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Cover 3: Takeaways from Giants' 2024 schedule


The crew breaks down the recent release of the 2024 NFL schedule:

John Schmeelk: Schedule release is always one of my favorite days of the year. The NFL season is like a living organism with shifting patterns and momentum that can be largely based on a team's opponents and where they are placed on the schedule. The NFL is a matchup league, which makes what teams and when they line up against each other extremely important. Selfishly, we also get to find out where we are traveling and what holidays with our families we have to miss.

There is a caveat to all this: injuries and the overall unpredictability of the NFL. We don't know what players will be on the field when the two teams actually meet. No one thought when the Giants faced the Jets in Week 8 last year that Aaron Rodgers wouldn't be on the field. Injuries are the ultimate equalizer in the NFL.

It is also impossible to predict which teams are going to be good each season. We know the Giants face playoff teams or teams that finished over .500 a total of 12 times in 2024, with two games against Washington, and one each against the Panthers, Vikings, and Falcons being the five falling out of that category. All of those teams, except the Panthers, could have a new quarterback this year, with the Carolina returning former first overall pick Bryce Young, who is surrounded by a brand new supporting cast.

We have no idea which of those teams will be good this year. When you catch those teams will also be critical. The Giants benefitted from playing the Eagles late last season after they stopped playing their best football early in the year. They were unfortunate to catch the Raiders in 2023 shortly after a coaching change that made them a more dangerous opponent. All of these things are unknowable at this early juncture. With all that said, here are my schedule takes:

* The Giants kick off their season against non-playoff teams from last year that could be starting rookie quarterbacks in the Vikings and Commanders. J.J. McCarthy will visit MetLife Stadium to start the season while Jayden Daniels and the Commanders host the Giants in Week 2. If they start, both players will be inexperienced, but the Giants will also have very little tape to prepare for either player in their NFL systems. It will be a fun chess match.

* The gauntlet of the Giants' schedules goes from Weeks 3 through 8. Five of their six opponents in those weeks made the playoffs last year except for the Seahawks, who won nine games and are difficult to beat on the road. The stretch features two other physical road games against the Browns and Steelers, and home games against the division rival Cowboys and Eagles. They also play the Bengals on "Sunday Night Football" at MetLife Stadium. It will be important to start the season fast before entering this stretch.

* Dan will cover the NFC East side of this, but the Giants play only one division game in their final five weeks of the season. The other games are either out of conference (home vs. Ravens and Colts) or intra-conference games (home vs. New Orleans, at Atlanta).

* The Giants play a Thursday night game against Dallas on September 26th, giving them a mini-bye after the short week. Then they have their bye in Week 11 after their Germany game against the Panthers. A couple weeks later, they play on Thanksgiving in Dallas, giving them another mini-bye before the final five-game stretch run of the season. It spreads out potential rest periods throughout the season quite nicely.

To commemorate their 100th season, the New York Giants today unveiled a "Century Red" uniform, which the team will wear for up to two games in 2024.

Dan Salomone: The Giants will look to go 4-0 in Europe when they play their first ever regular-season game in Germany, but this year – and every year – will boil down to what they do in their backyard. The tried-and-true path to the postseason is taking care of business in the division.

Unlike the past two years when they played nine of their 12 NFC East games in Week 10 or later, the Giants have just two division games after the bye: Thanksgiving at Dallas and Week 18 at Philadelphia. That's why starting fast is doubly important in 2024.

With that said, the NFC East is a wacky division. There has not been a repeat champion since the Eagles won four in a row from 2001 to 2004. It is now the Cowboys' turn to try to buck that trend after a 12-5 finish in 2023. Meanwhile, the other three teams will be more than happy to keep the streak alive.

The Giants are 27-44-1 in the NFC East since winning their last title in 2011. It's no coincidence they have only two postseason appearances in that stretch. They did make it in Brian Daboll's first year despite going 1-4-1, but they missed out after improving to 3-3 in the division last season. Again, it's a wacky division.

Some other schedule notes from NFL Research: Since 1990 (34 straight seasons), at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. Additionally, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 20 of the last 21 seasons. The Texans (AFC South) and Lions (NFC North) did so in 2023.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2024 active roster as it currently stands.


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