EAST RUTHERFORD - The first ever regular season game in the New Meadowlands Stadium, four prime time games and the second meeting between Eli and Peyton Manning highlight the Giants' 2010 regular season schedule, which was released today.
The Giants will play three of their first four and four of their first six games at home, but three of their last four on the road. For the second year in a row, they will open the season and home and play a Sunday night road game in Week 2.
"We have known the teams we were going to play, so we knew this would be a very challenging schedule and it is," Coach Tom 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."
The Giants will begin Coughlin's seventh season as head coach – and their new stadium - by hosting the Carolina Panthers, the same team that defeated the Giants in the Giants Stadium finale last December, on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m.
The following week, the Giants will play a prime time game in Indianapolis against Peyton Manning and the defending AFC champion Colts. It will be the teams' first meeting since the 2006 season opener, won by the Colts, 26-21.
The Giants will then return home for two games: Sept. 26 vs. Tennessee at 1 p.m. and Oct. 3 vs. Chicago at 8:20 p.m., the Giants' second Sunday night game in three weeks.
The remainder of October will see the Giants make two trips to Texas. They will visit the Houston Texans on Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. After a one o'clock home game vs. the Detroit Lions on Oct. 17, the Giants will visit Dallas on Oct. 25 in their only Monday night appearance and first NFC East game of the season.
"The uniqueness of the schedule is that we will play six games before we play a divisional opponent," Coughlin said.
The annual bye will be the final weekend of October. The Giants will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 7 at Seattle at 4:05.
"I think the bye is in a very good place, after our seventh place," 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."
The following week, they will face division rival Dallas for the second time in three games when they host the Cowboys at 4:15.
The Giants' third scheduled prime time game will be at Philadelphia on Sunday, Nov. 21. That is the first week of the NFL's flex scheduling, meaning the time of that and all remaining games are subject to change.
The second two-game homestand of the season will begin on Nov. 28, when the Giants host the Jacksonville Jaguars. A week later, the Washington Redskins will visit the New Meadowlands Stadium. Both games are now scheduled for 1 p.m.
On Dec. 12, the Giants will visit Minnesota for the third season in a row when they face the NFC finalist Vikings in the Metrodome.
The Giants will conclude their home schedule on Dec. 19 when the Eagles will visit East Rutherford. Then they head out on the road for the season's finale two games. On Dec. 26, they will be in Green Bay to face the Packers in a game scheduled for 4:15 p.m. The Giants will conclude the regular season at Washington on Jan. 2 at 1 p.m.
"The league dictated that there would be more divisional games at the end of the season and we can see that in our schedule, when we play Philadelphia and Washington in two out of the last three," Coughlin said.
Some highlights from the Giants' 2010 schedule:
*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 not play an NFC East team until their seventh game, when they visit Dallas on Oct. 25. That is the latest they've played their first division game since the 1970 merger, when they NFC East was formed.
*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 eight 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 two games in domed stadiums, at Indianapolis and Minnesota.
*The Giants will host Carolina for the third year in a row and visit Minnesota for the third consecutive season.
*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.
*The Giants' preseason schedule has also been finalized. They will face the Jets on Monday night, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. in the first-ever football game in the New Meadowlands Stadium. It is the Jets' turn to host the game, which will be televised by ESPN.
The Giants will then host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. Their only preseason game outside of East Rutherford will be against the Ravens in Baltimore on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. The Giants will conclude their preseason schedule at home against the New England Patriots on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
*The kickoff times for seven of the Giants' second-half games – including the night game at Philadelphia - will be subject to the NFL's flexible schedule policy.
The NFL will utilize flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17.
In those weeks, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday night on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.
A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the change may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling was designed to ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give "surprise" teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.
The five Giants games that could have their kickoff times changed are vs. Philadelphia on Nov. 21 (currently listed as an 8:20 start), vs. Jacksonville on Nov. 28 (1 p.m.), vs. Washington on Dec. 5 (1 p.m.), at Minnesota on Dec. 12 (1 p.m.), vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 19 (1 p.m.), at Green Bay on Dec. 26 (4:15 p.m. and at Washington on Jan. 2 (1 p.m.).
A closer look at the Giants' 2010 schedule:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 home: 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.
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.
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.
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday Nov. 28, *1 p.m., CBS
The series is tied, 2-2. Tom Coughlin has coached in each 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, 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.
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.
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
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.