The New York Giants' 5 Scariest Games in 2011
Should the lockout be resolved and the 2011 season remain unharmed, the New York Giants have several games that they certainly will have marked on their schedule.
They say each game counts the same, but I don't buy it—teams concentrate on certain games more so than others.
If only for motivation or confidence, some games count more.
As usual, the Giants have one of the hardest schedules in the NFL—of late, playing in the NFC East hasn't allowed them ever to breath easy.
So what are the scariest games on the schedule? These five games could swing the Giants' playoff chances one way or the other, so let's hope they find a way to win them.
Week 3: @ Philadelphia Eagles
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The Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants rivalry will be taken to a new level in 2011.
The war of words going on between the two squads seems to have created a genuine, mutual hatred, which may have been there even before Osi Umenyiora and LeSean McCoy went after each other.
Terrell Thomas admitted in an interview with ESPN's Dan Graziano that the Eagles are in the Giants' heads—it makes sense for him to say that since he's only beaten them one time, and the Giants have lost the last six meetings.
Also, the most recent meeting ended in historic fashion, with the Giants giving up a 21-point lead in eight minutes and then watching the game end on a walk-off punt return by DeSean Jackson.
So, the first game at Philadelphia after that colossal collapse will test the mental toughness of this team. Should they get by with a win, it will do wonders for their confidence moving forward.
Week 9: @ New England Patriots
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The reigning NFL MVP will be looking for payback; it's fitting that the Giants will be on the road for this rematch considering they were dubbed the "Road Warriors" in 2007.
I can't see the Giants getting past the Patriots—New England is just too good offensively, and their defense is on the rise.
However, I'm not naive enough to count the Giants out completely.
Week 12: @ New Orleans Saints
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The Giants will be looking for payback in this one.
Back in 2009, the Giants were 5-0 and rolling, only to have the Saints serve them an expensive reality check.
The Saints crushed the Giants 48-27, starting New York on a downward spiral towards a 3-8 finish and a missed playoff spot for the first time since 2004.
Drew Brees had his way with the Giants defense, passing for 369 yards, four touchdowns, and a near perfect 156.8 QB rating.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will definitely have his hands full.
Week 13: vs. Green Bay Packers
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The scheduling committee didn't do the Giants any favors by scheduling them an away Monday Night Football affair against the Saints—who are nearly impossible to beat at home—only to have them turn around on a short week at home against the Super Bowl-champion Packers.
If the Giants win both of these games back to back, would there be any doubt that they are NFC favorites?
The odds of that happening are astronomical, but I can dream, right?
The Packers will know what the Giants went through in 2008 after having won in 2007—there is something to be said about having a target on your back and teams wanting to knock you off.
The reigning champs will always get everyone's best, and hopefully the short week doesn't hurt the Giants' chances of competing.
Week 16: @ New York Jets
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Okay, so the Giants have been pretty much granted an extra home game with this one, or at least don't have to play eight road games, but their opponent is not an easy one.
The New York Jets are coming off back-to-back years in which they made it to the AFC Championship Game, and their defense is one of the best in the NFL.
You can bet Rex Ryan will have multiple microphones in his face during this week, especially after he claimed the Jets are the kings of New York and will be so for the next decade.
They have a chance to prove that on the field.