The New York Giants have had the 31st-ranked scoring offense in the NFL last year and in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, they didn’t fare much better.
Daniel Jones and his improved arsenal of weapons were held to a single touchdown for a majority of the afternoon at MetLife Stadium before a consolation prize of a second score in the final minutes of a 27-13 loss.
The offensive line — which seemingly holds the hopes of the offense’s success — wasn’t an enormous hindrance as many predicted, but they were nothing to write home about, either. Jones was sacked twice in the loss while the Giants rushed for an underwhelming 60 yards against an active Broncos defense that is projected to be one of the better units in the NFL.
Thursday night, however, brings upon a much stiffer matchup in the defending NFC East champion Washington Football team.
Their defensive line is amongst the most imposing collections in the league, featuring menacing edge rushers in Chase Young and Montez Sweat along with interior explosiveness with Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
Washington ranked sixth in the NFL last year with 47 team sacks and will be hungry to improve on a two-sack effort on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“Those edge players are second to none. The interior tackles can all make plays,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said. “If you try to fall asleep on someone because you think they didn’t do what you thought they’re going to do in the first game, I promise you we’re going to see the best Chase and Sweat have to offer. That’s not going to be a surprise to us.”
It can’t be, or else Jones will spend most of Thursday night on his backside while putting star running back Saquon Barkley — back on the field after missing 11-plus months due to a torn ACL — in a dangerous situation.
That starts with establishing the run game.
“We’ve got to run the ball better, which is the main point,” center Nick Gates said. “You’re not going to win too many games if you can’t pound the rock. I felt pass protection was a lot better than it was this time last year, and we’ve got to keep excelling on that moving forward.”