giants vs. Titans: preview, predictions, what to watch out for


A behind-the-scenes look at the Giants-Titans Week 1 matchup in Nashville, Tennessee.

Marquee matchup

Titans DT Jeffery Simmons vs. Giants Domestic Offensive Line

This rebuilt group has Mark Glowinski on right guard, Jon Feliciano in the middle and either Ben Bredeson or rookie Josh Ezeudu on left guard. Simmons was number 19 overall in the 2019 draft and last season made his first Pro Bowl after achieving career highs in sacks (8.5) and tackles (54).

Glowinski has 74 NFL starts on his resume and Feliciano has 39, so they have enough experience to use the tricks of the trade to keep Simmons out of the backfield. Another Titans defensive lineman, Denico Autry had nine sacks and a team-high 18 quarterback hits in 2021, making this a tough debut for the Giants’ interior group.

Jeffery Simmons and Jon Feliciano
Getty Images; Corey Sipkin

Paul’s choice

Can the Giants avoid their late summer tradition of 0-1? Their schedule is more than fair, but no one did Brian Daboll a favor with this tough opener on the road against the 2021 AFC playoffs. The attack is sound and Daniel Jones has his playmakers with him on the field. Let’s see what this attack with a new look looks like and if he can collect enough points. And let’s see if anyone can tackle Derrick Henry.

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Titans 27, Giants 20

four downs

Home runners: For a huge man, Derrick Henry can go a long way. Since 2018, he has had nine hasty touchdowns of 50 or more yards, the most in the NFL. Want to guess who is second on that list? Well, it’s Saquon Barkley, with six hasty touchdowns from 50 yards or more. Nick Chubb of the Browns is third with five.

Henry made it in 55 games (815 hasty attempts). Barkley did it in 44 games (659 tries) and Chubb did it in 58 (908 tries). It’s easy to forget what a great running back Barkley was when he was completely healthy. He is completely healthy to start his fifth season with the Giants.

New role: The pay cap release of James Bradberry made Adoree’ Jackson the No. 1 cover for a defense proven nowhere else at cornerback. The Titans’ first round of 2017 will face his former team for the first time and face a revamped wide receiver group that includes veteran Robert Woods (acquired in a trade with the Rams) and rookie Treylon Burks, taken with the number 18 overall pick from Arkansas. It is imperative for the Giants that Jackson play as a top level corner given the depth chart at this position.

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“It’ll just be fun to watch them, sort it out with them,” Jackson said of his former Titans teammates. “Maybe you’ll get a jersey after the game or two, so that’s going to be nice.”

Must run: At first-and-10, the Titans let the ball play NFL high 61.5 percent of the time in 2021, despite Henry playing in just eight games. Ground is where they want to be, which is why the Giants’ surprise release of inside-linebacker Blake Martinez is definitely making itself felt in this game. Tae Crowder returns as starter, presumably along with Austin Calitro, who defines the term “travel companion.” He was taken out of Villanova and the Giants are his ninth different NFL team and his eleventh different NFL stop. He has played in 47 games and started nine – none since 2019 with the Jaguars.

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“I’m definitely excited to wait for this opportunity to come back,” Calitro said. “I knew I could do it. It’s just a matter of getting coaches and a front office that believes in me. I found that here.”

To take offence: The last time the Giants took to the field in a game that counted, they were wrapping up some of the worst offensive football in franchise history — a six-week slog to close out the 2021 season, which saw they averaged barely more than nine points. a game.

The decision makers in violation – Daboll and coordinator and play-caller Mike Kafka – are here to ensure that the product is greatly improved. Creativity has replaced predictability, and that should bode well for Kadarius Toney, who struggled through a mostly bleak rookie year. Look out for newcomer Wan’Dale Robinson who opts in the second round to also take advantage of a system that has a history of freeing the main weapons.