EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Five prime time games, including two in MetLife Stadium, plus home games against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Jets, highlight the Giants' 2015 regular season schedule, which was announced today by the NFL.
The schedule includes two Sunday night games (the season opener in Dallas and a home game vs. San Francisco), two Monday night road games (at Philadelphia and at Miami) and a Thursday night home game vs. Washington.
The Giants, who finished 6-10 in 2014, will play three of their first five games at home and four of their first six games at night.
"This is a difficult schedule that includes many formidable opponents," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We will face a challenge every week, not only in who we play, but with the different elements of our schedule. In the first six weeks of the season, we play two Sunday night games, a Thursday night game and a Monday night game.
"We open the season in the NFC East at Dallas, which won the division last year. We're playing some teams that are growing with new coaches. The AFC East includes the Super Bowl champions, a Miami team that just missed the playoffs last year and two teams, the Jets and Bills, which have new coaches. We have an unusually late bye this season, which we will hopefully use to our advantage."
The Giants will begin Coughlin's 12th season as head coach on Sunday night, Sept. 13, against the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium. It is the third time in four seasons the Giants will open a season with a prime time game against their division rivals. They lost to the Cowboys in MetLife Stadium in 2012 and in Dallas the following season.
Following their game in Dallas, the Giants will play two games in MetLife Stadium. They will host the Atlanta Falcons in their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. Four days later, they will meet another NFC East foe when the Washington Redskins visit New Jersey for a Thursday night game beginning at 8:25.
The Giants will then play two consecutive night games: Sunday, Oct. 11 against the San Francisco 49ers in MetLife Stadium and Monday, Oct. 19 at division rival Philadelphia in Lincoln Financial Field.
The Giants and Cowboys will stage a rematch of their Kickoff Weekend game on Sunday, Oct. 25 in MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m.
The first two weekends of November will find the Giants on the road against the NFC South. On Nov. 1, they will face the Saints in New Orleans, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. One week later, the Giants will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4:05 p.m. game.
On Nov. 15, the Giants will host the defending champion Patriots in the teams' first regular-season meeting since the Giants defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI. That game is scheduled to begin at 4:25.
The Giants will have their bye on the weekend of Nov. 22.
The following week, they will be in Washington. That is one of five games among the Giants' final six that is currently scheduled to start at 1 p.m. but could be changed under the NFL's flex scheduling system.
The two teams that jointly own MetLife Stadium will square off on Dec. 6, when the Giants host the Jets. They last faced each other in the regular season on Dec. 24, 2011, when Victor Cruz turned a short Eli Manning pass into a 99-yard touchdown, the longest play in Giants history.
The Giants will play their second Monday night game on Dec. 14, when they visit the Miami Dolphins. It will be just their third visit to Miami and first since 1996.
On Dec. 20 the Giants will host the Carolina Panthers, who last season won the NFC South title.
The Giants' last road game of the season could be played in frigid conditions. They will visit the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 27. The Vikings will again play their home games this season in TCF Bank Stadium, an open-air facility on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Their new domed stadium is scheduled to open in 2016.
For the second season in a row, the Giants will end their season at home against Philadelphia.
Some highlights from the Giants' 2015 schedule:
- The Giants will play four games against 2014 playoff teams: Dallas, Carolina and defending Super Bowl champion New England at home and the Cowboys on the road.
- The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Atlanta (Dan Quinn), San Francisco (Jim Tomsula), Buffalo (Rex Ryan) and the Jets (Todd Bowles).
The Giants will host three opponents with whom they are tied in their all-time regular-season series: San Francisco (15-15), Atlanta (11-11) and Carolina (4-4).
- The Giants will play a Kickoff Weekend prime time game for the fourth consecutive season, including their third year in a row on the road. They lost at home to the Cowboys in 2012 and were defeated in Dallas and Detroit the previous two years. Including a 2011 loss in Washington, the Giants have dropped their last four season openers.
- The Giants will open their season against an NFC East opponent for the fourth time in five seasons.
- The Giants are 49-36-5 in both season opening games and road openers. They are 32-24-5 in season-opening road games. The Giants are 49-38-3 in home openers.
