Not too many Week 1 games can legitimately boast playoff implications. Things are different in the NFC East. Last season the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants met in the final week of the season, each with an 8-7 record, in a game that decided the division title. A month later, the Giants won the Super Bowl.
The 2012 regular season picks up right where the last one left off, with a Wednesday night kick off game between those two bitter division rivals. For the Giants, the game is the first stop on what figures to be a difficult defense of a championship, when hungry opponents line up for a shot at temporary notoriety.
The Giants are ready, says Eli Manning. In fact, the Giants quarterback says that opening the season against Dallas is a great way to start. He elaborated in a Tuesday morning appearance on the Pan Patrick Show:
"We know our potential. We saw the level of play we played towards the end of the season when we won six straight games and I think we've had the right mindset. We worked this offseason like we were 7-7. We got tons of room of improvement and we do. Each player has taken that same attitude and taken it into the offseason to get better. We'll have a great week of preparation getting ready for the Cowboys knowing we gotta play our best football if we expect to win. I like starting the season with a division rival. Setting that intensity and setting that mentality and getting it right from week one."
For more on the Giants' view of things, we checked in with Ed Valentine at Big Blue View, SB Nation's Giants blog.
Where do the Giants have the edge over the Cowboys?
Well, let's just say the Giants KNOW they can win close games and get the job done at crunch time. The Cowboys? Umm, well, one playoff win in 15 years answers that question.
Where do the Cowboys have the edge over the Giants?
I didn't get an answer to this one.
Which rookie will make the biggest impact?
Cowboys rookie corner Morris Claiborne is going to start and play the most snaps, so I would go with him.
What's different about this Giants team versus the one that won the Super Bowl?
Well, the big names who are gone are Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham. What I really think is different is that this team now understands each other and understands what it takes to get the job done. Much of last season they were searching for that identity and the winning formula.
What are the differences between Eli Manning an Tony Romo?
Let's just get right to the heart of it. Two Super Bowl rings. Period. Romo has the numbers, Eli has the rings. Which one is more important? The rings.
I have to think the Giants will open at home with a victory. Giants, 27-24.