What’s the hardest game on the New York Giants schedule?
By Curt Macysyn
Yesterday, we took a look at what should be the easiest game on Big Blue’s 2017 schedule. Today, it’s the most difficult.
Playing in the NFC East, there are always competitive match-ups on the New York Giants docket. Each year, facing the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins never amount to a walk in the park. Fortunately, out of the division, the G-Men get paired with the NFC West and AFC West in 2017.
Schedule courtesy of Giants.com
Trust me, at least having the NFC West is much better option than the NFC North or NFC South. The AFC West foes will present a challenge, however. Today, let’s weigh in on the most difficult game on this season’s New York Giants schedule.
NFC East Division
The NFC East may be a crapshoot in 2017. Much will depend on the development of the Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz. He has new weapons at receiver with Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffries at his disposal. The Cowboys are still legitimate contenders, but can they really run the table like they did last season?
Finally, the Redskins still have not committed to Kirk Cousins at quarterback. It’s mind-boggling that they are waffling. But the ‘Skins are always good for an internal implosion because of owner Dan Snyder. All in all, they still can be playoff contenders.
Hopes are high for the New York Giants, but the team still has to overcome questions along the offensive line. If they do, then the should be division favorites. If the G-Men scuffle, the Eagles could catapult into a playoff spot.
Since the Giants open up at Dallas on Sept. 10, extra pressure comes with that contest.
Best of the Rest
A Week 6 trip to face the Denver Broncos normally strikes fear. But with a rookie coach and unsettled quarterback situation, it’s certainly a winnable game. The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Meadowlands, and still have Andy Reid calling the shots. The Giants have similar personnel to KC. The Chiefs game does come after a west coast road trip to San Francisco, however.
New York Giants
I personally see the Week 3 contest at Philadelphia, or a Dec. 3rd match-up at the Oakland Raiders as signature games. Never say never in the City of Brotherly Love. And the Raiders will make the playoffs in 2017, something not heard in a long time.
Last year, Big Blue got dinged by the ‘Skins at home. Sure that could happen again, but it doesn’t make it a difficult game.
The envelope please…
There are several choices for the 2017 New York Giants most difficult game. Opening night in Dallas counts as one. Also, don’t discount Week 3 in Philadelphia, or Week 4 in Tampa either. AFC West opponents Kansas City, Oakland and Denver all may be favored against the G-Men.
The schedule-makers did Big Blue no favors by lumping NFC East home games all in December either. Of the NFC East squads, Dallas still comes out on top though. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has the ‘Boys ranked seventh heading into the season. If Dallas falters, it isn’t Dak Prescott who concerns King.
"“If Dak Prescott fails, it will be because some cracks are starting to show in the offensive line, or because of an injury to a big skill player like Dez Bryant or Ezekiel Elliott,” King recently wrote for Monday Morning Quarterback."
Odds are that the Cowboys will be near 100 percent heading into Week 1. After that, if you look at King’s rankings, the New York Giants play several comparable teams. Outside of Dallas (7th), those would include Kansas City (8th), Seattle (9th) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11th).
The best team that the Giants play are the Raiders (2nd). Comparing the environments in Oakland and Dallas is like night and day. The Raiders are short timers just waiting for Las Vegas. Meanwhile, 90,000 rabid Cowboys fans will have been waiting months for some “real” football.
That’s why I pick opening night (Sept. 10) in Dallas as the most difficult game.