The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions join a pair of familiar summer foes for the New York Giants, as the NFL unveiled exhibition slates for all 32 teams.
Christmas has come early for football fans, including those who root for the New York Giants. Well, the first weekend of Advent, anyway.
The football-loving public took another step closer to kickoff on Wednesday afternoon, as the NFL released preseason schedules for all 32 teams. As previously announced in February, the preseason will officially open on August 2, with the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears meeting in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
Of course, preseason results are no guarantee of positive outcomes in the fall, as the Giants split their summer schedule with a 2-2 mark last year before earning only three more wins in the regular season. But with football remaining the talk of the town, it’s worth taking a look at who the Giants will rehearse against as they look to rebound from 2017’s disaster.
(Times, dates, and TV info TBA)
Week 1: vs Cleveland
Does a potential preview of Super Bowl 58 await us?
The top two picks in this April’s draft will, barring injury, square off in the opening week of the preseason. Will it be a quarterback showdown, perhaps a Los Angeles reunion between USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen? Could Saquon Barkley be avoiding the rush of Bradley Chubb?
The Giants face off with the Browns in the preseason for the second consecutive year. Last year’s matchup became notorious when Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun laid down a low hit on Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The resulting ankle injury kept Beckham out of the remaining preseason slate, as well as the regular season’s opening game in Dallas.
Week 2: at Detroit
The Giants leave New Jersey only once this preseason, thanks to the MetLife Stadium co-residency with the Jets. That lone matchup will be in Motor City, against a Lions team the Giants have seen in each of the past two regular seasons at MetLife Stadium. The Giants took the 2016 matchup, while the Lions got revenge in the Giants’ home opener last season.
The Giants have not faced Detroit in the preseason since 2008. David Carr threw for 104 yards and a score at Ford Field, where the Lions eventually prevailed 13-10.
Week 3: at NY Jets
The Giants and Jets will square off in their yearly summer dress rehearsal, carrying on a metropolitan ritual that dates back to 1969. Good grief!
Informally dubbed the “Snoopy Bowl”, thanks to shared home MetLife Stadium’s former Peanuts tie-ins, last year’s showdown featured a comeback and late heroics.
Remarkably, this will be the first Snoopy Bowl without newly minted Los Angeles Charger Geno Smith on either roster since 2012. The 2013 game indirectly made Smith a rookie starter, as a Mark Sanchez injury in the fourth quarter thrust him into the top role.
Week 4: vs New England
A tradition unlike any other: the Giants and Patriots’ de facto practice squads meeting up on the final day of the preseason, in games that hardly resemble their Super Bowl showdowns.
To the teams’ credit, however, last year’s matchup, much like the Jet game before it, provided great dramatics, a summer thriller that rivaled those the Yankees and Red Sox stage on the baseball diamond.
The Giants and Patriots have met annually in the preseason since 2001.