After the most disappointing season in the history of the franchise, the New York Giants and their fans can’t wait for the 2018 season to wipe away the memories of 2017 and to bring back credibility to the franchise.
When the New York Giants 2018 opponents were announced it gave fans something to look forward to.
The Giants 2018 opponents had a combined record 133-123 (520 winning %) last season which is tied with the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears for the eighth toughest schedule.
They’ll play six teams that made the playoffs a season ago which includes playing the Super Bowl 52 champions Philadelphia Eagles twice.
ICYMI: NFL strength of schedule rankings are out. See where the #NYGiants rank in 2018.
— New York Giants (@Giants) February 21, 2018
Even though NFL rosters will have about a 30-40 percent turnover from now until the start of the season from the draft and free agency, the Giants are going to have to make significant improvements to their roster if they intend to compete for a playoff berth.
On paper, the Giants have the eighth toughest schedule, but when you look at it closely their schedule is more difficult than their opposing teams’ winning percentage would say. Three opponents will be much better in 2018 because they’ll have their franchise quarterback under center.
Here are three opponents the Giants will play that had losing records in 2017, but will drastically better in 2018 because of their quarterbacks.
Indianapolis Colts (4-12)
The Colts played all of last year without their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck due to offseason shoulder surgery and they stumbled to a 4-12 record. The Colts are optimistic Luck will be ready when the season begins and his presence alone makes them a much better team than they were with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.
Luck’s career win-loss record is 43-27 and in his one meeting against the Giants in week nine 2014 at MetLife Stadium. The Colts were victorious 40-24 and Luck threw four touchdown passes.
With Luck back at the helm, there’s no way the Colts resemble anything of the 4-12 team they were a season ago.
Houston Texans (4-12)
After losing the season opener to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans named rookie Deshaun Watson their starting quarterback. The Texans would go on to win three out of their next six games, and Watson would set the league on fire during those six games throwing 18 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
He was well on his way to becoming the Rookie of the Year. But Watson tore his ACL in practice in November and was lost for the remainder of the season. The Texans would go on to lose eight of the final nine games of the season.
Watson is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp in August. His return along with the return of J.J Watt who missed 11 games last season with a fractured tibial will make the Texans a vastly better team than they were at the end of last season.
San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
For the first half of last season, people were wondering if the 49ers would win a game as they began the season 0-9. Then they picked up their first win of the season against the Giants in Week 10, 31-21.
They would lose their next game to the Seattle Seahawks 24-13 and after that, they would make Jimmy Garoppolo their starting quarterback. San Francisco traded for Garappolo a few weeks prior to his first start.
With Garappolo at quarterback, the 49ers would go on to win their final five games of the season, and three of those wins were against playoffs teams (Titans, Jaguars and Rams).
Some feel if the 49ers can make the right tweaks to their roster, the 49ers can contend for a playoff berth with Garoppolo running the offense.
The three teams that we mentioned had a combined record last season of 14-34 which significantly dropped the winning percentage of the opponents the Giants will face this season. But as we demonstrated, their record is deceiving based on what happened at their respective quarterback position last season. Nobody would be shocked if all three of these teams made the playoffs this season.
The Giants figure to be a better team as well with the return of Odell Beckham Jr. from ankle surgery, and the pieces that general manager Dave Gettleman will acquire through the draft and free agency.
But it’s clear the Giants 2018 schedule is tougher than it appears.