NFL New York Giants

NFL Schedule Release: The New York Giants’ 5 Biggest Games of 2014

NFL Schedule Release: The New York Giants' 5 Biggest Games of 2014

Victor Cruz New York Giants
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Schedule was released Wednesday night, and the Giants appear to have one of the easier roads to the playoffs. New York's 2014 opponents had a combined winning percentage of .465 last season, tied for the sixth lowest mark in the NFL. Still, the Giants will play several key games against tough opponents that will go a long way in determining if they make the postseason. Here is a look at the Giants' five biggest games of 2014.

5. Week 1 at Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

5. Week 1 at Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants will open their season on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions. New York has struggled in recent season openers, losing their last three. The Giants beat Detroit last season in Week 16, effectively knocking the Lions out of playoff contention. This season, New York will look to open with a statement win in a prime time game.

4. Week 10 at Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

4. Week 10 at Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants will face a difficult test in Week 10 when they go against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Last season, the Seahawks shut out the Giants 23-0 in a game in which Eli Manning threw five interceptions. Beating Seattle would not only help New York's win-loss record, but it would also give the team tremendous confidence entering the final weeks of the season.

3. Week 4 at Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

3. Week 4 at Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

New York will play an important divisional game at Washington in Week 4. With Giant-killer Desean Jackson now in the fold, Washington has yet another offensive weapon that will challenge Big Blue. The matchup will be an early test for the Giants' new look defense. If New York's defense can slow down Robert Griffin III and the rest of Washington's offensive playmakers, they will know that they can hold their own against any offense in the NFL.

2. Week 12 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2. Week 12 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

November will be a very difficult month for the Giants. They face the Colts, Seahawks, 49ers and Cowboys over four consecutive weeks. The final game of this stretch against Dallas projects to be crucial in the NFC East race. The Week 12 matchup will be played in prime time and will give the Giants a national audience to prove they are a true playoff contender.

1. Week 17 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Week 17 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants' playoff hopes could very well come down to their Week 17 meeting with the Eagles. The Eagles won the division in 2013 and are favored to repeat as NFC East champions this season. In order to win, the Giants will have to slow down one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL. New York's defense will be helped by a home crowd that will be fired up for a key game against one of their rivals.