New York Giants schedule analysis
Breakdown: Well, opening on "Monday Night Football" on the road isn't awesome, if for no other reason than it makes your fans wait extra-long to start the season (and for the first home game). I would say the early part of the Giants' schedule looks tough, with road games in Detroit, Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas and a couple of potentially tough home games against the Cardinals and Falcons. But that's nothing compared to their schedule immediately after the bye, which includes three straight games against 2013 playoff teams, one of which is the Super Bowl champion. Things appear to ease out considerably after Week 11, but the concern after last year is of course whether the Giants can avoid being buried again by a rough start. Winning on the road in Detroit to open the season would ease a lot of concerns, obviously.
Complaint department: Not only do the Giants have to go on the road to play the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, they have to do it on a short week. They play the Colts at home on "Monday Night Football" on Nov. 3 and then have to be in Seattle for what at this time is a day game on Nov. 9 (though flex scheduling could theoretically change that if the Giants have a big first half). And even if they get through that game, they have to come back the next week for what could be their toughest home game of the year against the 49ers. The bye hits in Week 8 after a tough start, but the schedule for Weeks 9 through 11 is a whopper of a midseason test.
Divisional balance: The Giants' first three NFC East games of the year are all in the first seven weeks of the season and all on the road. Their final three NFC East games of the year are all in the final six weeks and all at home. So if they can steal one or two early and hang in contention through those tough NFC West matchups, the Giants could be in position to dictate some things in the division with a run of late home games against the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles. And if the Eagles are as good as all of the way-too-early predictions say they are, who knows? Chip Kelly could be resting guys by Week 17, right?
Strength of schedule: 26th, .465 | Vegas over/under : 7.5
Giants Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 8, at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 14, Arizona, 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21, Houston, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 25, at Washington, 8:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5, Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 12, at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 19, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Monday, Nov. 3, Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 9, at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 16, San Francisco, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 23, Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Nov. 30, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14, Washington, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21, at St. Louis, 4:05 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28, Philadelphia, 1 p.m.