The New York Giants' 2018 schedule has been released. Here's a breakdown of all 16 games:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Three marquee home games – the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars (whose football operations are led by Tom Coughlin), a Thursday night meeting with the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, and the season finale vs. Dallas – plus Monday night games at Atlanta and San Francisco, highlight the Giants' 2018 regular-season schedule, which was released today.
"We knew who our opponents would be, and that we would play seven games against teams that were in the playoffs last year, including two against the Super Bowl champions (Philadelphia), so we knew it is going to be a challenging schedule," said Pat Shurmur, who is preparing for his first season as the team's head coach. "I don't see anything remarkable about the schedule, but it is very challenging."
The Giants will begin their season on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. in MetLife Stadium against the Jaguars, the defending AFC South champions. It will be the Giants' first home opener since 2012, when they hosted Dallas. They last opened the season against someone other than the Cowboys in 2014, when they were in Detroit.
"We look forward to opening the season against Jacksonville, which was an AFC finalist last season," Shurmur said.
The Giants will then do a Texas two-step, visiting the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans in consecutive weeks. They will be in Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8:20 p.m. and in Houston on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.
One of the most oft-asked questions by Giants fans has been whether they would play a fourth consecutive season opener in Dallas. They don't, but they will play there in Week 2 – so the Giants' first primetime game will mark the fourth consecutive season they will play their initial road game in AT&T Stadium.
The Giants do not have consecutive home games and the back-to-back trips to Texas are their only back-to-back road games.
"As a coach, you try to prepare the players to play in any arena at any time," Shurmur said, "and this will be a schedule that will challenge us that way. After we have the two early two road games, we alternate home and road games, which is unusual."
Giants.com looks at the quarterbacks expected to face the Giants in 2018.
On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Giants will host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at 4:25 p.m. They will return to the road the following week when they visit the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. This is the first of eight games currently scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. that could be flexed to either a late afternoon or night game.
The Giants will then play consecutive night games 11 days apart. On Thursday, Oct. 11, they will host the Eagles at 8:20 p.m. The Giants will next take the field on Monday night, Oct. 22, in Atlanta, their first visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
After a short week, the Giants will host the Washington Redskins on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.
The Giants' bye falls at the exact midpoint of the season, on Nov. 4, after eight games.
"The bye is in a good spot," Shurmur said. "We'll be able to play the first half of the season, and then have our bye as we get ready for the second-half push."
The Giants will then have an extra day before returning to action on their longest trip of the season when they face the 49ers in San Francisco on Monday night, Nov. 12.
The Giants then play five games that are currently scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. They host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 18, visit Philadelphia on Nov. 25, host the Chicago Bears on Dec. 2, travel to Washington for their final NFC East road game on Dec. 9, and welcome the Tennessee Titans to MetLife on Dec. 16.
In an unusual twist, neither the date nor the time for the Giants Week 16 game against the Colts have been finalized. It will be played on Saturday, Dec. 22 or Sunday, Dec. 23.
The Giants' regular season will conclude on Sunday, Dec. 30, at home against Dallas in a game now scheduled for 1 p.m.
"We only have to get on a plane once (to go to Indianapolis) after our trip to San Francisco," Shurmur said.
Giants.com looks at the opposing stadiums that the team will travel to during the 2018 season.
The NFL announced today that primetime games will start earlier than they have in the past:
Monday night games will start at 8:15 instead of 8:30, Sunday night games at 8:20 instead of 8:30, and Thursday night games at 8:20 instead of 8:25.
"Flexible scheduling" will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, 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. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.
Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 PM ET and 8:20 PM ET to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible match ups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.
For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 30. 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.
Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.
Some highlights from the 2018 schedule:
*The Giants this year will play the NFC South and the AFC South. In 2017, the NFC South had three playoff teams and the AFC South had two. The four teams in the NFC South were a combined 37-27 (.578), the best record among the league's eight divisions. New Orleans and Carolina had 11 victories apiece, and Atlanta had 10. The teams in the AFC South were 27-37 (.422), as both Houston and Indianapolis lost 12 games.
