The 2011 NFL Schedule was released at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and it looks like 2011 will be a fruitful season for the New York Giants—if there is no strike.
The Giants have one of the weaker schedules in all of football this season; their opponents had a .492 winning percentage in 2010. While teams make changes and records fluctuate year to year, the previous season's record is as good an indicator as we have at this point to judge strength of schedule.
This season, the NFC East is paired with the NFC West for interconference games. Teams facing the NFC West have done substantially better than other teams in the last three seasons, according to ESPN's John Clayton.
The NFC East consumes six games of the Giants schedule, and while the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys figure to have successful seasons, it is unlikely the Giants will lose three of four to these two teams again. A couple of extra wins against the beasts of the East will go a long way toward securing the No. 1 overall seed.
If the Giants win the games they are supposed to, they should end up with at least 12 wins. With a little bit of luck, they can win 14. After last season, a little bit of luck is in store, and the Giants will be in strong contention for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.
Highlights of the Schedule:
BYE: Week 7
9/25/11: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The Giants still remember the Eagles' vicious fourth quarter comeback last season that, for all intents and purposes, ended the Giants' season. This will be an opportunity for the Giants to get revenge.
9/19/11: St. Louis Rams vs. New York Giants
11/28/11: New York Giants at New Orleans Saints
The Giants have two Monday night games this season, the first against the Rams in Week 2 and then against the Saints in Week 12 in a possible conference championship preview.
11/6/11: New York Giants at New England Patriots
Both teams will come out firing in this rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl. The Giants ended the Patriots' undefeated season in 2007—don't be surprised to see either team without a loss when Week 9 comes around in 2011.
12/24/11: New York Giants at New York Jets
Christmas Eve will feature the Giants playing at Giants Stadium as the road team. Rex Ryan has added a cockiness to this Jets team, and this should make for one of the best Giants-Jets matchups of the past decade.
Now that the schedule is out, let's cross our fingers these games are actually played.