Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coughlin's Thoughts

Here are some of Tom Coughlin's thoughts on the schedule, as disemanated in a team statement.

As far as the overall difficulty -- it's ranked the league's seventh toughest schedule -- Coughlin was hardly surprised.

"We have known the teams we were going to play, so we knew this would be a very challenging schedule and it is," Coughlin said. "We have an opportunity to open at home in our brand new stadium, which is very exciting. We know how good the teams in the NFC East are. Minnesota was in the NFC Championship Game and Green Bay was a playoff team. We’re playing the AFC South this year and all the teams in that division are tough. Playing three of our last four on the road will be a big challenge."

He also said he likes where the bye was placed.

"I think the bye is in a very good place, after our seventh game," Coughlin said. "I like the fact that we do have an opportunity to regroup before heading out to Seattle, which is a long trip out and a long trip back. Then three of the next four are in the division."

It turns out that waiting to play their first NFC East game until Week 7 is the latest the Giants have ever opened divisional competition since the merger in 1970.


*A non-schedule note: three Giants linebackers have changed their uniform numbers for the 2010 season. Michael Boley has switched from No. 52 to 59 (worn last season by Gerris Wilkinson). Wilkinson will wear No. 58 (which previously belonged to Antonio Pierce). And Clint Sintim has turned in the No. 97 he wore as a rookie to wear No. 52. Free agent safety Antrel Rolle will wear No. 26, and free agent safety Deon Grant will wear No. 34. New backup quarterback Jim Sorgi will wear No. 19.


Here are a few notes on the individual games, provided by the Giants.

*The Giants will play seven games against 2009 playoff teams: two each against Dallas and Philadelphia and one apiece vs. Minnesota, Green Bay and Indianapolis.

*The Giants will open at home for the third season in a row, the first time that’s happened since they did it five years in a row from 1994-98.

*They will end the season on the road for the third consecutive season, the first time that’s happened since 1997-99. It is the fifth time in six years they are finishing the season away from home.

*They will close the season with two road games for the first time since 2005, when they finished at Washington and Oakland.

*The Giants will play the Cowboys twice in three games for the first time since 1990.

*For the second year in a row, the Giants will play three Sunday night games. They were 1-2 in Sunday night games last season and are 14-18-1 on Sunday night.

*The Giants will again play only one Monday night game, on the road vs. an NFC East rival. They will visit Dallas on Oct. 25. It will be the eighth consecutive Monday night game in which the Giants are the visiting team (including the 2005 game vs. New Orleans that was played in Giants Stadium). The Giants have not been the home team on a Monday night since Sept. 15, 2003, a 35-32 overtime loss to Dallas. The Giants are 19-31-1 on Monday night.

*The Giants will play consecutive road games in Houston and Dallas for the first time since Dec. 8 and 15, 1985, when they defeated the Oilers and lost to the Cowboys.

*They will play home on consecutive weeks twice in the same season for the first time since 2006. In 2008 and 2009, they had two-game homestands that were split by the bye.


A closer look at the Giants’ 2010 schedule:

Carolina Panthers
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday Sept. 12, 1 p.m., FOX

The Panthers will visit the Giants for the third consecutive season. Last Dec. 27, the Giants lost their final game in Giants Stadium to Carolina, 41-9, and now trail in the regular season series, 3-2. In their 2008 home finale the Giants defeated the Panthers in overtime, 34-28, to clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. In home games vs. Carolina, the Giants are 1-2 in the regular season and 0-1 in the postseason. The Panthers are coached by John Fox, who was the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1997-2001.

Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Sunday, Sept. 19, 8:20 p.m., NBC

The Giants trail in the regular season series, 7-6. This will be the second game featuring Eli and Peyton Manning as the starting quarterbacks – thus the second game in NFL history in which brothers are the opposing starters at quarterback. The Colts won the first such meeting, 26-21, on Sept. 10, 2006. This will be the Giants’ first visit to Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened in 2008. They won both of their previous two games in Indianapolis, 27-7 in 1990 and 44-24 in 2002.

Tennessee Titans
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday, Sept. 26, 1 p.m., CBS
The Giants lead the series, 5-4, against the franchise that played in Houston prior to 1997 and was known as the Oilers prior to 1999. The Giants have lost their last four games against the Oilers/Titans and have not won a game in the series since a 13-10 Monday night triumph in the Astrodome on Nov. 21, 1994. Since then, the Giants lost to the Oilers in Memphis (10-6 on Nov. 9, 1997) and to the Titans in Nashville (28-14 on Oct. 1, 2000 and 24-21 on Nov. 26, 2006) and in Giants Stadium (32-29 in overtime on Dec. 1, 2002). In the most recent meeting, the Giants led 21-0 in the fourth quarter before allowing 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The Giants are 3-1 in home games against the Oilers/Titans.