*The Giants will play seven games against 2017 playoff teams: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Tennessee at home, and the Eagles, Atlanta and Carolina on the road. Each of their first three home games is against a team that made the postseason last year.
*The Giants will play three teams with new head coaches: the Bears (Matt Nagy), Titans (Mike Vrabel) and the Colts (Frank Reich).
*The Giants will open the season against an AFC opponent for the first time since 2006, when they hosted Indianapolis in the first game in which Eli and Peyton Manning were the starting quarterbacks.
*The opener against the Jaguars will mark the return of Coughlin, who is now the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations. Coughlin was the Giants' head coach from 2004-15 and led the team to victory in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
*For the fifth time in six seasons, the Giants will play their initial road game in Dallas. They are 1-4 in the previous five games.
*The Giants will play consecutive games in Texas for the first time since 1985, when they beat the Oilers, 35-14, in Houston on Dec. 8, and lost, 28-21, in Dallas on Dec. 15.
*The game at Carolina will mark the return to Charlotte of Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who held the same position with the Panthers from 2013 until last July.
*The Giants will play in San Francisco on Nov. 12 for the second year in a row.
*The Giants will play their first Monday night game in San Francisco 18 days shy of exactly 20 years since their last such game. On Nov. 30, 1998, they lost to the 49ers in Candlestick Park, 31-7. They will play their first Monday night game in Atlanta since Oct. 15, 2007, a 31-10 triumph in the Georgia Dome.
*Three of the Giants' four currently-scheduled night games are on the road: at Dallas, Atlanta, and San Francisco. They host Philadelphia.
*The Giants are 24-38-1 on Monday night, including 15-28-1 on the road. Last year, they lost to Detroit, 24-10, at home on Sept. 18 in their only Monday night appearance.
*The Giants are 22-29-1 on Sunday night, including 11-17-1 on the road.
*The Giants are 15-9-3 on Thursday, including 3-3 since the NFL began mandating in 2012 that each team play a Thursday game every season.
*The dates and starting times of the Giants' four preseason games are set. They will host the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. The following week, they will face the Lions in Detroit on August 17th at 7 p.m.. The Giants will be the visiting team when they face the Jets on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. They will host the defending AFC champion New England Patriots on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
"I like the way the preseason lays out," Shurmur said. "Those are four teams where we can test ourselves and get better."
A closer look at the Giants' 2018 schedule:
Sunday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville's 2017 record: 10-6, AFC South first place
Series Record: Regular season: Tied, 3-3
This will be the first Giants-Jaguars game in which Tom Coughlin is not the head coach of one of the teams. Coughlin coached the expansion Jaguars from 1994-2002, and the Giants from 2014-15. He is currently Jacksonville's vice president of football operations. The teams' last meeting was not one the Giants remember fondly. On Nov. 30, 2014, they raced to a 21-3 halftime lead, but fell, 25-24, when Josh Scobee kicked a 43-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining in the game. It was the Giants' seventh consecutive loss. The Giants last hosted the Jaguars on Nov. 28, 2010, when two fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Eli Manning helped the Giants overcome a 17-6 halftime deficit to win, 24-20.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Dec. 30, 1 p.m.* FOX
Dallas' 2017 record: 9-7, NFC East second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 62-47-2; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
Last season, the Cowboys swept the Giants for the first time since they had back-to-back sweeps in 2013-14. The Giants scored only 13 points in the two games, their lowest total in a season series vs. Dallas since 1998, when they also scored 13 points. The teams opened the season on Sunday night, Sept. 10, in AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys defeated the Giants, 19-3, as Dak Prescott threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten, and Dan Bailey kicked four field goals. When the teams next met exactly three months later in MetLife, it was Steve Spagnuolo's first game as interim head coach. The teams were tied midway through the fourth quarter before Dallas scored 20 unanswered points for a 30-10 victory. One of the touchdowns was an 81-yard catch-and-run by running back Rod Smith, who also scored on a 15-yard run. The Giants have swept the season series 13 times, while Dallas has 21 series sweeps. The Giants are 20-35-1 in Dallas (5-4 in AT&T Stadium), while the Cowboys are 4-4 vs. the Giants in MetLife Stadium.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 1 p.m., FOX
Houston's 2017 record: 4-12, AFC South fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 3-1
The Giants won the three most recent meetings since losing to the expansion Texans in 2002. On Sept. 21, 2014, the Giants defeated the Texans, 30-17, as Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes and Rashad Jennings ran for a third. The Giants' most recent game in Houston was on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10) when Manning, No. 10, threw three touchdown passes (two to Hakeem Nicks, who had a career-high 12 receptions) in a 34-10 victory. Houston's lone victory in the series was a 16-14 decision on Nov. 24, 2002.
