The New York Giants may be the underdogs against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one, but that shouldn’t cause us to give up hope. The additions of Saquon Barkley and Nate Solder could be exactly what the offense needs to regain their form and start off the season on the right foot.
The Jaguars will also be without defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who was suspended by the NFL for the first game of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The game is scheduled for Sept. 9 at MetLife.
The influence of Fowler Jr. on the Giants:
In Fowler’s sophomore season, he recorded eight total sacks, 18 tackles and three fumble recoveries. He will be looking to take a major developmental jump in 2018, which bodes well for a Giants team that has yet to play a game with the new coaching staff and rebuilt roster.
While Fowler has only started one game for the Jags in two years, his influence off the bench is significant. His impact on the Giants likely wouldn’t have been worrisome, but it will allow Barkley to tire out the legs of the front four as they attempt to stop him.
The Giants will likely utilize their rookie back and test the strength and cohesiveness of the offensive line in their first game. It will be interesting to see their game-plan against a strong Jaguar defense. Also, getting a look at how head coach Pat Shurmur uses Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram as a unit will be fun to watch.
Expect to see a lot of mismatches and movement at the line of scrimmage to keep the defense honest. Being unpredictable and baiting the safeties will be the recipe to success for the Giants in week one.