The Giants have known who they were playing in 2014 for a long time now, since the 2013 season ended in fact. But they just learned when they’ll be playing them, and some of those dates came as a surprise.
For instance, the Giants will not play a home game in the division until Week 12 when they host the Cowboys on Nov. 23. They open with a non-divisional game for the first time since 2010 and with a Monday Night game for the first time since 2001. And they 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.
“We’re on our fourth game before we do get a divisional game,” Tom Coughlin said. “I think that’s an interesting thing.”
A few years ago the Giants won a Super Bowl without winning a game in November. They have a pretty difficult stretch in that month this year too. It starts with a Monday Nighter against the Colts as home followed by a long trip on a short week to play the defending champion Seahawks in Seattle. They come home and host the 49ers the following week before facing the Cowboys in that Week 12 game. They close the month with a trip to Jacksonville, what will likely be Tom Coughlin’s final coaching appearance in the city where he began his NFL career as a head coach with the expansion Jaguars.
“It’s a difficult and challenging schedule, as we knew it would be,” 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.”
The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Washington (Jay Gruden), Houston (Bill O’Brien), Tennessee (Ken Whisenhunt) and Detroit (Jim Caldwell).
For the fourth straight year the Giants will close the season at home.
“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,” Coughlin said. “There are a lot of interesting factors that go into taking a look at this.”
One thing Coughlin did like was the bye in Week 8.
“The bye, again, is in a good spot for us,” Coughlin said.