A preview of Sunday’s Giants-Titans Week 1 game in Nashville, Tennessee.
Titans DT Jeffery Simmons vs. Giants interior offensive line
This rebuilt group has Mark Glowinski at right guard, Jon Feliciano at center and either Ben Bredeson or rookie Josh Ezeudu at left guard. Simmons was the 19th overall pick in the 2019 draft and last season made his first Pro Bowl after hitting career highs in sacks (8.5) and tackles (54).
Glowinski has 74 NFL starts on his resume and Feliciano has 39, so they have plenty of experience using the tricks of the trade to keep Simmons out of the backfield. Another Titans defensive lineman, Denico Autry, had nine sacks and 18 hits for the quarterback in 2021, making it a tough start for the Giants’ interior group.
Can the Giants avoid their late summer tradition of being 0-1? Their schedule is more than fair, but no one has done Brian Daboll a favor with that tough first game on the road against the No. 1 seed of the 2021 AFC Playoffs. The offense is healthy and Daniel Jones has his playmakers on the pitch with him. Let’s see what this new attack looks like and if it can gather enough points. And let’s see if anyone can take on Derrick Henry.
Titans 27, Giants 20
Home hitters: For a huge man, Derrick Henry can go the distance. Since 2018, he has nine rushing touchdowns of 50 or more yards, the most in the NFL. Do you want to guess who is second on this list? Why, it’s Saquon Barkley, with six rushing touchdowns of 50 or more yards. Nick Chubb of the Browns is third with five.
Henry did it in 55 games (815 rushing attempts). Barkley did it in 44 games (659 attempts) and Chubb did it in 58 (908 attempts). It’s easy to forget what a high-caliber running back Barkley was when he was completely healthy. He is in perfect health to start his fifth season with the Giants.
New role: The salary-cap release of James Bradberry made Adoree’ Jackson the No. 1 cover guy on a defense that’s unproven anywhere else at cornerback. The Titans’ 2017 first-round pick faces his former team for the first time and faces a revamped wide receiver group that includes veteran Robert Woods (acquired in a trade to the Rams) and rookie Treylon Burks, taken with the No. 18- Arkansas overall pick. It’s imperative for the Giants that Jackson plays like a top corner, given the depth chart at that position.
“It’s going to be fun to see them, to share with them,” Jackson said of his former Titans teammates. “Probably get a shirt after the game or two, so it’s going to be good.”
Must run: On first and 10, the Titans ran the ball an NFL-high 61.5% of the time in 2021, despite Henry only playing eight games. The field is where they want to be, which is why the Giants’ surprising release of inside linebacker Blake Martinez will certainly be felt in this game. Tae Crowder returns as a starter, presumably with Austin Calitro, who defines the term “mate”. He was not drafted from Villanova, and the Giants are his ninth different NFL team and 11th different NFL stoppage. He’s played 47 games and started nine of them – none since 2019 with the Jaguars.
“I’m really excited to wait for this opportunity to come back,” Calitro said. “I knew I could do it. It’s just a question of coaches and a front office that believes in me. I found it here.”
Take offense : The last time the Giants took the field in a game that mattered, they were finishing up some of the worst offensive football in franchise history – a six-week slog to end the 2021 season during which they average just over nine points. a game.
The decision makers on offense – Daboll and play coordinator and caller Mike Kafka – are there to ensure the product is greatly improved. Creativity has replaced predictability, and that should bode well for Kadarius Toney, who has had a rather dismal rookie year. Watch for rookie second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson to also benefit from a system that has a habit of unleashing primary weapons.
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