Dec 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Giants quarterbackEli Manning
(10) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The schedule for our beloved New York Giants is finally out, and it’s not one that any team would enjoy. With almost every opponent carrying aspirations of making the postseason, the G-Men definitely have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a quick tour of the best and worst (presumably) games for the upcoming season, and what the Giants might have in store.
1. Week 12: Sunday night battle at MetLife Stadium against the rival Dallas Cowboys.
Everyone loves some intra-division thrillers, especially if they are at home and in primetime. The Giants are well accustomed to the big lights, but with all the roster turnover and new free agent bodies, there is a quite a bit of unknown here. If the chemistry isn’t there by week 12 it probably never will be.
I expect this to be showdown with plenty of points to spare. In a quarterback duel, Eli Manning will have to hope that Rueben Randle comes in to fill the hole left by Nicks’ departure. Tony Romo doesn’t have that concern with Dez Bryant as the primary target of his air attack. The Giants, I think, will have the firepower by then to squeeze out a win.
2. Weeks 13 & 14: Away games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.
The Giants go on a little road trip to the south where they have two must-win games against teams that have improved via free-agency. Both have new (or relatively new) coaches and are looking to place themselves on the NFL radar. The effort will unmistakably be brought.
The Jags have some nice pieces already in place and hold the #3 overall pick. Whether that selection is Clowney, Watkins, Mack or a QB, you can bet the Jints will have their hands full containing any of the above.
I think that one of these games will catch the Giants off guard and prove to be a trap game. Whether it’s Jacksonville or Tennessee is too early to proclaim, but both teams would salivate at the idea of beating a team with championship lineage.
3. Week 9: Monday night lights against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Fresh off the bye week, Eli and his Giants squad should be fully healthy and prepared to take on the Colts on their home turf. The Colts will most likely be the favored opponent heading in to the game, but Giants will bring a renewed fury and steal one in primetime against a very good Colts team.
Andrew Luck, heading into his junior year at the NFL level, will be looking to firmly establish himself as one of the elite QB’s in the league. Sadly, he’s been somewhat overshadowed by Super Bowl winner and on-field magician Russell Wilson.
At the end of the day, the the Giants secondary will set the tone early and come away with a convincing W.
1. Week 10: A visit to the rainy Seattle to play the defending Super Bowl champions.
This clash tops the list of worst games simply because going into Seattle and escaping with a win is nearly impossible — the Arizona Cardinals were the first to do it since December 24th 2011 late last season. I don’t think that the Super Bowl curse is going to affect the Seahawks stacked roster. They will be favorites to make a repeat run at the crown.
2. Weeks 1-11: Sans the game versus Indianapolis, 9 of the first 10 games of the season should be looked at with extreme caution. Sure, they get to play two teams picking in the top-eight of the draft, but that doesn’t help when the two teams are the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons, who will surely be on a mission to prove that last season was a fluke.
Throw in the three away games against division rivals and games against the 3 best teams from the best division in football, the NFC West, and you have the makings for a brutal first half of the season. And of course you cannot forget the opener in Detroit against the Lions on Monday Night Football, who have the best receiver in the game and are desperately seeking revenge. The Giants, depending on how quickly team chemistry develops, could potentially — in a worst case scenario — drop 7 or 8 games out the 10.
Let’s hope they don’t.