May 122021
 
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Blake Martinez, New York Giants (September 27, 2020)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 SCHEDULE RELEASED…
The New York Giants 2021 preseason opponents and regular-season schedule have been released:

Preseason (Reduced to three games):

  • TBD – vs. New York Jets
  • TBD – at Cleveland Browns
  • TBD – vs. New England Patriots

Regular Season (Expanded to 17 games):

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 – vs. Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 16 – at Washington Football Team, 8:20 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 – vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 – at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10 – at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.*
  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17 – vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 –vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 8: Monday, Nov. 1 – at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7 – vs. Los Vegas Raiders, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 11: BYE
  • Week 10: Monday, Nov. 22 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5 – at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12 – at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.*
  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19 – vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26 – at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 – at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 – vs. Washington Football Team, 1:00 p.m.*

* Subject to flexible scheduling.

While the preseason schedule has been reduced to three games, the regular-season schedule has been expanded to 17 games. The Giants will play eight home games and nine road games.

“Once you first see the schedule you get excited,” said Head Coach Joe Judge in the Giants’ press release. “It starts to become real in terms of not just knowing the opponents you’re going to play, but when you’re going to play them. You start thinking about the opener, you start looking at your division games, you start mapping out the west coach trip and the longer trips on the road. You start thinking about the best way of setting up the team travel. You start looking at some of the short weeks coming off Monday night games and how you’re going to map out your practice that week.

“The first thing you look at in terms of road games, how they all lay out – the distance of the trips, are they back-to-back, the short weeks associated with it. Then you want to look and see the division opponents, when we play them. This year it’s really pushed more toward the back end for us.

“You start looking for all the little details. Number one, obviously the first game, are you home or are you away. Where’s the second game? That west coast trip against the Chargers, is that after a home game or is it a back-to-back away game, as it ended up being for us. You start mapping out the best way to do it for your team.

“We look at similarities in the schedule, we look at opponents with common systems, we look for things like back-to-back road games and back-to-back home games, short week turnarounds and things of that nature. We try to find as many times that we have an opportunity to tell the players, ‘This is really the same as we’ve already done.’ And show them it’s a pattern of how the week’s going to go and how we’re going to prepare.

“It’s obviously a challenge playing Kansas City or Tampa. They’re obviously two outstanding teams, well coached, very, very talented. We knew we were going to play those teams on the road. In terms of Monday night, I really don’t think that makes the biggest difference – although it will be a great atmosphere playing in both places. But we’re excited to get going and prepare for all those teams.

“For the league, I always think that’s a great thing to end the season with division games. It keeps a lot of parity in what you’re doing, and it keeps a lot of competition down the stretch. I do like the way the league structures that, so you play a significant amount of your division games toward the end of the season. I think that’s something that’s very good for the competition and the parity of the league.”

The Giants open at home against the Denver Broncos. “Denver is a good team and obviously they’re coached well,” said Judge. “They have some great systems in place. It’s definitely going to be a great challenge for us opening up against Denver. These are experienced coaches who will definitely have their team ready out of the gate. It’s going to take a lot for us to get ready. We’re going to have to have a good training camp and get ready for that opener.”

New York then plays on a short week, at Washington on a Thursday night. “It’s all how you manage those weeks,” Judge said. “You can argue sometimes that having (the Thursday night game) later in the season is more of an advantage, because your players are a little more fluid with the systems. Maybe coming off Week 1 to Week 2 that’s a little bit different. I think early in the season gives you more advantages as well. It evens itself out. It’s all based on how the teams handle it as you go into it.”

“The bye is in a good spot if you manage your team in the right way and give them an opportunity to rest up during the bye,” Judge said. “Also, work on some self-scout and make sure you take a jump coming out of the bye. Whether it’s an early bye or a late bye, it all comes down to how you manage your team throughout the season.”

The Giants play back-to-back road games on three occasions. “What it (playing consecutive road games) ends up doing is it gives you a little bit of a flow sometimes to how to get your team prepared,” Judge said. “The team gets a feel for how that week of recovery is a little bit different than it is with back-to-back home games.”

Judge will also have the benefit of a preseason for the first time as head coach. “It’s valuable experience for our guys to learn and develop,” he said. “And it really gives us the best chance to evaluate our team. There’s no better way to improve than going out there and competing in live game action. These are valuable experiences that we have to really, really understand and value based on what we missed last year as a league. I’m looking forward to getting the guys going and having a quote unquote normal preseason this year. That’s something we’re definitely looking forward to.”

NOTES…
*The Giants will play seven games against 2020 playoff teams: Washington (twice), Saints, