New York Giants' 2010 NFL Schedule Analysis: Comments and Predictions

Jeff ShullAnalyst IApril 21, 2010

The schedulers were kind to the New York Giants this year, but that can be expected after a .500 season. The draw for the NFC East in which divisions they will have to play is the NFC North and the AFC South.

You could look at this in one of two ways. You could say that playing the AFC South is tough because Houston and Tennessee can show up and be dominant teams, or they can lay flat and be an easy win. The same goes for the Bears and Packers, you never know what you're gonna get.

Chalk up a W against the Lions and Jaguars, they aren't ready to make a turn around yet.

The Colts and Vikings are still better than the Giants, but who knows how the new additions to the Giants will affect the team? The Giants are capable of pulling off the wins in both of those games, but only time will tell.

Interesting side note—this marks the fourth year in a row the Giants will have played the Vikings, and they are 0-3 in the last three.

Apparently the NFL still loves to showcase Big Blue, as they are slotted for four prime time games: three Sunday Night Football games and one Monday Night Football extravaganza with Dallas

The Giants play exactly half of their games against teams with winning records from 2009. This is comforting considering nine of their last eleven last year were against teams with winning records at the time they played them, which led to their 3-8 finish.

Once again the Giants were given a brutal second half of the schedule, but with the NFL trying to clump the division games in the final three weeks of the season, that was expected.

The final eight games are Dallas, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Washington, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Washington. The coaching staff better be prepared to avoid another second half collapse—with Bill Cowher's rumored interest in the team, consider Tom Coughlin's job officially at stake in 2010.

With all that said, let's take a look at the schedule game by game (division games will be combined) and predict the outcomes.


Division Games

Dallas Cowboys (Week 7 and 10) - With one of these games being on Monday Night Football, you know this rivalry will be magnified ten fold. Both teams are looking to improve from last year, after the Giants faltered from their 5-0 start and the Cowboys were embarrassed in their only road playoff game last year by the Vikings.

The Giants are a huge match-up problem for the Cowboys defense. Their slow defensive backfield could not keep up with the Giants speedy receivers in either game, and Eli Manning tore them to shreds. In the opening of the new Texas Stadium, the two young guns Mario Manningham and Steve Smith put on a clinic, each hauling in 10 catches for over 130 yards.

Not much has changed besides the Giants' defense getting better, so another season sweep of the Cowboys isn't all that far fetched. I won't take out my big guns just yet, however, because the Cowboys' offense is still very explosive.

Prediction - 1 wins, 1 loss

Philadelphia Eagles (Week 11 and 15) - The Eagles just traded away their franchise quarterback and one of the better defensive backs in the division in Sheldon Brown, so to say these games could be easy may be arrogant, but it's also true.

Oh, and they don't have the biggest Giants killer of the last decade either in Brian Westbrook.

The Giants were embarrassed by the Eagles in the first meeting and came up just short in the second. Revenge will be on their minds.

Prediction - 2 wins

Washington Redskins (Week 13 and 17) - The Redskins are seemingly doing everything possible to turn their fortunes around. They put all of their eggs into Albert Haynesworth's basket, only to turn in a 4-12 season in '09.

Enter Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, and now Adam Carriker. Daniel Snyder is bringing in tons of big names, and now it is being reported that McNabb wants to bring in Terrell Owens to make another run at the Super Bowl.

Talk about making a splash.

The Redskins always have a good defense, but now they have the offense to back it up. So long as their wide receivers improve, they could be a top 10 offense next year under McNabb and Shanahan's zone running scheme.

I'm tempted to be very scared and predict two losses, but the Giants have been very successful against the 'Skins under Eli, so a split sounds about right.

Prediction - 1 win, 1 loss


AFC South Games

@ Indianapolis Colts (Week 2) - Not much to say here other than Kenny Philips and Antrell Rolle better be able to get the Giants defense back to where it was two years ago. If they don't the only way the Giants can pull this off is in a shootout or if the pass rush can disrupt Peyton Manning's rhythm.

The Manning bowl is sure to be epic, but I always got to give the edge to big brother, especially since the game is at their home stadium. 

Prediction - loss

Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 12) - Again there is not much to say here. The Jags are a solid team but lack any offensive prowess to move the ball and their defense is atrocious.

If they draft Tim Tebow to appease the fan base they should just up and move from Jacksonville and move to a city who cares about more than just drafting Gators.

