New York Giants 2020 season preview: How bright is the future with Daniel Jones?

ByESPN Staff ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The New York Giants are ranked No. 26 in ESPN's Football Power Index ahead of the 2020 NFL season. With no preseason games this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Week 1 is the first time we'll see new acquisitions and rookies for every team. Week 1 will also give us the first NFL games since Super Bowl LIV in February.

Here's everything you need to know about the Giants heading into the season, from the big question to answer and the toughest stretch on their schedule to a bold prediction and potential breakout fantasy football stars.

Full schedule | Roster | Depth chart

The big question: Is quarterbackDaniel Jones the real deal?

This will determine if the Giants will have a successful season and future. They have invested heavily in the second-year quarterback, and now is the time to find out if he can develop into a top-end starter, especially for first-year head coach Joe Judge.

In order to do that, Jones, 23, will have to cut down on the fumbles.He led the league with 18 fumbles (11 lost) last season.

The only way to find out if he has fixed that problem is to see him in games where he isn't wearing a red don't-touch-him jersey like he has in training camp. -- Jordan Raanan

How the pandemic has most affected the Giants

Starting left tackle Nate Solder and cornerback Sam Beal opted out of the season. With Beal not available and fellow cornerback DeAndre Baker dealing with legal troubles, the Giants are alarmingly thin and inexperienced in their secondary -- even after signing veteran defensive back Logan Ryan. No preseason, a virtual offseason and shortened training camp made it especially difficult to evaluate that part of the roster. -- Raanan

Football Power Index projections for the Giants

Overall ranking: 26

Offensive ranking: 23

Defensive ranking: 25

Special teams ranking: 23

Total wins: 6

NFC East title chances: 4.6%

Chances to make playoffs: 11%

Super Bowl chances: 0.1%

2021 draft pick: No. 6

Inside the Giants' schedule

FPI's strength of schedule rank: 5

Toughest stretch: Right out of the gate the Giants will get tested. None of their first five opponents had a losing record last season, and three of those games are on the road. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers (the first three games) will really provide a stiff test for New York's offense. All three are expected to be extremely strong defensively.

Over or under 6 wins? Over. The Giants will surprise some people with a win or two against a team(s) they are not supposed to beat. It has been a while, but Jones and the offense will be good enough to steal wins. Plus, Judge's attention to detail will pay dividends. It will be enough to get the Giants over their number and into the level of respectability. -- Raanan

Bold prediction for 2020: Saquon Barkley breaks the NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season

Retired running back Chris Johnson holds the mark at 2,509 yards yards. Barkley overtakes him this season with more than 1,700 yards rushing and another 800 receiving. He's going to have that big a year in coordinator Jason Garrett's running back-friendly offense. And it should bode well for the Giants' overall outlook. -- Raanan

Breakout fantasy star: Daniel Jones, QB

Jones, last year's No. 6 overall pick, appeared in 12 full games as a rookie and averaged 18.0 fantasy points per game. For perspective, No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray averaged 17.8 per game. Jones paced all quarterbacks in passing TDs (24) and ranked fifth in fantasy points during those 12 weeks. All things considered, it was a solid rookie campaign. Assuming Jones improves on his shaky efficiency and turnover woes, the combination of his rushing ability (279 yards, 2 TDs last season) and a healthy supporting cast position him for a Year 2 breakout. -- Mike Clay

ADP for the top players:

The view from Vegas

Super Bowl odds: 50-1 (opened 60-1)

Over/under: 6

Playoff odds: Yes +380, No -480

The Giants finished 4-12 last season, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, and seventh time in the past eight seasons since winning Super Bowl XLVI. They have also won five or fewer games each of the past three seasons, and haven't won more than six since 2013. -- ESPN Chalk staff

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill as of Sept. 1.

Where the Giants landed in NFL Rank

Speed reads before Week 1

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