Football.com - everything football

Giant Leap Back To The Playoffs Won't Be Easy

By



Eli Manning and the New York Giants are looking for revenge against the Dallas Cowboys after their loss last season during their home opener. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are looking for revenge against the Dallas Cowboys after their loss last season during their home opener. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

The New York Giants will open the 2013 NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, TX. They’ll headline the first Sunday Night Football matchup of the year, and they’ll be looking for revenge on opening night after losing their home opener to the Cowboys last season.

After the Giants’ brutal schedule from 2012, the schedule-makers decided to throw the team a bone this year and lighten the load a bit. It’s far from being an easy schedule, but their path back to the playoffs is certainly a little less bumpy than it was last season.

No longer defending their title and coming off a mediocre season, the Giants will have less pressure outside of the spotlight, but they still have a lot to prove.

Most anticipated matchup: Week 2 at home against the Denver Broncos.

The Manning Bowl is coming early this year. It’s only the third meeting between the two siblings, and all eyes will be watching as they duke it out on Eli’s home turf. Little brother Eli has lost both meetings to Peyton, but he'll be looking to turn things around this season.

This game will quickly gauge the Giants’ progress from last season. New York’s secondary will be put to the test against the Broncos receiving trio made up of Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker.

Bye week: Week 9.

The Giants are lucky to get their bye week right in the middle of their schedule. It will help keep them from breaking down too early in the season, and they’ll be fresher for the second half when they face some of their toughest competition.

Easiest game: Week 10 at home against the Oakland Raiders.

Coming right after their bye week, the Giants will be well rested and prepared to take on a Raiders team that shouldn’t pose a significant challenge.

Oakland may have rid themselves of Carson Palmer, but they’ll have a largely unproven Matt Flynn behind center with no weapons in the passing game to help him out. Darren McFadden won’t be easy to contain, but they can stack the box more often than not against the Raiders offense.

Toughest game: Week 15 at home against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seattle Seahawks burst onto the scene last season behind their tenacious defense, Marshawn Lynch’s grill and rookie sensation Russell Wilson. Add Percy Harvin — one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league — to the mix, and Perry Fewell is probably already having nightmares about the matchup.

On the other side of the ball, Kevin Gilbride is going to have to contend with the additions of Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Antoine Winfield to an already suffocating defensive unit.

Toughest stretch: Week 11 to Week 17.

The second half of the season is where things start to heat up. After they host the Raiders at home in Week 10, they’ll continue their home stand against the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. Then they’ll make a stop to our nation’s capital, where they’ll get their first crack at Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.

Following a trip out west to see the San Diego Chargers, they’ll rotate home and away games against the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins. If the NFC East division title race is as competitive as it was last season, those last three games may make or break their playoff hopes.

New York Giants 2013 NFL Regular Season Schedule

  • Week 1 - Giants at Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 8, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
  • Week 2 - Giants vs. Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Week 3 - Giants at Panthers, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 4 - Giants at Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 5 - Giants vs. Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 6 - Giants at Bears, Thursday, Oct. 10, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
  • Week 7 - Giants vs. Vikings, Monday, Oct. 21, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN
  • Week 8 - Giants at Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 9 - BYE
  • Week 10 - Giants vs. Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m. (CBS)
  • Week 11 - Giants vs. Packers, Sunday, Nov. 17, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
  • Week 12 - Giants vs. Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 24, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 13 - Giants at Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 1, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
  • Week 14  -Giants at Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 8, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 15 - Giants vs. Seahawks, Sunday Dec. 15, 1 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 16 - Giants at Lions, Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
  • Week 17 - Giants vs. Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 29, 1 p.m. (FOX)