On Tuesday, the NFL finally released the 2012 schedule for all 32 teams and it should be no surprise the New York Giants face a difficult task repeating as Super Bowl champions considering they have the toughest strength of schedule. While the Giants shouldn’t receive any sympathy for the opponents they were scheduled to face for the upcoming season, the league could have done a better job at scheduling for the team’s first four games of the season in September.
New York will kick off the 2012 season on Wednesday (switching from Thursday due to President Obama) September 5 against the Dallas Cowboys in which be another classic matchup between two of the biggest rivalries in the NFC East. From there, they will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday September 16 before traveling south to take on the Carolina Panthers on Thursday September 20. To top the month off, they head to the City of Brotherly Love for a Sunday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.
Tally that up–the Giants will be playing on a Wednesday night, Sunday afternoon, Thursday night, and a Sunday night during the month of September.
While their matchup against the Eagles in Week 4 shouldn’t be as much of a concern, the league is being completely unfair to the Giants for making them play such a goofy schedule over the first three weeks of the regular season. Hosting the first game has become a phenoninal tradition for all defending champions and it’s understandable as to why they switched the game from a Thursday to Wednesday in Week 1–but why would the NFL force Eli Manning and company to play in the middle of the week again two weeks later?
All of the teams in the NFL are used to playing once a week with the occasional adjustment to playing on a Monday night from time to time, but sometimes teams are at a disadvantage if they’re forced to change their routine from a game perspective. It’s not always easy to prepare a team to get ready to square off again on a Thursday after playing on a Thursday the previous week and vice versa.
There’s nothing wrong with the opponents setup for the regular season because as most football fans know–there’s a fair system to determine which teams play one another each season. However, someone should have stepped in and thrown the red flag on the Giants schedule for the first month of the season–because it’s flat-out ridiculous.
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