- For the second year in a row, the Giants will face Washington on a Thursday night. Last Sept. 25, they defeated the Redskins in FedEx Field, 45-14. This year, the teams play in MetLife Stadium exactly 52 weeks later, on Sept. 24.
- The Giants play consecutive home games just once (Sept. 20 and 24 vs Atlanta and Washington) and back-to-back road games just once (Nov. 1 and 8 at New Orleans and Tampa Bay).
- The Giants are 22-35-1 on Monday nights, including 15-26-1 on the road (where they play both of their Monday night games this season).
- They are 19-25-1 on Sunday nights, including 9-11 at home and 10-14-1 on the road.
- The Giants are 14-7-3 on Thursday, including 2-1 since the NFL began mandating in 2012 that every team play a Thursday game every season.
- The Giants are 7-20 in regular-season games against defending Super Bowl champions (though they are 3-0 in the postseason). Their most recent such loss was last season in Seattle. Their last victory over a defending champion was in Green Bay in the 2011 postseason. Their last regular-season victory over a reigning Super Bowl champion was on Dec. 13, 1998 vs. Denver.
- The last two seasons in which the Giants faced the AFC East – 2007 and 2011 – they won the Super Bowl.
- The Giants will end their regular season at home for the fifth consecutive season and for the third time in four years vs. the Eagles.
- "Flexible scheduling" will be used in Weeks 5-17. In Weeks 5-10, 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. 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.
Check out the Giants 2015 opponent's QBs in photos
The Giants also announced the dates and times for their four preseason games.
They will open against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Friday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. It is the teams' first preseason meeting since 1998 and fourth overall. The Giants won the previous three games, in Giants Stadium in 1992 and '98 and in Cincinnati in 1993.
The Giants will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The Jaguars lead the preseason series, 4-3.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Giants will host the Jets in the annual MetLife Bowl beginning at 7 p.m.. The teams will meet in the preseason for the 47th consecutive summer since the series began in 1969. The Giants won their 2014 meeting, 35-24. They trail in the preseason series, 24-21-1, with the tie coming in 1972.
The Giants will visit the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in their preseason finale on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. This will be the 11th consecutive year the two teams will close the preseason by facing one another. The Giants lead the preseason series, 15-9.
Sunday, Sept. 13, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 25, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Dallas' 2014 record: 12-4, NFC East first place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 61-42-2; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
For the second year in a row, Dallas won both games between the division rivals in 2014 and has taken five of the last six meetings. The Cowboys won, 31-21, on Oct. 19 in AT&T Stadium, where they outscored the Giants in the second half, 17-7. The teams were tied at halftime before Tony Romo threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Gavin Escobar (his second score of the game) and Demarco Murray scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes without an interception. In the rematch on Nov. 23 in MetLife Stadium, Manning again threw for three scores, including a one-yarder to Adrien Robinson that gave the Giants a 28-24 lead with 3:00 remaining. But Romo led Dallas on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 1:01 left in the game. The teams last split their season series in 2012 and the Giants' last sweep was in 2010. The Giants have swept the season series 12 times, while Dallas has 20 series sweeps. The Giants are 19-33-1 in Dallas (4-2 in AT&T Stadium), while the Cowboys are 4-1 vs. the Giants in MetLife Stadium.
Sunday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m., FOX
Atlanta's 2014 record: 6-10, NFC South third place
Series Record: Regular season: Tied, 11-11; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants will host the Falcons in MetLife Stadium for the second consecutive season. On Oct. 5, 2014, the Giants overcame a three-point halftime deficit to defeat the Falcons, 30-20. Rookies Andre Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. (who made his NFL debut) scored the Giants' second-half touchdowns. The teams' only postseason meeting was a 24-2 Giants triumph in an NFC Wild Card Game in MetLife on Jan. 8, 2012. From 1981-2007, the visiting team won 12 consecutive games in the series, the longest such streak in NFL history. That included seven Giants victories in Atlanta. The Giants are 3-7 in regular-season home games vs. the Falcons since the series began in 1966.