Chicago Bears
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 3, 8:20 p.m., NBC
The Giants trail in both the regular season (27-18-2) and the postseason (5-3) series. They have not defeated the Bears in a regular season home game since a 28-24 victory in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 5, 1969 (though the Giants routed the Bears, 31-3, in a 1990 NFC Divisional Playoff Game). Chicago won in the Bronx in 1970 and in Giants Stadium in 1977, 1995, 2004 and most recently, on Nov. 12, 2006 (38-20). The teams last met on Dec. 2, 2007, when the Giants earned a 21-16 victory in Soldier Field.

Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m., FOX
The Giants are 1-1 against the Texans, who were an expansion team in 2002. On Nov. 24, 2002, the Giants lost in Houston, 16-14. The teams last met on Nov. 5, 2006, when the Giants defeated the Texans in Giants Stadium, 14-10.

Detroit Lions
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m., FOX
The Giants trail in the regular season series, 20-18-1, and lost each of their last three home games against Detroit – in 1994, 2000 and a 28-13 decision on Oct. 24, 2004. The Giants’ last home victory over Detroit was a 20-0 shutout on Nov. 18, 1990. The Giants won their most recent meeting, 16-10 at Detroit on Nov. 18, 2007.

Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Stadium: Monday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
New Meadowlands Stadium: Sunday, Nov. 14, 4:15 p.m., FOX
The Giants trail in the regular season series, 55-38-2. Last season, the Giants swept the Cowboys for the first time since 2004. On Sept. 20, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Giants a 33-31 victory before more than 105,000 fans in the first-ever regular season game in Cowboys Stadium. The Giants completed a sweep with a 31-24 triumph in Giants Stadium on Dec. 6. The teams split their two games in 2008, with each team winning at hom. In 2007, Dallas won both regular season games: 45-35 on Sept. 9 in Texas Stadium and 31-20 on Nov. 11 in Giants Stadium. But the Giants defeated the Cowboys, 21-17, on Jan. 13 in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game in Dallas, their only postseason meeting with the Cowboys. The Giants were 19-14 vs. Dallas in Giants Stadium. They are 16-31-1 in Dallas. The Giants have swept the season series 11 times, while Dallas has 18 series sweeps.

Seattle Seahawks
Qwest Field
Sunday, Nov. 7, 4:05 p.m., FOX
The Giants lead the series against the Seahawks, 8-5, including a 44-6 rout in their most recent meeting on Oct. 5, 2008. The Giants are 2-5 in Seattle, including 0-2 in Qwest Field, where they lost 24-21 in overtime on Nov. 27, 2005 and 42-30 on Sept. 24, 2006. The Giants were 6-1 against the Seahawks in Giants Stadium.

Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, Nov. 21, *8:20 p.m., NBC
New Meadowlands Stadium: Sunday, Dec. 19, *1 p.m., FOX
The Giants lead the regular season series that began in 1933, 79-69-2, and are tied in the postseason series, 2-2. Last year, the Eagles swept the season series for the first time since 2004, winning 40-17 on Nov. 1 in Philadelphia and 45-38 on Dec. 13 in Giants Stadium. The first of those games broke the Giants’ four-game regular season winning streak in Lincoln Financial Field. Either the Giants or the Eagles have swept the season series in 21 of the last 25 years. The Giants won both games in 1985, 86, 87, 93, 94, 97-2000, 2005 and 2007 (11 sweeps). Philadelphia swept the series in 1988, 89, 91, 92, 95, 96, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2009 (10 sweeps). The teams split their season series in 1990, 2002, 2006 and 2008. The Giants are 4-3 in the regular season and 0-1 in postseason play in Lincoln Financial Field. They were 15-19 vs. Philadelphia in regular season games in Giants Stadium.

Jacksonville Jaguars
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday Nov. 28, *1 p.m., CBS
The series is tied, 2-2. Tom Coughlin has coached in all four of those games, three as the Jaguars’ head coach and one on the Giants’ sideline. The Giants lost to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, 40-13, on Sept. 7, 1997. They twice defeated the Jaguars in Giants Stadium (28-25 on Dec. 23, 2005 and 24-17 on Nov. 3, 2002). Coughlin returned to Jacksonville as the Giants coach on Nov. 20, 2006, but the visitors lost on a Monday night, 26-10.

