New York Giants: How the Giants Match Up Against Each NFC East Opponent

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IJune 27, 2012

New York Giants: How the Giants Match Up Against Each NFC East Opponent

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    This is the NFC East, so make no mistake about it—there are no easy games.

    With each squad within the NFC East improving during the offseason, it makes for an interesting battle in the division and into the playoffs.

    Obviously we all know the New York Giants won the Super Bowl last season, but Dallas has improved its secondary and the Eagles are undoubtedly going to be better than they were in 2011.

    Add in the fact that the Washington Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III and added Pierre Garcon, and the NFC East retains its reputation as one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.

    So how do the defending Super Bowl champs stack up against the rest of the division?

    Let's take a look.

Dallas Cowboys

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    En route to a Super Bowl Championship in 2011, the Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys twice in four weeks to gain momentum and position heading into the postseason.

    Eli Manning was sensational against Dallas in two of the biggest games of the Giants' season, combining for 746 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception while shredding a weak Cowboys secondary.

    But the 'Boys have since beefed up their secondary, saying goodbye to Terence Newman, signing free agent Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne.

    That should undoubtedly help a Dallas defense that collected only 15 interceptions last season, which ranked tied for No. 17 in the league.

    Offensively, the Cowboys haven't changed much. They still have Tony Romo at the helm of the offense with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin catching passes and 2011 breakout DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones holding down the ground attack.

    It's always a great game when these two play each other, and I think the G-Men match up well with the Cowboys. 

    Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks killed Dallas last season, so I'll be focusing on the Giants' passing attack against the Cowboys' secondary this season.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Ah, here we are; the dream team!

    All jokes aside, the Philadelphia Eagles will be a better football team in 2012.

    LeSean McCoy is a top five running back in the NFL and now that DeSean Jackson has his new deal, I think he's going to show up for the birds this season.

    Perhaps the biggest offseason move for Philadelphia came when they acquired Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans.

    The Eagles haven't seen an elite middle linebacker since Jeremiah Trotter, and they now have that to anchor a defense that also includes free-agent signee O.J. Atogwe.

    As far as the matchup, the Giants and Eagles split the series last season, with the Giants losing a game in which Vince Young filled in for the injured Michael Vick.

    New York is 1-3 against Philadelphia the past two seasons, but they have shown the ability to reach Vick, collecting eight sacks of the elusive QB in three games during the past two seasons.

    I think the Eagles present the toughest matchup for the Giants because of their high-powered offense (when it's on). If Vick can elude the Giants' defensive line and hit Jackson, Maclin and Celek, the Eagles can have great success against New York this season.

    But I'd much rather have the Giants' defensive line against Vick and the Eagles' O-line. 

Washington Redskins

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    As the worst team in the NFC East, the Washington Redskins usually give the Giants a hard time. And with the addition of RGIII and Pierre Garcon, it's only going to get more difficult.

    While it still remains to be seen how Griffin will transition to the NFL, my guess is that he'll be an immediate upgrade over Rex Grossman.

    Washington defeated the Giants in both meetings last season, including a 23-10 smackdown on Dec. 18 that saw Eli Manning throw three picks.

    Something worth mentioning is the fact that the Redskins lost their hard-hitting safety LaRon Landry to the New York Jets this offseason.

    But they still have a solid sack guy in Brian Orakpo, a crazy good linebacker in London Fletcher and a great cover corner in DeAngelo Hall.

    Roy Helu impressed last season with the ground game and the addition of Garcon to couple with Santana Moss could be deadly for RGIII.

    But let's not forget that Washington will have a rookie QB under center, and the Giants' D is an experienced group.

    With that being said, I think the Giants match up extremely well with the 'Skins and will sweep the season series in 2012.

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