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2019 NFL Schedule Release: Predictions for the New York Giants favorable schedule 

ANALYST
Preview
21 Apr 2019, 14:28 IST


The 2019 schedules for all 32 NFL teams have officially been released, and the excitement is already abounding over some of the season’s most anticipated match ups. New teams are finally getting their share of prime time treatment and the game’s biggest stars get to revisit their former teams.  

For the New York Giants, the 2019 schedule could pan out well following a dramatic offseason to say the least.  

Not only do the Giants not have to see their former wide receiver Odell Beckham and the Cleveland Browns, they also have one of the easier schedules in the league. The second half of the season does present some better teams, but if the Giants can remain healthy and play smart football the ability to compete is there. 

Of course, opinions for the favorability of the Giants’ schedule could be strengthened or altered depending upon what happens in the draft, but there is still more than meets the eye. 

The Giants and the fan base should feel optimistic with their schedule and here’s why. 

Week 1: Away vs Dallas Cowboys (Sept. 8, 4:25 PM) 


To nobody’s surprise, the Giants will open the 2019 season in Jerry’s World against the rival Dallas Cowboys.  

Coming off a 10-6 record and NFC East division title, the Cowboys look like they’re in the running for the division crown again this year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Unexpectedly, but fortunately, the team will be getting back their favorite tight end in Jason Witten who is coming out of retirement and has been a thorn in the Giants’ side.  

The predictions for this matchup are mostly pointing to a Dallas victory, however real football fans know that this rivalry is never set in stone.  

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In last season’s matchup in Dallas, the Cowboys pulled away with a 7-point margin after a 20-3 lead was tightened to 20-13 with a New York comeback. Despite it being his second NFL game, Saquon Barkley was able to show off his skills on a few runs to bring the Giants back into it.  

Despite being the key factor in Dallas’s victories over New York, the Giants defense has found ways to shut down Ezekiel Elliot and stiffen the Cowboys’ offense. This forces more pressure on the receiving corps and Jason Witten to make things happen.  

In terms of the return of Jason Witten, the comeback might not be as wonderful to start. Witten will be one of the older tight ends in the league, meaning his production might not be as good. Don’t forget about the rustiness that will come from spending a year or so in the broadcast booth.  

Not to mention, the Cowboys have fallen to the Giants in previous openers and are prone to “choking” when under the spotlight. In 2016, when the Cowboys had their phenomenal season with the Dak Prescott – Ezekiel Elliot duo, two of their losses came from the Giants and one was on opening night in a game they were predicted to be the victor.                      

The season opener could go either way, just don’t count the Giants out.  

Week 2: Home vs Buffalo Bills (Sept. 15, 1:00 PM) 


The Buffalo Bills return to MetLife Stadium after visiting the Jets in Week 1 for the Giants home opener in Week 2. Its season two under young QB Josh Allen who once again has to operate an inefficient Buffalo offense.  

For the past few seasons, the Bills have had to deal with injuries and other issues with their key guys, most notably running back LeSean McCoy and Allen himself. 

 Last season, the Bills had Allen for 12 of their games and had to rotate through four different quarterbacks including the disastrous Nate Peterman. McCoy was present for 14 games in 2018 but his numbers were nowhere near exceptional. The former Eagles star ran 161 times for a total of 514 yards, which averages to 36 yards per game, and three touchdowns.  

The wide receiving core was nothing scary. Then rookie WR Zay Jones was the lead man for the receiving core and although he was healthy and had good completion percentages, his numbers aren’t changing games. Kelvin Benjamin’s acquisition was a mix of disappointment and injuries as well.  

The overall theme of this matchup is weapons and despite losing their most powerful, the Giants are still looking better in that category. Also, the Giants will feel the need to show their fans that this season is not going to follow the naysayer's expectations, so the energy will be sky high. 

Expect a controlling victory for Big Blue at home.  

