EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Five prime time games, including the first Monday night opener in 13 years, and an early November visit to Seattle to face the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks highlight the Giants' 2014 regular-season schedule, released today.
The schedule includes two Monday night games (the season opener in Detroit and a home game vs. Indianapolis) and prime time games against each of the Giants' NFC East opponents (a Thursday night game at Washington and Sunday night contests at Philadelphia and at home vs. Dallas).
The Giants, who finished 7-9 in 2013, will play three of their first five games at home and three of their final five games on the road.
"It's a difficult and challenging schedule, as we knew it would be," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We play a lot of very good teams. We're playing some teams that we haven't played for a while that feature some key, key ingredients, some teams that are building and growing and teams with new coaches, guys I have a lot of respect for.
"We do have any number of outstanding games in a row, because in addition to the NFC East, (we face) the NFC West and the AFC South. The NFC West is a very strong division and certainly continues to be strong. Seattle won the Super Bowl, San Francisco played in the NFC Championship Game, you look at the improvement in the Arizona team and the way they played, particularly toward the end of the year. And the way in which the St. Louis defensive team has played, their quarterback (Sam Bradford) being injured but coming back. That's a very tough challenge and that's to say nothing about the fact that we really haven't been in that AFC South for a while. We played Atlanta a couple years ago. They've made drastic changes with their team. You saw Jacksonville improve. Houston has a new coach and with (Bill) O'Brien there and the first pick of the draft…so there are a lot of interesting factors that go into taking a look at this."
The Giants will open their season Monday night, Sept. 8, at Detroit against the Lions at 7:10 p.m.
- Giants to face former teammates in 2014 "We're not opening in the division, which is kind of a rarity," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We know how talented Detroit is."
The opener will be the Giants' second consecutive road game in Detroit; they defeated the Lions, 23-20, in overtime in Ford Field last Dec. 22. But whatever advantage they might have gained from their familiarity Detroit is likely mitigated because the Lions have a new head coach in Jim Caldwell.
The game will be the Giants' first Monday night season opener since Sept. 10, 2001, when they lost at Denver, 31-20.
After their trip to Detroit, the Giants will come home for a pair of 1 o'clock games against Arizona and Houston.
On Thursday night, Sept. 25, the Giants will play their first NFC East game, against the Redskins in Washington. It is the third consecutive season the Giants will play a night game in FedEx Field. They won a Sunday night game there, 24-17, last Dec. 1.
"We're on our fourth game before we do get a divisional game. I think that's an interesting thing," Coughlin said.
The Giants will return home on Sunday, Oct. 5 to face the Atlanta Falcons in MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m.
After the Falcons visit, the Giants will play two more division road games, Sunday night, Oct. 12 at Philadelphia at 8:30 and Sunday, Oct. 19 at Dallas, a 4:25 kickoff.
The Giants will have their annual bye on Sunday, Oct. 26.
"The bye, again, is in a good spot for us," Coughlin said. .
We take a look at opposing playmakers on the Giants' 2014 schedule
They will return with perhaps their toughest stretch of the season. On Monday night, Nov. 3, the Giants will host quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m.
The Giants will then have a quick turnaround before taking their longest trip of the season. The following Sunday, Nov. 9, they will be in Seattle to face the champion Seahawks at 4:25. A week later, they will host the San Francisco 49ers, the team Seattle beat in the NFC Championship Game, at 1 p.m.
On Nov. 23, the Giants will host the rematch with Dallas in their final scheduled prime time game at 8:30.
The Giants then head back out on the road, with a game in Jacksonville on Nov. 30 and in Tennessee on Dec. 7.
A week later, the Giants will return home to face Washington at 1 p.m. On Dec. 21, they will play their final road game of the season in St. Louis at 4:05. The Giants will end their season at home against Philadelphia on Dec. 28.
Some highlights from the Giants' 2014 schedule:
- The Giants will play five games against 2013 playoff teams: Philadelphia, San Francisco and Indianapolis at home and the Eagles and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle on the road.
- The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Washington (Jay Gruden), Houston (Bill O'Brien), Tennessee (Ken Whisenhunt) and Detroit (Jim Caldwell).
