The Giants knew they would have a first place schedule, and that it was their turn to play the always tough and now improving AFC North. They also knew they would play their own tough division where anything can happen, and usually does. Losing twice to Washington last year confused and angered all, but beating Dallas twice in prime time in the last 4 weeks was a very pleasant surprise. Once again I must state my philosophy that it’s not who you play, but when you play them. So let’s take a look at what might await us in 2012.
1) We know the division will be better: The Eagles can’t possibly be worse than they were last year. Although Andy Reid decided to stay with his embattled defensive coordinator and his odd scheme, they have already strengthened the linebacking corps in free agency. This was truly their biggest weakness, and they had a terrible draft class last season while trying to address it. I imagine they might be a bit better than 8-8 this season, if and this is the question surrounding the Eagles, if Mike Vick can last.
The Redskins will be improved also, but not as much as people are saying I believe. A young top QB is a great thing to have, but not always so great in their first year with questionable weapons surrounding them. The Redskins did make some moves to improve on offense, but it is still a work in progress and not sure it is going to yield fast results. Of course they beat us twice last year with no QB, so these games will be critical to our success this year.
2) The AFC North is tough: Baltimore still has a good defense if not great. They have a very good running attack. They also have an embattled QB that needs to prove he is the man for the job. The Giants don’t get them until late in the season, so the jury should be in on Joe Flacco by then. Pittsburgh, although aging, is always tough, and they have a top notch QB. Cincy is the improving team, and they could get a lot better with some good draft picks this year. We will need to see how they grow together.
3) Road Trips: In San Fran, In Carolina on three days rest, and that is really it. The Giants really caught a break this year with their home and road distribution. One trip west of Dallas all year, 5 games at home and 5 on the road before the BYE in week 11, which of course means 3 and 3 after the BYE. Finishing the season at home, maybe in primetime, maybe in another NFC East Championship game….all good things!
A prediction you say? Well before the draft is always a tough time to make a prediction, but at first glance I said 10-6.