With summer vacations underway, the “Cover 3” crew picks which road game they are most looking forward to on the Giants’ schedule.
John Schmeelk: The first one on the list has to be the Jets. REALLY short flight. I love going to Chicago, so even though the trip is in late November and the city might already be frigid, I’m looking forward to that a lot. I might meet up with some college friends in Detroit. Oh wait? You don’t care about my own personal travel preferences? Sorry.
In terms of actual football, you have to go with New England. Even though it is a short week, it will probably be the last time I will have the chance to see a Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in person. There is no telling how much longer either will keep coaching or playing, and the Giants’ next regular season game against the Pats won’t be until 2022.
Dan Salomone: Just to add to Schmeelk’s point, there’s a good chance it’s the last time to see Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady, and we all know the history between them. The Giants are also one of the rare teams to steal a win at Gillette Stadium. Brady is 109-17 at home in the regular season, one of those losses coming to the Giants in their last trip to Foxborough. Manning led an 80-yard, game-winning drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Ballard with 15 seconds remaining. The Giants just seem to have the Patriots’ number, and they’ll get another shot at them as the defending Super Bowl champions. The tough part, aside from playing against Belichick, is it will be a short week after playing a physical Vikings team the Sunday before the Thursday night game.
Lance Medow: When you break down the eight road games, there’s really not many to choose from. Right off the top, I’m eliminating the three divisional road trips because the Giants travel to Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington every season, so there’s nothing unique about those locations and one of their road games this season is the very lengthy trip to MetLife Stadium to visit the Jets. That leaves us with four options: Tampa Bay, New England, Detroit, Chicago. When you take into consideration the appeal of the city, the matchup and the part of the season when the game takes place, then Chi-town wins by a landslide.
As a native New Yorker, nothing will ever top the Big Apple. Chicago is a very close second because of all the times I’ve visited. Chicago most resembles and reminds me of New York City. It also has many more attractions than the other road trips (highlighted by the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center…an image that brings such joy to John Schmeelk) and better food to offer than Tampa Bay, New England and Detroit combined. The most important factor is the opposing team. The Bears are coming off an impressive 12-4 campaign in Matt Nagy’s first season as a head coach, and with the majority of the team returning, the Bears should improve in year two in Nagy’s system. Last season when Chicago visited MetLife Stadium, it was an epic overtime affair that the Giants survived, 30-27, and Chicago was without its starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. That’s all the more reason to anticipate the rematch.
This game will also be played in Week 12 when both the Bears and Giants will have a good feel for their strengths and weaknesses and hungry to close out the season strongly. What also makes the game appealing is the Giants will be coming off their bye week when most fans are yearning to get back into the mix following a two-week hiatus.