Is this the week Kenny Golladay breaks out for the New York Giants?
It comes as no surprise that as the 2021 NFL season kicks off the Giants (0-2) are off to a losing start. The Giants have been struggling for quite some time now—it’s been almost a decade since their last Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots, of which they emerged victorious. The Giants’ inability to find success on the field stems from a plethora of reasons—from the weak offensive line to critical players like Saquon Barkley being injured, and the struggling quarterback, Daniel Jones. Nevertheless, the new addition of free agent Kenny Golladay may be exactly what is needed to change the tide and put an end to this cursed decade in Giants history.
The 27-year-old, 6-foot-4, 214-pound wide receiver made his first debut on the NFL stage back in 2017 when he was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round (96th overall pick). In his time at Detroit, Golladay presented a tremendous work ethic alongside exponential growth. Golladay posted a total of 477 receiving yards in 2017, 1,063 yards in 2018, and an impressive 1,190 yards in 2019. In 2019, after two years in the NFL, Golladay was selected to the Pro Bowl, where he put on a stellar performance.
As his $3.19 million, four-year contract with the Lions came to an end, Golladay was considered by many to be the No. 1 free-agent wide receiver on the market. To secure Golladay, the Giants offered him a $72 million dollar, four-year contract—a significant increase from his rookie contract with the Lions. The Giants are expecting big things from Golladay, and only time will tell if Golladay can hold up his end of the bargain.
However, as much as we would love to dream, Golladay is not without flaws. His seemingly untapped potential is hindered by a recurring hip injury which has seemed to be sort of an Achilles heel for the wide receiver. Golladay missed almost all of the 2020 season due to a hip flexor and missed the entirety of the Giants training camp leading up to the 2021 season. As a result, Golladay has been unable to really practice with his new team and find his role within the offense. Nonetheless, for Golladay, I would speculate that Weeks 1 and 2 were just his warm-up and he is now ready to hit the ground running as the Giants look to take on the Atlanta Falcons at home this Sunday.
The biggest factor for the Giants heading into Week 3 is going to be the rest period of 10 days between Weeks 2 and 3. Week 1 and 2 left Giants players with only three days to recover—putting injured players such as Golladay at a larger disadvantage. This was evident through Golladay’s play as he went from 64 receiving yards against Denver in Week 1 to 38 receiving yards against Washington in Week 2—a 40% decrease. Alongside 10 days of rest, Golladay has also had time to practice with the offense—although on a limited basis—and gain more experience with the team. Heading into Game 3 against the Falcons, I would expect big things from Golladay.
I speculate that this is going to be Golladay’s breakout week for the Giants. The matchup between the Giants and the Falcons plays heavily into Golladay’s favor. The Falcons’ defense allowed 434 total yards against the Philadelphia Eagles and 341 total yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons’ atrocious, penetrable defense presents Golladay with a prime opportunity to truly break out for the Giants. In my opinion, this will not be a difficult game for a receiver as talented as Golladay, despite his injury. Adding in 10 days of rest on top of that, Golladay should be more than ready to go.
To quote Golladay himself, “There is still a lot of football left to play.”