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Fact or Fiction: Biggest game of the year?


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

Giants vs. Jets will be the most-anticipated game on the schedule

Dan Salomone: Fact – Bragging rights between co-workers and classmates will be on the line. Aaron Rodgers might be finding his groove at that time in late October. The Jets return the defending offensive and defensive rookies of the year. For a 1 p.m. game, it will be a big stage.

Lance Medow: Fact – It would be easy to go with a divisional game such as the Eagles given the Giants lost to them in the playoffs following the 2022 season but you play each team in the NFC East twice every year. So if we eliminate those three teams from the mix, all signs point to the matchup against the Jets in Week 8. These teams only meet once every four years in the regular season, they share a stadium and there's a great deal of attention surrounding Robert Saleh's group considering the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers. On top of that, there's the bragging rights up for grabs between both fan bases, who share the New York market. What makes this contest even more attractive is the fact that it falls right in the middle of the season, which means we should have a good feel for both teams by then.

Matt Citak: Fiction – You can understand the hype surrounding the matchup against the Jets, but, there are two other games on the schedule that should generate more buzz leading up to kickoff. While choosing the season opener might seem like a bit of a cop out, there's just something about Giants vs. Cowboys in Week 1. Clearly the league agrees, as it is the seventh time in 12 years that the two teams will face off to start the season. However, it is only the second time during that span that the Giants will host the game, and adding to the intrigue is the Sunday night kickoff. The other game to circle is the Week 6 trip to Buffalo, where Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen will return to their old stomping grounds for the first time. The connections between the two franchises are quite evident, but it will be interesting to see Daboll and his former boss, Sean McDermott, try to out maneuver each other on the field. Daboll's offense vs. McDermott's defense should be quite the show.

View rare photos from the local rivalry between the Giants and Jets.

The toughest road game is at Philadelphia on Christmas Day

Dan Salomone: Fiction – If you think the Giants' numbers in Philadelphia are tough to look at, stop reading. It doesn't get much better for Thursday games, and the Giants will play at San Francisco on a short week after playing in Arizona four days earlier. The Giants lost their last seven games played on Thursday, including last Thanksgiving in Dallas. They most recently won a Thursday road game on Sept. 25, 2014, in Washington.

Lance Medow: Fact – The Giants have lost 10 in a row, including postseason, in Philadelphia and haven't recorded a win there since 2013. Based on those stats, the fact that it will be a Monday afternoon game on Christmas following a lengthy weekend – then throw in the depth and versatility of the Eagles – and you can't make a stronger case for another road contest.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants have lost 10 consecutive games at Lincoln Financial Field, which represents their longest streak in one stadium in franchise history. To make matters worse, last year the Eagles became the first team to beat the Giants three times in one season. The Christmas Day matchup is the first time the two teams will meet since Philadelphia's 38-7 playoff victory, and you better believe the Giants will have that loss fresh in their minds as they step onto the field. And despite it being Christmas, don't expect the Philly faithful to be on their best behavior. As history has shown, Eagles fans will not hesitate to take their feelings out on Santa Claus. While it might be the shortest road trip of the season, the contest in Philadelphia will likely be the toughest.

View photos of the New York Giants' official 2023 schedule.

If you had to pick one road trip this season, it would be to the Las Vegas

Dan Salomone: Fact – Have you seen their buffets?

Lance Medow: Fact – Let's remove the divisional games because those destinations are on the schedule every year. You have to go with an opponent the Giants don't play on consistent bases and Las Vegas absolutely applies. Aside from all the attractions Sin City provides, the Raiders home, Allegiant Stadium, opened in 2020 so it's fairly new and one most fans have yet to visit. Miami and New Orleans are also appealing but the Raiders game falls in Week 9 and in early November, the perfect midway point to the season.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Las Vegas would certainly be in the conversation, but if you had to pick just one road game to attend this season, you'd march down to New Orleans. Nola is a special city, and there isn't a place in the country that can quite mirror the allure of Bourbon Street. Then you factor in Derek Carr taking over as the Saints' starting quarterback and Michael Thomas' presumed return to action, and the New Orleans offense could be one to watch this year. Expect this to be a fun and exciting matchup.

The NFC East is the best division in the league entering 2023

Dan Salomone: Fact – The division, which is the only one to boast four teams with Super Bowl titles in their histories, made a remarkable turnaround in 2022. The NFC East produced three playoff teams and the conference champion while the last-place finisher (Washington) didn't have a losing record.

Lance Medow: Fiction – We'll avoid the fact sweep with this statement. The NFC East is in the conversation for one of the best divisions in the league after three teams made the playoffs in 2022 and Washington just missed. But don't put it atop the list and last year's success doesn't guarantee the same thing will happen across the board the following season. There's also a bit of unknown surrounding Sam Howell, who is in line to be the Commanders starting quarterback. Last year, the AFC West received this crown by many because of the caliber of the quarterbacks and to some degree, it proved true but the Broncos clearly didn't meet expectations. Expect Denver to bounce back this season, thanks to Sean Payton's arrival, so it's possible the strong projections were one year too early. The AFC East is also intriguing with the arrival of Aaron Rodgers in New York and the Patriots turning back to Bill O'Brien as their offensive coordinator. With all that being said, let's with the AFC North. The Steelers haven't had a losing record under Mike Tomlin since he took over as head coach in 2007 and Kenny Pickett showed some nice flashes as a rookie, the Browns will have Deshaun Watson for the entire year, the Ravens have a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken (who will showcase Lamar Jackson and Co. in different ways) and the Bengals have a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball. ou can also make an argument that this division may have the most balanced teams when you look at all three facets. The North is wide open.

Matt Citak: Fiction – This one was tough, but give the very slight edge to the AFC East. Although the Eagles are likely the most talented team across the two divisions, all four teams in the AFC East could be fighting for a spot in the postseason this year. The Bills, Jets, and Dolphins are expected to be three of the better teams in the AFC, and we know that Bill Belichick and the Patriots should never be overlooked. The Eagles, Cowboys and Giants are comparable to the top three teams in the AFC East, but the Commanders are not expected to contend for the playoffs this season. Washington drags down the rest of the NFC East a bit, which gives this title to the AFC East. Interesting side note - with the two divisions facing each other this year, the teams in the NFC and AFC East have the eight toughest strength of schedules (based on last year's records).

See where the New York Giants will play on the road during the 2023 season.



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