Thursday, Sept. 24, 8:25 p.m., CBS, NFL Network
Sunday, Nov. 29, 1 p.m., FOX
Washington's 2014 record: 4-12, NFC East fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 96-64-4; Postseason: Tied, 1-1
In 2014, the Giants swept their season series with Washington for the second year in a row. They won on Thursday night, Sept. 25 in FedEx Field, 45-14, and on Dec. 14 in MetLife Stadium, 24-13. In the first game, Eli Manning threw four touchdowns passes, all to tight ends (three to Larry Donnell and another to Daniel Fells) and ran for a score for the first time since 2011. Odell Beckham Jr. scored all three of the Giants' touchdowns in the rematch, on receptions of 10, 35 and six yards while setting a Giants wide receivers record with 12 catches. The Giants have faced the Redskins 164 times in the regular season since their first game in 1932, making this their most frequently-contested rivalry. The Giants are 4-1 vs. Washington in MetLife and 10-7-1 in FedEx Field. They have won five of their last six games vs. Washington and have swept the season series 32 times.
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 4, 1 p.m., FOX
Buffalo's 2014 record: 9-7, AFC East second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 6-5; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants return to Buffalo for the first time since Dec. 23, 2007, when they clinched a postseason berth with a 38-21 victory in a game played in wild weather conditions. The teams last met on Oct. 16, 2011, when Lawrence Tynes kicked a game-winning 23-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining. The Giants won the most significant game the teams played against each other, defeating the Bills, 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV in Tampa on Jan. 27, 1991. The Giants are 3-3 in Buffalo, including a 1987 strike replacement game.
San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, Oct. 11, 8:30 p.m., NBC
San Francisco's 2014 record: 8-8, NFC West third place
Series Record: Regular season: Tied, 15-15; Postseason: Tied, 4-4
The 49ers will visit MetLife Stadium for the second season in a row. On Nov. 16, 2014, the Giants couldn't score after earning a first down on the San Francisco four-yard line with 5:04 left and lost, 16-10. Michael Crabtree scored on a 48-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick and Phil Dawson kicked three field goals for the Niners. Larry Donnell scored the Giants' only touchdown on a 19-yard pass from Eli Manning. The Giants have won five of the last seven 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 38 times combined in the regular season and postseason. Each team has 19 victories. In those 38 games, they are separated by only eight points (Giants 765, 49ers 757).
These are the venues in which the Giants will play their 2015 regular season road games
Lincoln Financial Field
Monday, Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, Jan. 3, 1 p.m., FOX
Philadelphia's 2014 record: 10-6, NFC East second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 82-76-2; Postseason: Tied, 2-2
Philadelphia won both 2014 meetings between the teams, 27-0 in Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 12 and 34-26 in the season finale on Dec. 28 in MetLife Stadium. In the first game, Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes and LeSean McCoy rushed for 149 yards. Eli Manning threw for 429 yards in the rematch, but the Eagles scored on a blocked punt and Mark Sanchez tossed two touchdown passes. The longtime rivals split their series in 2011, '12 and '13, their longest such streak since they split in four consecutive seasons from 1952-55. In the last 30 years, the Eagles have 12 series sweeps, while the Giants have 11. 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, 2010 and 2014. The teams split their season series in 1990, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Giants are 6-6 in the regular season and 0-1 in postseason play in Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are 4-1 vs. the Giants in MetLife Stadium.
Week 7: vs. Dallas (see above)
New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m., FOX
New Orleans' 2014 record: 7-9, NFC South second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 15-12
The Giants will face the Saints for the first time since Dec. 9, 2012, when they stormed to a 52-27 victory in MetLife Stadium. But the Giants have not fared as well in New Orleans, where they have lost four in a row (1994, 2003, 2009 and 2011). They last won in the Superdome in 1993. In their most recent visit to Louisiana, the Giants fell to the Saints, 49-24, in a Monday night game on Nov. 28, 2011. The Giants are 3-7 in the Superdome since it opened in 1975.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium
Sunday, Nov. 8, 4:05 p.m. FOX
Tampa Bay's 2014 record: 2-14, NFC South fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 12-6; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants have a four-game winning streak in the series, including a 24-14 victory in a 2007 NFC Wild Card Game. They also won regular-season games vs. the Buccaneers in 2006, 2009 and 2012. This is their first meeting since Sept. 16, 2012, when the Giants rallied in the second half to defeat Tampa Bay, 41-34. Eli Manning threw for a career-high 510 yards in that game. The Giants last visited Tampa on Sept. 27, 2009, when they won, 24-0. It remains their most recent shutout. The Giants are 5-5 in regular-season games at Tampa Bay.
