The life of an NFC East team isn't easy and the New York Giants didn't make it an easier on themselves by finishing with a 9-7 record.
While the winning record wasn't enough to earn them a spot in the postseason, it was the second-best record in the division meaning the Giants will be playing the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers rather than the St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Perhaps not a huge difference, the battle for NFC East supremacy is always a close one and the Giants will need every win they can get to beat out the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles for the divisional crown. With the ninth-easiest schedule in the NFL and the second-easiest is the NFC East, the Giants could be set up for a solid regular season in 2013.
Here's a closer look at New York's 2013 schedule:
|1||Sept. 8||@ Dallas||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|2||Sept. 15||vs. Denver||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|3||Sept. 22||@ Carolina||1 p.m.||FOX|
|4||Sept. 29||@ Kansas City||1 p.m.||FOX|
|5||Oct. 6||vs. Philadelphia||1 p.m.||FOX|
|6||Oct. 10||@ Chicago||8:25 p.m.||NFLN|
|7||Oct 21||vs. Minnesota||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
|8||Oct. 27||@ Philadelphia||1 p.m.||FOX|
|10||Nov. 10||vs. Oakland||1 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 17||vs. Green Bay||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|12||Nov. 24||vs. Dallas||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|13||Dec. 1||@ Washington||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|14||Dec. 8||@ San Diego||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|15||Dec. 15||vs. Seattle||1 p.m.||FOX|
|16||Dec. 22||@ Detroit||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|17||Dec. 29||vs. Washington||1 p.m.||FOX|
Toughest out: Denver Broncos
The favorite to win Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos will be a tough out for every team, although the Giants will at least have the luxury of playing at home in Week 2. Still early in the season, the teams will presumably still be relatively healthy, but that would seem to favor a veteran Broncos unit that could be liable to break down later in the season.
Working in the Giants favor is the fact that the Broncos will be without dangerous pass rusher Von Miller. The two-time Pro Bowler will miss the first six games of the season due to a suspension, taking a large chunk out of the Denver pass rush.
Must win: Seattle Seahawks
If it were a road game, the Giants' Week 15 game against the Seahawks would be the toughest out by a wide margin. Working in their favor is a nearly 3,000-mile road trip for Seattle that is tough for any team to deal with and has been difficult for the Seahawks in the past. They are 2-6 all-time in road games against the Giants and 0-5 in their last five road games against the Jets.
A home victory late in the season against a team as solid as the Seahawks could be huge for the Giants as they both should be competing for a spot in the postseason.
Don't overlook: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles finished last year 4-12 and look to have a rebuild on their hands as former Oregon Ducks offensive guru, Chip Kelly, looks to implement his high-speed system.
While some will want to consider two games against this divisional opponent easy wins, that hasn't been the case, as of late. In fact, prior to a victory in December, the Giants had won just one of their last nine games against the Eagles. A perennially tough opponent, the Eagles won't be an easy out either time the two teams play in 2013.
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