The defending champs will kick off the NFL season in a rare Wednesday night game at home against the Cowboys on September 5th. Last season they didn't square off until very late in the year and both the games were season-changers.
Big Blue has the toughest schedule in all of football this year, according to the Red Zone, and as reigning champs they're going to have a target on their back each and every week. Playing in the NFC East, the league's toughest division, doesn't help their cause.
Every week counts for the New York Giants and they'll be a high-profile draw every time they take the field.
NFL.com released the Giants' 2012 schedule.
Week 1: (Wednesday, 9/5): New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 2 9/16: New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 3 9/20 (Thursday): New York Giants at Carolina Panthers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Week 4 9/30: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 5 10/7: New York Giants vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 6 10/14: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, 4:15 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 7 10/21: New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 8 10/28: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, 4:15 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 9 11/4: New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:15 p.m. ET CBS
Week 10 11/11: New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 11: Bye
Week 12 11/25: New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 13 12/3: New York Giants at Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 14 12/9: New York Giants vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:15 p.m. ET FOX
Week 15 12/16: New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 16 12/23: New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 17 12/30: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
As stated earlier, there are few easy weeks, if any, on the Giants' slate this season.
Both the Cowboys and Eagles will be legitimate threats to their NFC East crown and the Redskins, who beat the Giants last year, can not be taken lightly—even with a rookie signal-caller likely at the helm.
There is arguably only one home-field advantage that truly vexes the Giants: the Superdome. Fortunately for the champs, the Saints will be marching into MetLife this year.
The Packers and Steelers visiting is nice, but Big Blue wouldn't be bothered to playing them on the road either. A year ago the Giants lost to Green Bay at MetLife but, obviously, knocked off the Pack at Lambeau in the playoffs.
The Giants lost more games at home than they did on the road last season and they typically do play better away from their base for some inexplicable reason. There is no cause to complain, however, because they'll need those road-warrior skills this season.
Aside from the divisional trips, visits to San Francisco, Atlanta and Baltimore will be huge games for Big Blue.
Atlanta will be out for revenge after the beating they took in Wild Card Weekend last year, and they're much better playing in the confines of their dome than they are in the elements.
The trip to San Francisco is the highlight of the season, though.
Most Pivotal Matchup: Giants at 49ers (Week 6)
The G-Men and Niners treated us two of the best games of the year last season. They had drama, intrigue, good football, bad football, high intensity, huge implications and the hint of rivalry possibly brewing from coast to coast.
Not just a rivalry, but a renewed rivalry that saw the two teams combine for six Super Bowls in 10 years between 1982-1991. They met four times in the postseason during those same years and were often in each other's way.
Could we be heading in that direction again? Maybe, maybe not, but we know that these two teams could very well meet in the postseason yet again.
Every time the Giants take the field it is going to be a battle in 2012. They're the defending champs and will continue to be so until they are eliminated from the playoffs. Everyone wants to be them, but everyone has to beat them first.
Big Blue has only made the postseason the year after winning the Bowl once. Fortunately for this team, that one time was with Eli Manning under center and Tom Coughlin on the sideline. So, they have that going for them.
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