- The Giants this season play the NFC West and AFC South, the divisions that had the best and worst combined records, respectively, in the NFL in 2013. The four teams in the NFC West were 42-22 (.656), five games better than the next best division, the AFC West (37-27, .578). The NFC West was the only division with three clubs reaching double-digit victory totals (Seattle 13-3, San Francisco 12-4 and Arizona 10-6), and the lone division that featured four teams with winning records at home (7-9 St. Louis was 5-3 in the Edward Jones Dome).
The AFC South (Indianapolis, Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee) were a combined 24-40 (.375).
- The Giants will start the season with a prime time game for the third season in a row. They lost to Dallas at home in 2012 and on the road last year.
- The Giants will open their season against an opponent outside the NFC East for the first time since 2010, when they defeated Carolina in the first regular-season game in MetLife Stadium.
- The Giants will open their season both in Detroit and against the Lions for the first time since Sept. 17, 1972, a 30-16 loss.
- They will open the season on a Monday night for the first time since a 31-20 loss in Denver on Sept. 10, 2001.
- The Giants are 23-33-1 on Monday night, including 8-8 at home and 15-25-1 on the road. They won their only Monday night game in 2013, defeating Minnesota, 23-7, on Oct. 21.
- The Giants are 19-23-1 on Sunday night, including 9-11 at home and 10-12-1 on the road. Last season, they lost at Dallas and won at Washington on Sunday night.
- The Giants will play all three of their NFC East road games – at Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas – in a four-week span from Sept. 25 to Oct. 19.
- The Giants' final three home games are against NFC East foes Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia.
- When the Giants last visited Jacksonville and Tennessee in 2006, they did so on consecutive weeks on Nov. 20 and 26. Eight years later, they will again travel to the same cities in the same order on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5.
- The Giants will end their regular season at home for the fourth consecutive season and for the second time in three years vs. the Eagles.
- The Giants will open their five-game preseason schedule on Sunday night, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio's Fawcett Stadium.
The remainder of the preseason schedule has been finalized. They will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 7:30. The following week, Saturday, Aug. 16, they will face the Colts in Indianapolis at 7 p.m.
The Giants will be the visiting team when they face the Jets in their annual preseason meeting on Friday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. They will conclude the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 28, at home vs. New England at 7:30.
The Giants were 1-3 in the preseason in 2012, beating Pittsburgh in their opener before losing to Indianapolis, the Jets and the Patriots. They are 19-21 in the preseason in Coughlin's 10 years as head coach.
- Flex scheduling will commence earlier than it has in the past, with modifications.
For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.
Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being "cross-flexed," moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.
"Flexible scheduling" will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would 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 would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives "surprise" teams a chance to play their way into primetime.
Giants.com looks at the opposing stadiums Big Blue will be playing in over the 2014 season.
Monday, Sept. 8, 7:10 p.m., ESPN
Detroit's 2013 record: 7-9, NFC North third place
Series Record: Regular season-Tied, 20-20-1; Postseason-Giants trail, 1-0
The Giants will both play the Lions and visit Detroit in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996-97 and attempt to stretch their winning streaks to four games in the series and six in Detroit. The teams met in Ford Field last Dec. 22, when Josh Brown's 45-yard field goal in overtime gave the Giants a 23-20 victory. The Giants also won in Detroit in 1988, 96, 97 and 2007. They last lost there in 1983. Although they've played the Lions there twice, the Giants are 3-0 in Ford Field. They defeated the Minnesota Vikings there, 21-3, on Dec. 13, 2010 in a game that was moved to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed in a snowstorm.
Sunday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m., FOX
Arizona's 2013 record: 10-6, NFC West third place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 80-42-2
The Cardinals will face the Giants for the first time in MetLife Stadium. The teams last met on Oct. 2, 2011, when the Giants earned a 31-27 victory in University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of their victory in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants last hosted Arizona on Oct. 25, 2009 in Giants Stadium, where the Cardinals won, 24-17. They are 3-2 vs. Arizona since Tom Coughlin's arrival in 2004. From 1970-2002, the Giants and Cardinals were both members of the NFC East.