Week 3: Away vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 22, 4:05 PM) 


The week 3 visit to the Buccaneers is another favorable matchup for the Giants and could result in a 2-1 record through three games.  

Tampa Bay made a great offseason coaching change by bringing in Bruce Arians to lead the squad after his short own short stint in the broadcast booth and coaching the Arizona Cardinals. However, the team is stuck in a quarterback carousel with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick, starting one or the other based on the previous week’s performance or injury. 

This resulted in inconsistency in the Bucs offense, as in some weeks the wrong guy was started for the respective opponent. The Giants were able to dominate the Buccaneers in their meeting this past season despite the final result being 38-35 which was the result of lax defense late in the game.  

That lax defense is one of the Giants weak spots and must be fixed for success this season and to better take care of a beatable Tampa Bay team. 

Week 4: Home vs Washington Redskins (Sept. 29, 1:00 PM) 


The Washington Redskins took the first game in last year’s series, but it was all Giants in the second meeting in the nation’s capital.  

Washington’s season went up in flames following the injury of quarterback Alex Smith for the remainder of the season. It was the Mark Sanchez show against the Giants and the same Mark Sanchez came out to play as the Giants defense made his life miserable in a 40-16 victory. Those 16 points were scored by Sanchez’s replacement Josh Johnson.  

The Redskins offense is looking quite barren as we head into the 2019 season. An Alex Smith return is a long shot, hence the trade for Kase Keenum from Denver, and Jamison Crowder, their wide receiver threat, signed with the New York Jets. Tight end Jordan Reed is unpredictable but very unproductive.  

The New York Giants should take this Week 4 matchup with flying colors, and they certainly need to.  

Week 5: Home vs Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 6, 1:00 PM) 


On paper, the Minnesota Vikings matchup looks like a loss for the Giants, however it’s not as black and white as it seems.  

The Vikings do have a lot of talent spread throughout their roster, especially on the defensive guy. Linebackers Anthony Barr and Mychal Kendricks are a great duo and can get to the best of quarterbacks if the protection is lacking. Their secondary is top in the league at forcing turnovers and stopping big plays downfield.  

Offensively, wide receiver Stefon Diggs is huge, versatile threat anywhere on the field and is the major playmaker while Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook lead the backfield with speed and strength.  

What makes Minnesota vulnerable is the quarterback position with Kirk Cousins. In his first season with the Vikings, he played all 16 games and completed 70.1% of his throws for 4,298 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. However, he seemed to struggle with conversions on third down and in the red zone at 73/204 and 27/50 respectively, showing a lack of game winning drive potential in Cousins which resulted in an 8-7-1 record in 2018 

Basically, it can be said that Kirk Cousins is a possible overrated quarterback for Minnesota and his lack of conversion capabilities with such a weapon-filled offense could hurt the team’s chances this season.  

It’ll be an interesting matchup. The Vikings could pull away with a win against their former offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in MetLife if Eli is overpowered by the defense.  

Week 6: Away vs New England Patriots (Oct. 10, 8:20 PM) 


In Week 6 the Giants will have their lone Thursday Night Football appearance of the season, and it’s against an old but familiar foe. The team will travel to Foxboro to face Tom Brady and the Patriots in what could be Eli Manning’s last game against the team he beat twice in the Super Bowl.  

Regardless of their roster adjustments it is known that the Patriots will still be relevant and put on a show for their home fans. Still, they will be without two talented and familiar faces this season, as Rob Gronkowski retires after nine seasons with the team and wide receiver Chris Hogan signed with Carolina. In return, however, there are new faces such as defensive end Michael Bennett and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to serve as Bill Belichick’s weapons.  

Tom Brady is showing he can still play at a high level and compete with almost anybody on his roster. There doesn’t seem like much the Giants can do to fully shut down New England with their talented offense and defense and their home field advantage is tough to overcome.  

Keep an eye out for a history inspired upset, but the Giants most likely take a loss in Gillette Stadium.  