Washington Redskins
New Meadowlands Stadium: Sunday, Dec. 5, *1 p.m., FOX
FedEx Field: Sunday, Jan. 2, *1 p.m., FOX
The Giants have played the Redskins every year since 1932 and lead the regular season series, 89-61-4. The postseason series is tied, 1-1. The Giants have faced the Redskins 154 times in the regular season, making this their most frequently-contested rivalry. In 2009, the Giants swept the series for the second year in a row and the third time in four years. They won on Sept. 13 in Giants Stadium, 23-17, and on Dec. 21 in Washington, 45-12. The Giants have swept the season series with the Redskins 29 times. They were 22-12 against the Redskins in Giants Stadium and are 7-5-1 in FedEx Field.

Minnesota Vikings
The Metrodome
Sunday, Dec. 12, *1 p.m. FOX
The Giants trail in the regular season series, 12-9, but lead the postseason series, 2-1. This is the third consecutive season the Giants will visit Minnesota, where they are 4-6, including 4-3 in the Metrodome. They lost their regular season finale there each of the previous two years after winning in the Dome in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Last season, the Giants closed their 8-8 season with a 44-7 loss to the Vikings. Minnesota has won four consecutive games in the series, including triumphs in Giants Stadium in 2005 and 2007. All three postseason games between the teams were played in Giants Stadium, including the Giants’ 41-0 victory in the 2000 NFC Championship Game.

Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field
Sunday, Dec. 26, *4:15 p.m., FOX
The Giants trail in the regular season series, 25-21-2, and in the postseason series, 4-2. This is the teams’ first meeting since the Giants’ epic 23-20 overtime victory in frigid Green Bay in the 2007 NFC Championship Game. The Packers won each of their last three games in Giants Stadium – in 1998, 2001 and a 35-13 triumph on Sept. 16, 2007. The Giants’ most recent home victory over Green Bay was a 27-7 decision on Nov. 8, 1992.

*Times subject to change



  1. Interesting. A couple things of note:

    - I don't think the schedule is as tough as everyone is making it out to be. What bumps up the rankings are playing the NFC East where there were two playoff times last year. Looking at the schedule, I'd say the Giants should be favored against Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston, Tennessee, Seattle and Chicago. That's seven games they "should" win. Assume they win three games in the division and there are your 10 wins.

    - I'm surprised the first game is against the Panthers. I bet Jerry isn't too happy about that.

    - It's weird that they're playing their division teams so late in the season

    - Did you notice the Giants have winning records against only four teams: Philly, Washington, Tennessee and Seattle.

  2. If the Giants make the Super Bowl, can we have Alice In Chains play at halftime? Unplugged? Thoughts? Comments? Strategy?

    I'm thinking they start with something new like "Check My Brain" and then mix in some older stuff. Or should they start with older stuff, like "Man In the Box" and then end with newer stuff like "Your Decision"?

    Do you think Rolando McClain likes AIC? Do you think we should trade up for a player that likes AIC or stand pat at 15?

    If C.J. Spiller hates AIC but loves Tom Petty, will they let Tom Petty play halftime again? Should the Giants trade down and take 2 players that like Justin Timberlake instead of Spiller if he likes Tom Petty?

  3. Dan - I'm curious as to why, after last year's horror show, you think that NY will be favored over Carolina, Houston, Tenn, Seattle, and Chicago? Carolina stomped us, Houston and Tenn probably would have made the playoffs if they didn't have two games each against each other and Indy, Tenn was especially hurt by the Collins debacle in the beginning of the season, NY never plays well in Seattle, and Chicago had many of the same injury problems that NY did. I think you're oversimplifying the Giants ability to bounce back and play at an elite level. This is a rough schedule. Only six teams have a schedule that is statistically tougher. For a team looking to rebound from a dismal, injury filled season, this schedule is bad news.

  4. Chicago - offense is a mess. They cut one pass rusher and the other one unfortunately passed away. Yes, they have Peppers, but look at that team -- none of its core players are younger than 32. Urlacher and Briggs are getting old. No receivers, Cutler/O-line stink.

    Carolina - New QB, its best player -- Peppers -- left. They have a lame-duck coach in Fox. And the Giants open the season/new stadium against them.

    Houston - This may be the most overrated team every year. Another team with a lame-duck coach with Kubiak. A team that never plays well in the first half of the season. A team that plays no defense. Matt Schaub (regardless of the year he had last year) is their QB. No running game.