Sunday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m., CBS
Houston's 2013 record: 2-14, AFC South fourth place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 2-1
The Giants won the two most recent meetings since losing to the expansion Texans in 2002. On Oct. 10, 2010, Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes (two to Hakeem Nicks, who had a career-high 12 receptions) in a 34-10 victory in Reliant Stadium. The teams' only previous meeting in New Jersey was on Nov. 5, 2006, when the Giants won, 14-10, in Giants Stadium. Houston's lone victory in the series was a 16-14 decision on Nov. 24, 2002.
Thursday, Sept. 25, 8:25 p.m., CBS/NFL Network
Sunday, Dec. 14, 1 p.m., FOX
Washington's 2013 record: 3-13, NFC East third place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 94-64-4; Postseason-Tied, 1-1
In 2013, the Giants swept their season series with Washington for the first time since 2010, winning in FedEx Field, 24-17, on Dec. 1 and in MetLife Stadium, 20-6, in the season finale on Dec. 29. In the first game, they overcame a 14-0 deficit as Andre Brown ran for two touchdowns, Eli Manning threw a scoring pass to Brandon Myers and Josh Brown kicked a field goal. In the rematch, Jerrel Jernigan scored on a 24-yard reception and a 49-yard run and Josh Brown kicked two field goals. The Giants have faced the Redskins 162 times in the regular season since their first game in 1932, making this their most frequently-contested rivalry. The Giants are 3-1 vs. Washington in MetLife and 9-7-1 in FedEx Field. The Giants have swept the season series with Washington 31 times.
Sunday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m., FOX
Atlanta's 2013 record: 4-12, NFC South third place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants trail, 11-10; Postseason-Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants will host the Falcons in MetLife Stadium for the first time in a regular-season game, but the second time overall; the teams met there in an NFC Wild Card Game on Jan. 8, 2012, won by the Giants, 24-2. They last met in the regular season in New Jersey on Nov. 22, 2009, when the Giants won in overtime, 34-31, in Giants Stadium. Prior to that Giants' triumph, the visiting team had won the previous 12 games in the series dating back to 1981, the longest such streak in NFL history. That included seven Giants victories in Atlanta, a streak broken in the teams' most recent meeting on Dec. 16, 2012 in the Georgia Dome, 34-0. The Giants are 2-7 in regular-season home games vs. the Falcons since the series began in 1966.
Lincoln Financial Field
Sunday, Oct. 12, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Dec. 28, 1 p.m., FOX
Philadelphia's 2013 record: 10-6, NFC East first place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 82-74-2; Postseason-Tied, 2-2
The longtime rivals split their two games in 2013, with each team winning as visitors. The Eagles prevailed on Oct. 6, in MetLife Stadium, 36-21, as Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes and Alex Henery kicked five field goals. Three weeks later, five Josh Brown field goals and a strong defensive performance enabled the Giants to leave Lincoln Financial Field with a 15-7 triumph. The teams also split their series in 2011 and 2012; this is the first time the Giants and Eagles have split their two games in at least three consecutive seasons since it happened four years in a row from 1952-55. Each team swept the season series 11 times in the last 29 years. The Giants won each game in 1985, 86, 87, 93, 94, 97-2000, 2005 and 2007. Philadelphia swept the series in 1988, 89, 91, 92, 95, 96, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010. The teams split their season series in 1990, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Giants are 6-5 in the regular season and 0-1 in postseason play in Lincoln Financial Field and 1-3 in MetLife Stadium vs. Philadelphia.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Sunday, Nov. 23, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Dallas' 2013 record: 8-8, NFC East second place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants trail, 59-42-2; Postseason-Giants lead, 1-0
Dallas won both games between the division rivals in 2013, the first time they swept the season series since 2007. The Cowboys were victorious on opening night in AT&T Stadium, 36-31, by taking advantage of six Giants turnovers. Eli Manning threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. In the rematch on Nov. 24 in MetLife Stadium, Dan Bailey kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired to give Dallas a 24-21 victory. In 2012, the Giants and Cowboys split their series, with each team winning on the road. The Giants swept the series in 2011, when their victory on the final night of the regular season clinched the NFC East title. The Giants have swept the season series 12 times, while Dallas has 19 series sweeps. The Giants are 19-32-1 in Dallas (4-1 in AT&T Stadium), while the Cowboys are 3-1 in MetLife Stadium.