Week 7: Home vs Arizona Cardinals (Oct. 20, 1:00 PM) 


Playing the Arizona Cardinals after a tough matchup with the Super Bowl champs is just what the Giants need. Although both are struggling franchises heading into the 2019 season, the Giants roster is better equipped to win this game.  

Eli’s experience should override a flashy stat sheet from expected No. 1 pick Kyler Murray as the latter’s height disadvantage could be an issue with getting adjusted to NFL size linemen in your line of sight.  

Arizona’s offense doesn’t hold an arsenal of talent like the Giants does. Running back David Johnson is the team’s head rusher, although he is coming off a 2018 campaign wrecked by injuries. There is promise in second year back Chase Edmonds, but overall the production is small in comparison to Saquon Barkley.  

The Giants just need to get points on the board, and this could be an easy win for them.  

Week 8: Away vs Detroit Lions (Oct. 27, 1:00 PM) 


The Detroit Lions had a pretty mediocre first season under head coach Matt Patricia. They finished with a 6-10 record and ranking of 25th and 16th in points for and against. Their offense is very much an “offense by committee” as four different running backs share the load but only one is very productive is Kerryon Johnson. Detroit’s receiving stats show no viable threats, especially after the trading of Golden Tate to Philadelphia who is now on the Giants.  

Defense looks for strength in the defensive line and secondary with guys like Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay. Ansah was hurt most of last year but has had his success with getting to Eli Manning in previous games against the Giants. Slay is also known for having his own battles with Giants receiver including Odell Beckham Jr.  

However, with Ansah and Beckham gone from their respective teams, the roles certainly change a bit.  

The Lions will need to strengthen their entire defense in order to get to Saquon Barkley who is the new emphasis of the Giants’ offense. There will be a passing game as the Giants have weapons in ex-Lion Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, and Evan Engram that Slay can’t guard all on his own.  

The New York Giants matchup with Detroit in Week 8 looks like a win for them due to the Lions lack of offensive weapons even with adding a couple like ex-Patriot and Dolphin Danny Amendola. For Golden Tate, don’t be surprised if he makes this game into a revenge one against his former team and puts on a great performance.  

Week 9: Home vs Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 4, 8:15 PM) 


Monday Night Football of Week 9 will feature the Giants at home vs the Dallas Cowboys.  

As with Golden Tate and his ex-team in Detroit the week prior, this matchup in MetLife Stadium could be a revenge game for the entire Giants team. Last season, the Giants were defending their home field well in the season finale and what some thought could be Eli Manning’s last game as a New York Giant.  

The offense was scoring on almost every possession to rack up 35 total points, something they seldom did with an average scoring total of around 20 points per game, one of the lowest in the league. However, there was one player the Giants could not stop which was Dallas wide receiver Blake Jarwin. Jarwin racked up three touchdowns, his only touchdowns of the season, which kept the Cowboys in a game that was meaningless for their playoff hopes anyway.  

The game would be 35-28 New York with just about a minute left when the Giants’ defense let Dallas march down the field and connect with Cole Beasley, now a Buffalo Bill, on a 32-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone that was challenged yet kept because of a rule regarding one knee counting as two feet. The Cowboys would convert a 2-point conversion and run away with a 36-35 win.  

With all things considered from the Week 1 analysis, the game at home will mean a lot more for the Giants and could be a win for them. Either way, the series should be a split between the two teams.  

Week 10: Away vs New York Jets (Nov. 10, 1:00 PM) 


Although the Giants will be in their home stadium in Week 10, they are scheduled as the visitors as they take on their MetLife sub letter, the New York Jets.  

Both New York teams come into this regular season matchup occurring every four years with new teams and star players looking to show New York that they are their team. The Jets have signed running back Le’Veon Bell after he left the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency. The Giants have traded away Odell Beckham Jr and Olivier Vernon, but their other offensive weapons from last year minus Golden Tate have remained.  

