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Behind enemy lines: State of the Giants heading into the opener vs the Broncos

As the Broncos and Giants season-opener draws closer, Broncos Country Tonight talked with Art Stapleton to find out what’s going on with New York.

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When it comes to Denver Broncos game week, it’s always fascinating to go behind enemy lines.

This week that’s obviously the New York Giants. From the status and usage of running back Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram to the offensive line and the defense, what are the expectations for them this season? It certainly seems like they have a lot of questions heading into the opener against Denver.

On Friday’s Broncos Country Tonight, Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright were joined by Art Stapleton. He’s the Giants beat writer/NFL columnist for The Record and NorthJersey.com.

The expectation from Allbright and Stapleton is that Barkley is ready to go but he’ll be on a pitch count. There’s also the fact the Giants play on Thursday Night Football against the Washington Football Team. Given that fact, Stapleton doesn’t expect Engram to play on Sunday.

And then there’s lingering questions around quarterback Daniel Jones.

“You guys saw the reaction to his interception against the Patriots in a Sunday night preseason game, right?” Stapleton replied when Ryan asked him about how pivotal it is for Jones to get off to good start or have a good year in order to remain the QB. “It’s very important. I think Jones is in a situation now where every time he drops back to throw or he scrambles the masses are waiting for a mistake. I think the biggest issue for him this year would be is if they play cautious. And that goes for Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator, too. The way to solve these problems is to not be more cautious or more conservative.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, to make winning plays you have to be aggressive. You can’t be afraid to make a mistake. And I think if they play more conservatively, Jones will limit the opportunities that he’s going to make a mistake. But now if he’s only asked to make three big plays a game and he fails on two of them, what is that going to say for his long-term success? So I do think he needs help around him. The Giants need Jones to play well.”

While it’s only one game, and the first one of the season, neither team will get all of the answers to the questions they have, but they’ll have a good idea of where they stand.