Week 8 – BYE
Monday, Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Indianapolis' 2013 record: 11-5, AFC South first place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants trail, 8-6; Postseason-Giants trail, 2-0
The Colts won the previous two games between the teams, which featured Eli and Peyton Manning facing each other as the starting quarterbacks – the first two games in NFL history in which brothers were the opposing starters at quarterback. Indianapolis won on Sept. 10, 2006 in Giants Stadium, 26-21, and on Sept. 19, 2010 in Lucas Oil Stadium, 38-14. The Giants last won in the series on Dec. 22, 2002, when they defeated the Colts, 44-27, in Indianapolis.
Sunday, Nov. 9, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Seattle's 2013 record: 13-1, NFC West and Super Bowl champions
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 9-7
The Giants and Seahawks will meet for the second consecutive season and for the fourth time in five years. Seattle won each of the last two meetings, both in MetLife Stadium: 23-0 last Dec. 15 and 36-25 on Oct. 9, 2011. The Giants enjoyed lopsided victories in the two previous meetings: 41-7 in Seattle on Nov. 7, 2010 and 44-6 in Giants Stadium on Oct. 5, 2008. They are 3-4 in Seattle, including 1-2 in CenturyLink Field. The Giants are 7-19 vs. defending Super Bowl champions.
San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m., FOX
San Francisco's 2013 record: 12-4, NFC West second place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 15-14; Postseason-Series tied, 4-4
The Giants and 49ers will resume their storied rivalry in MetLife Stadium for the first time. The teams last met on Oct. 14, 2012, a 26-3 Giants victory in Candlestick Park. The Giants have won five of the last six meetings since 2005, including a 20-17 overtime victory in the 2011 NFC Championship Game. Prior to that, the 49ers had won the previous five meetings, including postseason triumphs in 1993 and 2002. How close is this series? The teams have met 37 times in the regular season and postseason. The Giants have 19 victories, San Francisco has 18. In those 37 games, they are separated by only 14 points (Giants 755, 49ers 741), an average of just 2.6 a game.
Sunday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m.
Jacksonville's 2013 record: 4-12, AFC South third place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants lead, 3-2
Tom Coughlin has been a head coach in every one of the five meetings, the first three on the Jaguars' sideline and the last two with the Giants. This will be his second game in Jacksonville since leaving the Jaguars; Coughlin coached the expansion team from 1994-2002. His first homecoming ended with a 26-10 loss in a Monday night game on Nov. 20, 2006. But the Giants won the most recent meeting, 24-20, in MetLife Stadium on Nov. 28, 2010, when two fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Eli Manning helped the Giants overcome a 17-6 halftime deficit.
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m.
Tennessee's 2013 record: 7-9, AFC South second place
Series Record: Regular season-Tied, 5-5
The series is tied, 5-5, 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 five games against the Oilers/Titans and have not won in the series since a 13-10 Monday night triumph in the Astrodome on Nov. 21, 1994. The Giants have since 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), in Giants Stadium (32-29 in overtime on Dec. 1, 2002) and in MetLife Stadium (29-10 on Sept. 26, 2010). In the most recent meeting, Eli Manning threw for 386 yards and the score was tied at halftime, 10-10, before Tennessee outscored the Giants in the second half, 19-0.
St. Louis Rams
Edward Jones Dome
Sunday, Dec. 21, 4:05 p.m., FOX
St. Louis' 2013 record: 7-9, NFC West fourth place
Series Record: Regular season-Giants trail, 25-14; Postseason-Tied, 1-1
The Giants won the last five meetings between the teams, in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2011, a streak that immediately followed five consecutive St. Louis victories in the series. The teams last met on Sept. 19, 2011, a 28-16 Giants victory on a Monday night in MetLife Stadium. They last faced each other in St. Louis on Sept. 14, 2008, when the Giants won, 41-13. Tom Coughlin and Rams coach Jeff Fisher have faced each other in 18 regular-season games, the second-highest number of meetings between two active coaches. Fisher leads the series, 11-7. Coughlin and Kansas City's Andy Reid have squared off 20 times in the regular season.