Prediction - win

@ Houston Texans (Week 5) - Retribution has finally presented itself Giants fans. The last time the Giants played the Texans it was their inaugural season and I attended the game decked out in my Jason Sehorn Jersey.

Even though the Giants made the playoffs that year, the Giants lost and I have had to hear about it ever since. It better not happen again because I'm getting my tickets ASAP (I live in Houston, for those of you who do not know, which is probably everybody).

The Texans are coming off of their first winning season since the expansion franchise came into the league in 2002, and many are projecting they will finally provide a serious threat to Peyton Manning and the Colts.

If their defense can come around and catch up to the offensive production, they are a very scary team. However, losing Dunta Robinson does not bode well for their already terrible secondary. Expect an old fashioned shootout here.

Prediction - win

Tennessee Titans (Week 3) - The Titans played very well under Vince Young after an 0-6 start and managed to end the season a respectable 8-8. It remains to be seen whether or not VY will hold his own for an entire season.

Considering the fact that the Titans have almost no passing game to speak of and the Giants are solid at stopping the run, they should be able to contain Chris Johnson enough to pull out a win at Giant Stadium.

Prediction - win


NFC North Games

@ Minnesota Vikings (Week 14) - Remember when I said the Giants have lost the last three against the Vikings? Well I didn't tell you that two of those were at Giants Stadium in the Winter, and the other was a meaningless game two years ago when the Giants played David Carr for more than half of the game.

This time it will be in the heart of the season at Minnesota in the dome. If Brett Favre comes back give this game to the Vikes, other wise I don't trust Tavaris Jackson at all.

The consensus is that Brett will return and the Vikings will make another run at the Super Bowl. I want to assume the Giants' defense will get better with the addition of Antrel Rolle, but I can't.

Prediction - loss

Chicago Bears (Weak 4) - The Bears are apparently trying to get on the level of the Vikings and Packers by bringing in Julius Peppers, but this team had way more problems than just defense.

Jay Cutler looked as bad as every quarterback since Jim McMahon when he put on the Bears uniform. The only difference is he could throw the ball harder than the rest of them.

The only factor that would change this from a win to a loss is if Urlacher comes back and brings the defense back to the form we are used to, but seeing as how they don't have an elite defensive line anymore, I don't see that happening.

Prediction - win

@ Green Bay Packers (Week 16) - This game could very well have Wild Card implications. The Packers are a couple players away from getting their defense where they want it to be, and a solid draft could make them a dangerous team.

They have a very potent offense and several studly wide receivers, it could be a matchup problem for the Giants' questionable secondary.

This game is hard to predict considering both teams have similar strengths and it will probably be a shootout, but I'll give the edge to Green Bay since it is at Lambeau Field.

Prediction - loss

Detroit Lions (Week 6) - The Lions could very well make the playoffs in the near future, but in 2010 they are probably headed for another dreadful season, especially playing in a tough division.

This could be a trap game before the Monday Night Football matchup with Dallas the next week, but the Giants haven't fallen into that under coach Coughlin.

Prediction - win


Positional Conference Games (3rd place from NFC South and West in 2009)

@ Seattle Seahawks (Week 9) - The Seahawks have two first round picks and are entering a season with a new coach ready to prove his worth in the NFL. The first go-around for Pete Carroll was unsuccessful, but with the right pieces around him he could win the very winnable NFC West.

Seattle always plays tough at home so I have a hard time predicting a win against them, but I can't help but remember the 44-6 victory from 2008. That could actually provide motivation for the 'Hawks, but I just don't trust Pete Carroll, especially in his first year.

Prediction - win

Carolina Panthers (Week 1) - When I saw this I immediately pictured the locker room scene prior to the game when the leaders of the team gets everyone fired up for payback against the team that embarrassed them in the final game at old Giants Stadium.

How fitting is it that the game also happens to be the regular season opener for the new Stadium. Some of the people making the schedules must be a Giants fan.

The Panthers are in rebuilding mode and are turning over the reigns of the offense to Matt Moore, who has been inconsistent since coming to the NFL. Ironically he carved up the injury-plagued defense last year, but it should be a different story this season.

Prediction - win


Well by my count that looks like an 11-5 season. It may not turn out exactly the way I predicted in terms of who beats who, but an 11-5 season would not disappoint many of us in Big Blue nation.

Time to erase the memory of the 2009 season.