Playing three opponents with new head coaches in the first five games of the season is an advantage.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -While there might be an advantage that these teams haven't completely adjusted to their new systems on offense and defense, there is also a drawback a lot of people don't think about. Lack of game tape. NFL coaches spend serious hours in front of game video to prepare for opponents, but in games like these, that can be impossible. No one knows what Rex Ryan's defense (or offense) is going to look like in Buffalo.
How is Dan Quinn going to revamp what the Falcons do on both sides? Jim Tomsula has been on the 49ers staff, but he will no doubt put his own twist on things as well. The Giants could very well be surprised by a lot in those three games through no fault of their own. Or, as Dan points out, those teams might still be figuring things out. It could be an advantage or it might not be, depending on the team, but I'll go fiction just to be different.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -In the NFL, you'll take any advantage you can get. More than the reason solely being that it is a new head coach, there's a bigger picture. There's a reason why the organization made a change. The teams haven't produced and need to get better. But, as we know, no team will be taken lightly, nor should they.
The Giants' biggest afternoon game is against the Patriots.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -Whenever the Giants play the Patriots, who also happen to be the defending Super Bowl
Champions, it is a huge game. Despite some losses on defense (Darrelle Revis), Tom Brady are still both there to make the Pats Super Bowl contenders once again. The Cowboys at home on October 25th and the Eagles at home on January 3rd are the only competition from an importance perspective. The Jets game will have juice as well due to the local rivalry.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -The Patriots pulled even with the Giants in February by winning their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. But even without New England being the defending champion, this will always be a hyped game. From the classic Super Bowl meetings to the distinguished head coaches who spent time coming up through the ranks together, the two franchises will always be tied together. And that makes for great theater.
Giants-Jets is a bigger local rivalry than Yankees-Mets.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -There just doesn't seem to be as much cross-competition between the two football teams. They only meet once every four years in the regular season, while the baseball teams play every year. The Mets and Yankees have also met in the World Series before, something the Jets and Giants have never done. I'm going with the baseball teams on this one.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -I think the fact that they don't meet often makes it more compelling. Add in that they share the same stadium, and now you have something. The winner gets bragging rights for four years. Look at what the last meeting meant for the Giants in 2011. Look at how often it is brought up and Jets fans have to hear about it. Meanwhile, interleague play as a whole has been watered down to some extent in baseball.
A late bye week is better than an early one in the schedule.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -I would prefer a bye week between eight and ten, but eleven is certainly better than having one in Week 5 or 6. By November NFL teams are all banged up, exhausted and desperate for a respite to heal their bodies. To get that in week 11 near Thanksgiving could be beneficial to a late season postseason push.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -The ideal scenario is right in the middle, which the Giants have experienced the last two years with it coming in Weeks 8 and 9. In 2015, it comes in Week 11, and I think players and coaches will agree that it's better than, say, Week 5. You'd rather face the grind to start the season as opposed to enduring a long stretch to close it.
Photos of former Giants players that the Giants will face in 2015