As the calendar flips to 2018, it’s time to look at the schedule the New York Giants will face as they look to put a dismal 2017 campaign in the rearview mirror.
To paraphrase New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the New York Giants on to 2018.
Big Blue’s calendar year has come to end, but that hasn’t stopped fans from showcasing their optimism for the new year — September of 2018 to be precise. That’s when Giants’ fans hope the fruits of this rebuild will begin to appear.
Here are the 16 opponents they’ll face on the journey. A slate that completed itself over the Giants’ final games.
NFC East Trio (Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington)- The Giants were able to avoid a blank slate in their divisional roundup by defeating the Redskins at home in the final week of the season. Since the divisions switched to their four-team formats in 2002, the Giants have yet to have an imperfect year.
Chicago- Last season, the Bears traded up for the second overall pick to select their new franchise quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. No trades will be necessary, but will the Giants make a similar move at number two this spring?
Jacksonville- With the resurgence of Jacksonville football and Tom Coughlin’s homecoming, this game could be shortlisted for the national stage. Might it also be a homecoming for Eli Manning, whose name has been constantly linked to the Jaguars?
New Orleans- The last two meetings between the Giants and Saints have been classics, each decided by game-winning field goals, the teams splitting the pair. In four of the past five meetings, at least one of the two teams have scored 48 points.
Tampa Bay-The Giants will be looking for revenge, as the Buccaneers used a game-winning field goal to their advantage on Oct. 1’s 25-23 win.
Tennessee- The Titans will make just their second visit to the Giants’ new stadium and first under the MetLife Stadium moniker. The Giants haven’t beaten any incarnation of these rare visitors in East Rutherford since 1991 when they took a 24-20 decision from the Houston Oilers.
NFC East Trio (Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington)- Since October 2014, the Giants are just 2-9 in road divisional games, including a particularly distressing 0-4 mark at Lincoln Financial Field in that span.
Atlanta- The Giants will make their first-ever visit to the state of the art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but they were probably sorry to see the Georgia Dome go. At the recently demolished facility, they were 3-1.
Carolina- Another homecoming in this game, as Dave Gettleman will return to Charlotte. Serving as the Panthers’ general manager from 2013-17, Gettleman accumulated a 43-26-1 mark (including playoffs), including a trip to Super Bowl 50. Alas, there’ll be no Odell Beckham Jr.-Josh Norman showdowns this time around.
Houston- Recent reports dictate that Bill O’Brien will be back at the helm with the Texans, contrary to rumors he would interview with the Giants. This will be just the fifth all-time meeting between the Giants and Texans, who will be old enough to go to an R-rated movie without a parent next year. Feel old yet?
Indianapolis- His brother is no longer there, but this game could still mean a lot to Eli Manning. The Colts are one of two teams (along with the Los Angeles Chargers) that Manning has yet to beat as the Giants’ starting quarterback (0-3).
San Francisco- A loss to the Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers in November somehow barely made the top ten when counting down the Giants’ most embarrassing 2017 moments. The Giants will probably be used to seeing Jimmy G, however, considering they’ve faced off with the Patriots’ backups in the final week of the preseason every year since 2001.