For this game, the big key to a victory and bragging rights could be the performance of the starting running backs. A lot of New York fans will be anticipating the battle between Barkley and Bell in the trenches, as both have had standout seasons in their careers thus far. Both teams are revamping their offensive lines and defense which could lead to production in the run game yet could halt the run as well.  

The Giants’ receiving corps is more pleasing than the Jets, but the difference will be the performance of the running backs if the pass game isn’t impactful in the game. Bell will look to stamp his name in the New York sports history books and therefore Barkley must keep up with him on the stats sheet.  

The Giants have had success against the Jets in recent seasons, with one of their wins being that infamous Christmas Eve Game back in 2011 when then Giant wide receiver Victor Cruz had his standout game. The Jets players who were there must remember the 99-yard touchdown catch that Cruz took from the Giants 1-yard line.  

With all things considered, bet on the Giants for this game though it is difficult given the offseason both teams have had.  

Week 11: BYE WEEK  


Week 12: Away vs Chicago Bears (Nov. 24, 1:00 PM) 


Once the Giants come back from the bye week in Week 12, they enter the tough point of their 2019 schedule. Week 12 is a road game in the Windy City against the Chicago Bears.  

Coming off a remarkable 2019 season where the team’s playoff run was ended early by an unbelievably missed Cody Parkey field goal, the Bears will look to redeem themselves this season with a roster very much intact. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is growing into a fine NFL quarterback with great throwing capability and a load of weapons to launch the ball to.  

The defense was one of the best in the league featuring Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Akeem Hicks, Danny Trevethan, and others, most of whom are returning.  

The Giants pulled off a remarkable victory against the Bears at home last season. The game was a back and forth offensive fistfight that went into overtime and ended with a 4th down stop by Janoris Jenkins whose secondary crew had been giving up big plays that kept Chicago in the game.  

This year’s game could be a different result for the Giants. Chicago has the home field advantage, and everyone knows the Windy City doesn’t get its name from nowhere. Being in November the temperatures might start to be a factor for visiting teams’ offenses to score a lot of points.  

Giants have struggled in the past in extreme cold weather games, i.e. the 2016 NFC Wild Card game in Green Bay. The Giants’ offense was stagnated, and you could expect the same possibility in Week 12.  

Week 13: Home vs Green Bay Packers (Dec. 1, 1:00 PM) 


The Green Bay Packers had one of their worst seasons in recent memory in 2018. Injuries piled up, former stars were gone, drama between coach and quarterback brewed, and eventually a coaching era was concluded at Lambeau Field.  

Now, Mike McCarthy is out the door as the head coach and Matt LaFleur takes over the reins with a lot of work to do to turn the team around. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been 100% health wise the last couple seasons and has been involved in a lot of the Packers drama recently that is taking away from improving the team.  

Not to mention the offensive side of the roster is bereft of talent for Rodgers to rely on. Wide receiver Davante Adams returns for another season and is likely the Packers’ top offensive threat. The running game is full of unknown names so expect the Packers to be at the bottom of the rankings there.  

The defense has also taken some hits. Long time Packer linebacker Clay Matthews left in free agency and is now a member of the LA Rams. Demaryius Randall is now with the up and coming Cleveland Browns. There were a couple additions like ex-Jet DE Muhammad Wilkerson, but under a new system everyone is considered new.  

Between the new changes and revolving drama, this season could very well be Green Bay’s 3-13 season that the Giants had following the 11-5 season in 2016 when the “Miami boat trip” set the Giants on a path to where they are today.  

Of course, Aaron Rodgers has had success not only against New York teams, but in MetLife Stadium as well. The Packers could run away with luck from big plays by their quarterback, but Giants have a chance to win this game.  

Week 14: Away vs Philadelphia Eagles (Dec. 9, 8:15 PM) 


The week 14 game against the rivals just down I-95 will be on Monday Night Football. The Eagles have had the Giants’ number in their last few matchups but especially in Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants have had opportunities however, as the last two games in Philadelphia ended with an excruciatingly painful loss resulting from a field goal by the Eagles in the final seconds.  

