The Pat Shurmur Era for the Giants will begin against former coach Tom Coughlin and the Jaguars on Sept. 9, the NFL announced Thursday night.
Coughlin, who led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles, is now an executive with the Jaguars and in his first year with the team last season helped lead them to a surprising run to the AFC Championship Game.
Shurmur’s Giants will open the season at MetLife Stadium for the first time since 2012. The Giants last opened the season against someone other than the Cowboys when they were in Detroit in 2014. But the Giants will see the Cowboys early in the season, a Week 2 clash on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 16.
The Jets will open the 2018 season on Monday Night Football against the Lions in Detroit. The Jets will play three of their first four games on the road, which includes a Thursday night game, Sept. 20, against the Browns in Cleveland. If the Browns (first and fourth picks) and Jets (third) both pick quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, their Week 3 matchup could be a battle of first-round selections.
In Week 2, the Jets host the Dolphins in their home opener at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 16.
The NFL season kicks off with the Falcons visiting the Super Bowl defending champion Eagles in a Thursday night game on Sept. 6. The Eagles beat Atlanta in Philly in last year’s divisional round. The Thanksgiving games are: Bears at Lions, Redskins at Cowboys and Falcons at Saints.
There will be some interesting matchups for the Jets during the season as they host the Vikings in Week 7 on Oct. 21. The Jets tried to acquire Kirk Cousins in free agency, but he rebuffed their requests for a visit and signed with the Vikings for a three-year $84 million deal. Former Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will take on his former team when the Packers visit the Jets in Week 16 on Dec. 23. Wilkerson was released in February, saving the team $11 million in salary cap space. Unlike last season when the Jets had just one prime-time game, the 2018 season has the Jets with two, both in September. And a Jets’ schedule wouldn’t be complete without a late season trip to Foxborough, Mass., to take on the Patriots. For the second consecutive year the Jets will finish the season at the Patriots and considering the expectations on the Jets this season, a playoff berth could be hanging in the balance in that contest.
The Giants’ schedule doesn’t have any consecutive home games and only a pair of back-to-back road trips to Dallas and Houston in Weeks 2 and 3. The Giants are scheduled for four prime-time games, two on Monday Night Football, one on Sunday night and the other Thursday night. The Eagles visit the Giants Oct. 11 (TNF) and host them Nov. 25 at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Giants’ defense will be tested as they face some of the best quarterbacks in the league in Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Jimmy Garoppolo and maybe Andrew Luck. Of course the Giants might face Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles of the Eagles or if he’s healthy, Carson Wentz.
“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,” Shurmur said. “So we knew it is going to be a challenging schedule.”