New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:25 p.m., CBS
New Orleans' 2017 record: 11-5, NFC South first place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 16-13
The Giants and Saints will meet for the first time since New Orleans' epic 52-49 triumph in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 1, 2015. The Giants overcame a 14-point deficit and took the lead with three consecutive fourth-quarter touchdowns, only to allow 10 points in the final 36 seconds, including Kai Forbath's game-winning 50-yard field goal as time expired. The teams last met in MetLife Stadium on Sept. 18, 2016, when Josh Brown kicked a 23-yard field goal on the game's final play to give the Giants a 16-13 triumph. The Giants also beat New Orleans here on Dec. 9, 2012 in the Saints only other visit to MetLife.
Bank of America Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1 p.m.* FOX
Carolina's 2017 record: 11-5, NFC South second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 5-4; Postseason: Giants trail, 1-0
For the first time since 2013, the Giants return to Charlotte, where they were on opposite sides of lopsided results in each of their last two visits. On Sept. 20, 2012, the Giants rolled to a 36-7 victory on a Thursday night. But 367 days later, they were routed in the same venue, 38-0. The Giants are 2-2 in road games vs. the Panthers. The teams last met on Dec. 20, 2015 in MetLife Stadium, where the Giants rallied from a 35-7 deficit to tie the score at 35-35 before losing when Graham Gano kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired. 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.
Thursday, Oct. 11, 8:20 p.m., FOX/NFLN
Lincoln Financial Field
Sunday, Nov. 25, 1 p.m.* FOX
Philadelphia's 2017 record: 13-3, NFC East first place, Super Bowl Champions
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 83-81-2; Postseason: Tied, 2-2
The Eagles swept the season series in 2017 for the third time in four years. On Sept. 24 in Philadelphia, rookie Jake Elliott kicked two field goals in the final 51 seconds, including a 61-yarder as time expired, to give the Eagles a 27-24 victory. It was the longest field goal ever kicked in a Giants game. Philly also took the rematch on Dec. 17 in MetLife Stadium 34-29, despite 434 passing yards by Manning. In the two games against the Eagles, Manning threw 104 passes, and completed 72 for 800 yards. All three figures are Giants records for a single season against one opponent. All three were also the high totals for any quarterback against any team in 2017. The Giants are 2-6 against the Eagles in MetLife (plus 0-1 in the postseason). They have lost their last four games in Lincoln Financial Field, where they are 6-9 in the regular season and 0-1 in postseason play.
Monday, Oct. 22, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Atlanta's 2017 record: 10-6, NFC South third place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 12-11; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants will play for the first time in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in 2017. They most recently faced the Falcons on Sept. 20, 2015, when the Giants led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter before Atlanta scored two touchdowns for a 24-20 triumph. Manning threw two touchdown passes, including a 67-yarder to Odell Beckham, Jr. The Giants most recently visited Atlanta on Dec. 16, 2012, when the Falcons rolled to a 34-0 victory. Overall, they are 8-4 in Atlanta. 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 teams' only postseason meeting was a 24-2 Giants triumph in an NFC Wild Card Game in MetLife on Jan. 8, 2012.
