them during his career. Beyond that, the Giants are due for a win at the Superdome, where they haven’t won a game since December 20, 1993
(Note: The Giants won the “road” game played against the Saints on September 19, 2005, but that game was played at Giants Stadium after the Saints were displaced following Hurricane Katrina.)
8.) Chicago Bears (A)
At some point, the Giants will probably want to get a feel for how the Bears season is unfolding, especially since Chicago owes them their first- and fourth-round draft picks in next year’s draft.
Meeting up with Chicago later in the season and (hopefully) coming out with a win to help improve the Bears’ draft position sure would be a nice development if the Giants can make it happen.
7.) Washington Football Team (D)
Washington emerged as the NFC East division winner last year thanks to the Eagles compromising the competitive spirit of the game. But let’s also not forget that Washington came pretty close to beating the Giants in the first meeting last season when Washington was one two-point conversion away from the upset.
Edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat doing battle against the Giants’ projected starting offensive tackles Matt Peart and Andre Thomas will be a crucial matchup and a fun one to watch unfold.
6.) Dallas Cowboys (D)
The Giants snapped a seven-game losing streak against their division rivals last year with a 23-19 win at MetLife Stadium. However, Cowboys fans were quick to point out that the Giants did so against a Cowboys team that lacked quarterback Dak Prescott, who holds a 7-2 career mark against New York.
Well, Prescott is on track to be back this season, playing on his brand new contract, but the bigger question is, have the Cowboys finally figured out their defensive woes?
The addition of Micah Parsons as an inside linebacker, but the bigger question is what kind of defense will the Cowboys, who last year had a historically bad defense, be running under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn?
5) Atlanta Falcons (H)
Receiver Julio Jones and tight end Kyle Pitts versus the Giants beefed up defensive secondary will be one of the better tests that unit will face all season. If they get the Falcons before getting the Bucs and Chiefs, it will be a good litmus test to see how they potentially hold up against those two teams' receiving arsenals.
4) Miami Dolphins (A)
The 17th game on the Giants schedule pits two former assistant coaches from Bill Belichick’s Patriots staff against one another.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaeers (A)
Yes, the eventual Super Bowl champions managed to beat the Giants last year. But as the Giants have done the last few times they’ve faced a Tom Brady-led team, they things close, losing 25-23. That was the Bucs’ narrowest margin of their 11-win regular season last year.
2) Kansas City Chiefs (A)
All the Chiefs had to do was upgrade their offensive line this off-season. They supposedly did that, and on paper, it seems like they are the team to beat. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, anyone think that old friend Steve Spagnuolo, the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, might not have a little extra motivation in this game to top his old team after the Giants passed on him as a potential head coaching candidate for Pat Shurmur?
1.) Philadelphia Eagles (D)
I have no idea how good the Eagles are going to be this year. I do think we can all agree that after all the times that organization has "stuck it" to the Giants—the Miracles at the Meadowlands, postseason losses, giving up last year in the regular-season finale, and leapfrogging ahead of the Giants in the draft for receiver Devonta Smith—the Giants owe the Birds big time.
And what better way to stick it back to the Eagles than for the Giants to grow their one-game win streak to three while further helping their cause in sewing up the NFC East?