There are still unsigned free agents, the NFL Draft hasn’t happened yet, and there are roughly 50 very good players that will suffer season-ending injuries before the 2014 NFL season kicks off. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t come up with ridiculous predictions for a schedule that will look completely different in four weeks, let alone four months. Yesterday was like receiving the old school toy catalogs in the mail before Christmas time. You didn’t know what you were going to get, but you had an idea of what was out there and it gave you butterflies in your stomach. Looking at a new schedule doesn’t show Eli leading the league in INTs, a tattered offensive line, countless secondary injuries, or David Wilson breaking his neck. It shows hope, 16 reasons to get drunk on Sunday, and 16 reasons you will feel like hell on Monday. Some quick takes.
- First game of the year in on Monday Night, huh? I like the respect of getting the opening primetime game, but hate the waiting and anticipation of it all. However, it is nice to devote Sunday to a pure focus on the fantasy teams and spending all of Monday sick to your stomach thinking about Big Blue.
- Speaking of primetime games, how nice of the Schedule Making Gods to give us five primetime games off the bat. A day full of nerves, a rollercoaster of a night, and finally adrenaline coursing through your veins at 2:30 am in bed regardless of the outcome of the game.
- In terms of the home/road splits, the Giants definitely caught a break with getting the Cardinals and Falcons in Metlife Stadium. I expect both teams to be much better at home than on the road, so I’ll take my chances with playing in places like St. Louis and Tennessee.
- Holy cannoli, look at that stretch from Weeks 9 to 11!!! Three of the best teams in the league all in a row, with a game in Seattle smack in the middle. I do love having the bye week before this stretch of doom, but it is still a legit nightmare run. The newspapers should start thinking of their headlines now, because I have a feeling this is going to be a very dark point in the season. I have already cancelled my DVR from recording PTI for the Mondays after these games, because I will not be watching any sports for 24 hours after they are over.
- Granted, a lot of things can change, but it looks like a pretty soft ending to the season after the 49ers game. Based on Coughlin’s track record in New York, this is a Godsend. You expect the division games to be close, but the non-division games do not project to be all that difficult. If the Giants start anywhere near their typical 6-2 average, they should glide into the playoffs. Then again, I don’t think an Eli Manning-led Giants team has ever glided into anything,
And now for a game by game breakdown of the schedule:
Monday, Sept. 8 at Detroit- Jim Caldwell sucks but Megatron scares the living crap out of every fanbase in the NFL. Still, I can’t see Coughlin being outcoached by this guy. If the Giants can beat the Lions in Week 16, despite the Giants having nothing to play for and Detroit NEEDING a win to stay alive, this should be a piece of cake. G-Men by 10. Lions fall on their faces this season. Jim Caldwell blinks 12 times all year, a new personal record.
Sunday, Sept. 14 vs. Arizona- Arizona has an extremely good defense and an offense with Larry Fitzgerald in it. For some reason, I just see Bad Eli coming out in this game and Patrick Peterson breaking our hearts. Carson Palmer is the X-Factor, because he can give away a game with the best of them. But a nice glimpse of 2013 Eli will be an early season gift for the New York media. Cards by 6. Multiple negative yet witty Eli headlines appear in the tabloids on Monday. Giants fans debate at bars around the Tri-State area about how Patrick Peterson would look in blue.
Sunday, Sept. 21 vs. Houston- No way to even imagine how this game goes until the Texans use the #1 pick. Even though they were hit hard by bad luck last year, I still think the Giants should win this game. Since it is the first half of the season, this will still be the “Good Giants”, where they go 6-2. So I’m going W here. Giants by 10 in a pretty comfortable game.
Thursday, Sept. 25 at Washington- I feel like RG3 is going to be in 2012 form this season. Which means he will haunt the Giants dreams, especially at home. I see a few backbreaking scrambles and a D-Jax touchdown to rub salt in the wound. God I hate DeSean Jackson. Also, Eli usually suuuuucks against Washington. Redskins by 7. If Brian Orakpo is already hurt, Redskins by 3. Eli throws at least 3 INTs and has “scared Eli face” at least 5 times.
Sunday, Oct. 5 vs. Atlanta- The Giants actually catch a break in this game, getting the Dirty Birds in New York. Much has been written about Matt Ryan being a better home quarterback then road quarterback. I think there is something to that, and I see the Giants winning this one comfortably. If healthy, there is always a chance that Julio Jones will shatter some sort of record, but I think the G-Men get revenge for that nightmare matchup of 2012. Almost no doubt in my mind the G-Men win this one convincingly. One of their highlight games of the season. Giants by 13.
Sunday, Oct. 12 at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.- It seems like every Goddamn Giants at Eagles game takes place on Sunday Night these days. Chris Collinsworth will point out a bunch of warts in the Giants personnel as they find a way to let the Eagles back into a game Big Blue had control of. This one will be no different. I expect a slow start by Shady McCoy, followed by 10 inexplicable plays in the 2nd half that somehow leads to an Eagles win. Eagles by 3, which somehow ensures the Giants will win the next game against the Iggles. I also predict that my heart will be racing until at least 3:00 am, ensuring I am nice and cranky for the week ahead.
