The New York Giants embark on their 2021 season on Sunday when they host the Denver Broncos in the late-afternoon time slot. While much of the attention will be upon Daniel Jones and the Giants offense, a critical matchup in this game will be between the New York defense and a talented Denver offensive lineup.
When you look at the Broncos on paper, the pieces are in place for Denver to have a productive offense. They call upon a talented trio of receivers in Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler. The Broncos can look to Noah Fant at tight end, and even get contributions from Eric Saubert and Albert Okwuegbunam when they employ multiple-TE packages. Denver is one of the few teams that relies upon a fullback, so you can expect to see some 21-personnel groupings with Andrew Beck in the game.
Speaking of running backs, the two-headed monster of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams is likely to be a focus of old friend Pat Shurmur’s game plan.
Then there is the offensive line, which is still a work in progress but took a step forward with the development of Garett Bolles last season. The left tackle, selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, earned his first Pro Bowl selection with a good season on the left side.
So yes, on paper this is a talented group. The one question, of course is a big one, and one Giants fans are intimately familiar with.
What about the quarterback position?
The Broncos made the decision to pass on quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL draft and open up a competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. The veteran, acquired last April in a trade with the Carolina Panthers, emerged the winner of that competition.
Before diving into what the Giants can expect from Bridgewater and Shurmur, some thoughts on the veteran passer. Bridgewater has a reputation as a conservative, checkdown master, but this might be a moment where things are a bit more complicated than the bumper-sticker slogan would have you believe. According to charting data from Pro Football Focus, on throws of 20 yards or more last season Bridgewater posted an Adjusted Completion Percentage of 47.3 percent last season, 11th in the league. Now, he did throw four interceptions (and just three touchdowns) on those throws, but the two-gloved QB is not afraid to take shots downfield when the opportunities are presented.
With that in mind, let’s dive into what Bridgewater did this preseason in this video breakdown. We’ll discuss some quick-game concepts, some play-action designs, and the Denver drop back passing game:
As you watch this game on Sunday afternoon, look to see these concepts in action from Bridgewater and the talented Denver offense.