Sunday, Oct. 28, 1 p.m.* FOX
Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m.*
Washington's 2017 record: 7-9, NFC East third place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 99-67-4; Postseason: Tied, 1-1
In 2017, the Giants and Washington split their season series for the third year in a row, with each team winning at home. On Thanksgiving Night, Nov. 23, the Redskins scored 10 points in the final 3:31 and defeated the visitors, 20-10. In the season finale on Dec. 31, the Giants scored two touchdowns in the first 2:18 and held Washington scoreless in the second half to earn an 18-10 triumph. Orleans Darkwa rushed for a career-high 154 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown on the game's second play. The Giants have faced the Redskins 170 times in the regular season since their first game in 1932, making this their most frequently-contested rivalry. Their next victory will be the 100th in the series. The Giants are 6-2 vs. Washington in MetLife and 11-9-1 in FedEx Field. The Giants have swept the season series 32 times, most recently in 2014.
San Francisco 49ers
Monday, Nov. 12, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
San Francisco's 2017 record: 6-10, NFC West fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Tied, 16-16; Postseason: Tied, 4-4
The Giants will visit Levi's Stadium for the second year in a row. Last Nov. 12, a pair of rookies - quarterback C.J. Beathard and running back Matt Breida – ran for touchdowns less than six minutes apart in the fourth quarter to help lead San Francisco to a 31-21 victory. Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught 11 passes for a career-high 142 yards. The Giants have won six of their last eight nine games against the Niners 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 40 times combined in the regular season and postseason. Each team has 20 victories. In those 40 games, they are separated by only one point (Giants 816, 49ers 815).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.* FOX
Tampa Bay's 2016 record: 5-11, NFC South fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 13-7; Postseason: Giants lead, 1-0
The Giants and Buccaneers will meet for the second year in a row. Last Oct. 1 in Raymond James Stadium, Nick Folk kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bucs a 25-23 victory. That broke the Giants' five-game winning streak in the series, including one victory in the postseason. The teams last met in MetLife Stadium on Sept. 16, 2012, when the Giants scored 25 fourth-quarter points, including Andre Brown's game-winning two-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds remaining, to pull a 41-34 victory after trailing by 11 points in the third quarter. Eli Manning threw for a career-high 510 yards. That was the Buccaneers' only previous visit to face the Giants in MetLife. The Giants are 7-1 at home against the Buccaneers.
Sunday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m.* FOX
Chicago's 2017 record: 5-11, NFC North fourth place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 28-20-2; Postseason: Giants trail, 5-3
These teams first played each other in 1925, making this the Giants' oldest active series (the Giants' first-ever road victory was in Chicago on Dec. 13, 1925). The Giants won the most recent meeting on Nov. 20, 2016, when the Giants rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to win in MetLife, 22-16. Manning completed 21 of 36 passes for 227 yards and two scores without an interception in very windy conditions.
Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m.* CBS
Tennessee's 2017 record: 9-7, AFC South second place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants lead, 6-5
This has been a series of streaks. The Giants won their first five games against the franchise that played in Houston prior to 1997 and was known as the Oilers prior to 1999. Those games were played between 1973 and 1994. The Oilers/Titans won the next five games, including in 2002 in Giants Stadium and 2010 in their only previous game in MetLife Stadium, where the Giants were outscored in the second half, 19-0. The Giants broke that streak on Dec. 7, 2014, when they routed the Titans in Nashville, 36-7. Andre Williams rushed for 131 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr., and Josh Brown kicked five field goals.
Lucas Oil Stadium
Saturday, Dec. 22 or Sunday Dec. 23. Time and TV TBA
Indianapolis' 2017 record: 4-12, AFC South third place
Series Record: Regular season: Giants trail, 9-6; Postseason: Giants trail, 2-0
The Colts won the previous three games between the teams, in 2006, 2010, and 2014. The first of those games was played in Giants Stadium, the third in MetLife Stadium. In their last meeting, on Monday night, Nov. 3, 2014, Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes in the Colts' 40-24 victory. Indianapolis won the won the only previous meeting in Lucas Oil Stadium, 38-14, on Sept. 10, 2006. The Giants last won in the series on Dec. 22, 2002, when they defeated the Colts, 44-27, in Indianapolis.