Once again, the Philadelphia Eagles can be a scary team in the NFC.  

The defensive side of the roster stayed much intact through the free agency period, the biggest loss being defensive end Michael Bennett who is now in new England.  

Offensively, the Nick Foles era is over as he leaves for Jacksonville on a huge contract, but Carson Wentz will be back and healthy. The Giants stole Golden Tate from them, but the Eagles have brought back one of New York’s old worst nightmares in wide receiver DeSean Jackson from Tampa Bay. All Giants’ fans remember him most from the infamous Miracle at the Meadowlands back in 2008 and know that he is dangerous against their team.  

Jackson, along with Charles Johnson as well, join the Eagles top ranked offense including guys like Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Jay Ajayi, who is returning from injury, and Nelson Agholor.  

The Eagles have a very mobile offense and a quarterback and receivers who aren’t afraid to let that ball and the Eagles “fly”, therefore the Giants need to be sharp on defense to win this game. The offense is there to compete, but defense which has hurt them in Philadelphia, is key.  

Is the Philadelphia curse continues, the Eagles will take round 1 at home before visiting the Giants for the season finale.  

Week 15: Home vs Miami Dolphins (Dec. 15, 1:00 PM) 


The Miami Dolphins showed the NFL that they can shock the league with just about anybody, as they took out the New England Patriots with the Kenyon Drake “Miami Miracle” late in the season”. However, they were still 7-9 for a reason.  

The Dolphins are one of the worst offensive and defensive teams in the NFL. In 2018, they scored a total of 319 points (26th) but gave up 433 (27th), per Pro Football Reference. The offensive ranking is partly due to a flip-flopping of quarterbacks whose inability to convert on later downs gave the Dolphins a 30.1% third down conversion percentage.  

The Dolphins are starting fresh with a new head coach in Brian Flores, a new system, and no starting quarterback in place besides Brock Osweiler.  

The Giants should not have trouble with this matchup at home if they maintain a sound offense.  

Week 16: Away vs Washington Redskins (Dec. 22, 1:00 PM) 


Same analysis as Week 4 at home for the Giants and Redskins Week 16 on the road.  

Last season, the Giants left Washington with a 40-16 pounding of Mark Sanchez and the Redskins. At a point in the season where the critics had the Giants dead in the water, they showed there was still life in both their quarterback, team, and playoff hopes.  

Eli Manning had one of his greatest performances of the season, showing he could still play at a high level. He was slinging it everyone on the field making the offense unstoppable. Saquon Barkley had one of his best games of the season, rushing for 170 yards and eclipsing 1,000 with a 78-yard score.  

With the state of the Redskins going into 2019, the Giants should handle the Redskins series with ease  

Week 17: Home vs Philadelphia Eagles (Dec. 29, 1:00 PM) 


The New York Giants’ 2019 schedule wraps up at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.  

Based on the prognostication in their schedule, this might be a must win for the Giants if they want to squeak into the NFC playoff picture. The Giants if not battling for a division crown certainly have a schedule capable of getting them into the Wild Card. 

Additionally, the Giants would want to win this game to avenge the complete disaster of a game they had against the Eagles last year at home on Thursday Night Football. The entire team failed to show up and the Eagles took advantage of that from the opening possession.  

The Giants have lost most of their games to the Eagles in recent seasons, but they can pull away one game in the series and why not at home to cap off the regular season.  

 

Overview: 

Based on the predictions above, the New York Giants and their fans should be applauding their schedule for 2019. Yes, usually teams who do bad in the year prior receive an easier schedule, but the Giants have been through more than just a bad season. This schedule could propel them into a respectable team and one worthy of some playoff discussion.  

Fair predictions for the season based on schedule could have the New York Giants finishing with 9 or 10 wins and the race for the Wild Card.  

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