Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) gets past Philadelphia Eagles free safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) to score a touchdown during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
1. Early season schedule
I think one thing to be cautious of when analyzing a team’s schedule is trying to analyze all 17 games. To say that a team the Giants face in Week 16 “isn’t a good matchup for them,” in my eyes, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when we’re talking about two teams that haven’t played a down yet. As we’ve seen in the NFL (and on those two Giants Super Bowl runs), teams can catch fire in a heartbeat. They could also get ice cold just as quick. I can’t say I’m particularly happy the Giants are playing the Dolphins in Week 14–I think they’re a solid young team with a very good young QB–but say they lose three in a row in Weeks 11-13, running into them might be the best thing that could happen to this team all season.
And I’m saying all this without considering injuries, breakout players, etc. Teams evolve throughout the season for a number of reasons, so I don’t think it’s wise to look too deep into the schedule before the season actually begins.
However, I do think it’s a good idea to look at the first few games. And this is where I see opportunity for the Giants to get some early season W’s.
Opening up in Dallas–probably they’re toughest matchup. But they host Atlanta–a dome team–along with a (currently) dysfunctional Washington squad, a depleted 49ers team, and go to Buffalo to play a very talented Bills team, but they have maybe the league’s biggest question mark at QB. This, all in the season’s first six weeks. I think they can scratch out three, maybe four wins at this point should the defense hold itself together and they get some consistency from their offense.
They don’t have to play perfect, but I think solid play could get the Giants off to a 4-2 start. They could give them some momentum through that midseason push and have them looking towards a winning record by the end of the season.
Next: 2. Steve Spagnuolo