New England Patriots
Sunday, Nov. 15, 4:25 p.m., CBS
New England's 2014 Record: 12-4, AFC East first place, Super Bowl champions
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 5-4; Postseason: Giants lead, 2-0
The Giants and Patriots will meet for the first time in the regular season since the Giants defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17. That game was almost three months after the Giants beat the Patriots in a regular season game in Gillette Stadium, 24-20. The Giants scored late touchdowns to win each game: Ahmad Bradshaw's six-yard run with 57 seconds remaining in the Super Bowl and Jake Ballard's one-yard reception with 15 seconds left in the regular season. The Giants last hosted the Patriots in 2007, when New England won, 38-35, in the finale to conclude a 16-0 regular season. But five weeks later, the Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, 17-14. In the teams' nine regular season games, the Giants have scored 167 points, the Patriots 162.
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: at Washington (see above)
New York Jets
Sunday, Dec. 6, 1 p.m., CBS
Jets' 2014 Record: 4-12, AFC East fourth place
Series Record: Giants lead, 8-4
The Giants will host the Jets for the first time in a regular-season game in the stadium the two teams co-own. Their last meeting was a turning point in the Giants' most recent championship season. On Dec. 24, 2011, Eli Manning and Victor Cruz hooked up for a franchise-record 99-yard touchdown pass, and the Giants went on to win, 29-14. The Giants won the last five regular season games vs. the Jets, in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. Their last loss in the series was in 1993. The Giants are 3-3 as the home team in regular season games vs. the Jets. The teams have met in the preseason every summer since 1969.
Sun Life Stadium
Monday, Dec. 14, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Miami's 2014 Record: 8-8, AFC East third place
Series Record: Giants lead, 5-2
The Giants will visit Miami for the first time since 1996 and only the third time overall. When they were last visitors against Miami in 2007, the game was played in London's Wembley Stadium in the first NFL regular season game in history played outside of North America. A 1987 Giants-Dolphins game that would have been played in South Florida was canceled by the players strike. The Giants will face the Dolphins for only the eighth time, their fewest games against any opponent in existence at the 1970 merger. This will be their first meeting since Oct. 30, 2011, when the Giants scored 10 unanswered fourth-quarter points to defeat Miami, 20-17. The Giants are 2-0 in Miami, winning in 1993 and 1996.
Sunday, Dec. 20, 1 p.m., FOX
Carolina's 2014 record: 7-8-1, NFC South first place
Series Record: Regular season: Tied, 4-4; Postseason: Giants trail, 1-0
The Giants will host the Panthers for the first time since the opening regular season game in MetLife Stadium, on Sept. 12, 2010 (won by the Giants, 31-18). The teams last met on Sept. 22, 2013 in Charlotte, where the Panthers won, 38-0. A year earlier, the Giants routed Carolina, 36-7, in a Thursday night game in Bank of America Stadium. The Giants' most important victory in the series was a 34-28 overtime triumph in Giants Stadium on Dec. 21, 2008, when the Giants clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. In that game, the Giants rushed for 301 yards, the fifth-highest total in franchise history.
TCF Bank Stadium
Sunday, Dec, 27, 1 p.m., FOX
Minnesota's 2014 record: 7-9, NFC North third place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 13-10; Postseason: Giants lead, 2-1
The Giants will play outdoors in Minnesota for the first time since 1976 as the Vikings will play their home games again this season on the University of Minnesota campus. Their new stadium is being built on the site where the Metrodome stood from 1982-2013. The teams last faced each other on Oct. 21, 2013, when the Giants ended a six-game, season-opening losing streak with a 23-7 Monday night victory. The Giants' most recent road game vs. the Vikings wasn't played in Minnesota; it was moved to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed during a snowstorm. On Dec. 13, 2010, the Giants won, 21-3, in a game that was played on a Monday night in Ford Field. That victory ended the Giants' four-game losing streak in the series. The Giants' last outdoor game in Minnesota was a 24-7 loss in Metropolitan Stadium on Oct. 17, 1976 – one week after Giants Stadium opened.
Week 17: vs. Philadelphia (see above)