Sunday, Oct. 19 at Dallas- Back to Jerry’s World. I hope Dallas fans enjoyed that gift from the Giants on Opening Night last year, because it won’t be happening again. Eli still has ownership on that stadium, and he will be coming back to collect, like when you land on Boardwalk with a hotel in Monopoly. Either Giants by 10 or by less than 3 on a last minute Eli comeback (just to twist the knife into the Cowboys fans souls).
Sunday, Oct. 26 BYE- LOVE the Bye Week this time of year. I am just sad that Coughlin won’t be able to complain about the early Bye Weeks. The only things Coughlin hates more than Week 4 Bye Weeks are tardiness and Jay Feely. However, this Bye Week comes right before the Giants run the gauntlet, so hopefully Big Blue will be rested and ready for a schedule that turns into the Gladiator tiger fight scene real quick.
Monday, Nov. 3 vs. Indianapolis- Trust me, this is not going to end well. I can feel it down in my plums. Eli could never beat Peyton, and he’s not going to ever beat Replacement Peyton. Home, away, or on Mars. Makes no difference. Colts by 6, but it will feel like more than that after the game is over. This will be the first time the two most awkward people on Earth square off an a football field. The post-game interviews should be tremendous.
Sunday, Nov. 9 at Seattle- kjlhsdfhsjkdgk5r. Sorry about that, I just puked all over the keyboard thinking about last year’s “game”. And that wasn’t in Seattle. Seahakws by 13. And by 13, I mean by hopefully 13.
Sunday, Nov. 16 vs. San Francisco- The Giants never make sense, and this game will be no exception. Despite the many reasons I should choose the 49ers, I just can’t do it. Like Ric Flair says, “to be the man, you gotta beat the man“. And Jim Harbaugh has had real issues beating Tom Coughlin lately. Call this one a hunch like the Falcons game. G-Men by 4 in a game reminiscent of the 2011 Patriots regular season matchup. If not, the media will sound the alarm for the annual second half collapse. And I hope to God we get a similar post-game reaction celebration.
Sunday, Nov. 23 vs. Dallas, 8:30 p.m.- Just like Eli owns Jerry’s World, the Giants just can’t seem to beat Dallas in The Meadowlands. This is one of the biggest locks on this schedule, trust me. Dallas by 6, but it won’t feel that close. Second Half Collapse headlines will be errrrrrwhere by this point, regardless. No doubt about it. I also see 150 yards and 3 TDs for Dez Bryant in this game.
Sunday, Nov. 30 at Jacksonville- I think the Jags D will be better than people expect, with a few good signings and Gus Bradley running the team. That being said, Jacksonville is still a JV team compared to the G-Men. The Giants love showing up small in games against bad teams, but I don’t see them losing this game. It will be way too important at this point. Giants by 10. No fan actually remembers this game happening in 6 months.
Sunday, Dec. 7 at Tennessee- Now this game scares me for the same reason as the Jags game, as the Giants have always been flaky against these middling teams. I don’t think the Titans are all that talented, but I do think Ken Whisenhunt is a good coach and Tennessee could win an ugly game at home. Going with the gut AND the heart here and picking Big Blue. I just know that it won’t be pretty. God damn, the Titans are an ugly team every season. Giants by 4. Multiple Shonn Greene jokes made my Giants fans to their Jets fan friends after the game.
Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Washington- I think the whole season will come down to this game, with either RG3 ripping our hearts out or the Giants playing inspired on their way to a playoff run. I’ll go with the latter, if only because I think the Coughlin/Eli combo has one more run in them. Giants by 4. At least 100 heart attacks in the Tri-State area due to RG3, however.
Sunday, Dec. 21 at St. Louis- I really do like the Rams and think they have potential to be a real good team in the near future, thanks to the bounty that the Redskins paid to draft RG3. However, Sam Bradford is not the answer in The Lou. By this point, the Rams will be fading in a tough division while the Giants should be surging in an open NFC East race. Giants by 10. This will be Bradford’s last start for the Rams, if he is even healthy.
Sunday, Dec. 28 vs.Philadelphia- The Giants will have a chance to sneak into the playoffs at 10-6 with a win in Philly. As weird as it sounds, I think the Giants knowing that they don’t have to deal with Michael Vick this season will actually be a bonus. They can prep for a Nick Folesian quarterback and as an added bonsu, don’t have to worry about DeSean Jackson ruining their dreams (at least during Eagles games). This won’t be easy, unless Philly has nothing to play for. Giants by 6 if Philly tries. Giants by 17 if Philly has clinched or is eliminated.
I am saying on the record that Big Blue goes 10-6, with a chance of 9-7, which is what the many NFL fans see going into the season for their respective teams. These guesses go against the almost annual 6-2 start that we have become accustomed to. I also see this as Coughlin’s last season, regardless of what happens. And if by some chance it all goes sour, Jerry Reese will be gone too. This is the make or break year for the next 3 seasons or so.
Only 132 days left…