    Seattle - There are too many problems to name in Seattle. And if you really don't think the Giants will be favored against the 'Hawks then you don't watch football.

    Tenn. - Fisher = great coach, but that defense obviously isn't the same without Haynesworth. I'm sorry, but with Vince Young as their QB this team isn't that good. This may be the one team you can disagree with me with.

    Playing in the NFC East is what drives up the rankings. All four teams are in the top 10 in SOS. Besides the Colts, you really think this is an impossible schedule?

  5. Why do the Eagles get to play Indy, Vikings and Green Bay at home, while we get these three teams; all of which are difficult places to play, as away games?
    The scheduling needs to take this into account better than they do.
    All of the NFC east teams get these three teams; all playoff or high caliber teams, so why do we the 3rd place team, get all three of them away?

  6. This is a tough sched. No warm weather teams at home late in the year and finishing on road last 3 out of 4. At least the bye is in a favorable time.

    CJ! CJ! CJ! CJ!


    Countdown 35 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. The panthers don't need a QB to beat the giants, they did it with their Oline and running to their left side. They'll do it again, easy win for the Panthers as all they have to do is hand off and play defense. We get to watch Jon Beason make tackle after tackle and wonder why he isn't a giant?

  8. "They have not defeated the Bears in a regular season home game since a 28-24 victory in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 5, 1969"

    Ernie - I am working on a project/book about Giants games played between 1969-79 ...

    With 59 seconds left in the game, Giants Qb Fran Tarkenton hit WR/TE/RB Joe Morrison with a 26 yard pass for the winning TD down the right sideline. Morrison faked out Bear LB Doug Buffone, then bounced off of MLB Dick Butkus at the 11 yard line, whom was chasing Morrison from his position, and then fell into the end zone. This was the 2nd home game in 1969 to end in a Giants win by a Pass with 59 seconds left. Week 1's 59 second miracle vs the Vikings was a Tarkenton to Don Herrmann TD for a 24-23 win. TE Freeman White said after the Bears win "we just wait till 59 seconds and Fran wins the game for us. We all have faith in Fran to pull out the game"

    Bears HB Gale Sayers was kept in check with 21 carries for 79 yards.

    Attendence - 62,000

  9. Dan - Do I think it's "impossible"? No. Of course not. But after an injury and controversy filled season that ended with a complete collapse of the defense, yeah, I think it's a really difficult schedule. Look, nothing would make me happier than the Giants going 19-0. I just think this is brutal schedule to try to bounce back from a miserable year. I would love to be wrong here, believe me. But when I look at this schedule, I see a real possibility of a 8-8 season - even without a late season collapse. I see teams that NY has had issues handling and I see games in stadiums where NY plays their worse games (Seattle. Yeah, they stink. So, how come we can't win there?). Again, here's hoping you're right and I'm wrong and the game at Lambeau is completely meaningless because the Giants have already locked up the NFC.

  10. First, anonymous, you really think that's an easy win for the Panthers? First game of the season, on the road, opening a new stadium, having ended the Giants season a year ago. I'm sure Carolina isn't thinking that.

    And dweez, every schedule is going to be tough unless you're in a weak schedule. The Giants play four of their first six at home, and one of the away games is against Houston, a team, you have to met, they can beat.

    I know the Giants collapsed last year, but I would still like them to get off to a fast start, and a 5-1 beginning is a strong possibility, even 6-2.

    What I will agree with is the difficulty at the end of the schedule, at Minnesota, Philly, at Green Bay, at Washington. That's a tough four games, no question.

    But the beginning is relatively easy. Sure it can always easier, but the Giants, Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins are always going to have tough schedules because they are going to play six division games against playoff-quality teams. What other division can say that?

  11. If this is rated as the 7th toughest schedule, I can't wait to view the other six.

    You cannot just pencil in any wins against a lot of these games. Carolina is going to be tough as indicative to the last 2 games played against them. Houston is going to be tough just because of Andre Johnson alone not to mention the defensive play by guys like Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Brian Cushman. The Bears will be better because of Mike Martz, and the last time the Giants played the Titans, Vince Young led them to a come from behind win with no thanks to the beloved Kiwanuka letting him go from a sure sack.

    Dan, I think, is a bit too optimistic.

  12. Dan - Just want to remind you that this past season the Giants started 5-0. Fast starts are great, but the team needs to be able to finish strong as well. Let's agree that we are both hoping for the best, but we disagree on the overall difficulty of the opponents.