Monday, April 23, 2012

Five Giants Games to Keep Your Eyes On

With the Giants being the reigning Super Bowl champs, every team will be gunning for them.  They also have the toughest schedule in the NFL this upcoming season, so every game will be important for the Giants in their quest to repeat as champs. 

Like every year, divisional games will be crucial.  The Giants get right into divisional play on opening night against the Dallas Cowboys week 1 at MetLife Stadium.  Much like last season, winning the NFC East may be the route to the postseason for the Giants.  Handling business in division is something that playoff teams and Super Bowl contenders do season in and season out. 

Another crucial game for the Giants this season is against the New Orleans Saints during a daunting December stretch of games.  No one is sure how the Saints will look by that time though because of the limbo the franchise is currently in stemming from the Bounty Scandal and the breaking news of potential wiretapping being done by GM Mickey Loomis.  One thing we know for sure is that the Saints will be without mastermind Head Coach Sean Payton.  With that being said, here are five games to keep and eye on and circle on your calendars.

Week 6, Sunday October 14th @San Francisco 49ers

The Giants return to the Bay Area to play against the 49ers for the 3rd time in the last 2 seasons. The Giants lost there in the regular season 27-20, but won the NFC Championship Game there on the road to the Super Bowl 20-17 in overtime.  The 49ers will be playing some familiar faces to Giants fans, as the 49ers now employ Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs on their offense.  Last year both meetings went down to the wire and were hard fought games that could have gone either way.  This also is the first game in an 11 game stretch in which the Giants will play post season participants last season or division foes.

Week 9, Sunday November 4th vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This match-up pits two of the most respected franchises in the NFL against each other.  Any game that includes a Super Bowl winning quarterback starting for both teams is a big game.  It is also a big game because those two quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger were selected in same draft so they will forever be linked together.  It is also an opportunity to see where the Giants offense is at going up against one of the best defensive units in the NFL.  This game against the Steelers is the first of what is yet another tough November and December for the Giants. 

Week 12, Sunday November 25th vs. Green Bay Packers

The past two Super Bowl champs meet up for a second consecutive season in the regular season at MetLife Stadium in a Sunday Night Football primetime game.  Last years regular season meeting was a shoot-out with the Packers coming away with the victory 38-35.  The Giants, however, came away with the win in the more important playoff game, shocking the Packers in Lambeau Field in the divisional playoff round handily 37-20.  It will be a tough task for the Giants defense to hold Aaron Rodgers in check for two games in a row. 

Week 15, Sunday December 16th @ Atlanta Falcons

Yet another rematch from the playoffs last year, the Giants will pay a visit to the Falcons. The Giants dominated the NFC Wildcard game last postseason, dismantling the Falcons 24-2.  This time around it will be a much more difficult match-up outside the friendly confines of MetLife Stadium and visiting the Georgia Dome.  This game is the third-to-last game of the season for the Giants, so winning could be very important in fighting for a playoff spot or for positioning.  This is the first of two very difficult back-to-back road games as the Giants will visit the Baltimore Ravens the following week in what has the potential to either be season defining or season ruining games. 

Week 17, Sunday December 30th vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Since taking over as Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it a point to have meaningful games throughout the season.  The solution to this was having divisional games for every team the last week of the season.  Last year the Giants faced the Cowboys for the NFC East title on the last weekend of the season, and it is very possible they could be heading for the same thing this season.  Having the hardest schedule in the NFL, it is conceivable that winning the division may be the route the Giants take into the playoffs.  Beating the Eagles would go a long way in helping that cause, especially at home.  It would be a nice victory for the Giants haven’t beaten the Eagles at home since 2007.  We all remember what happened when the NFC East title was on the line in 2010 when the Eagles visited the Giants.     

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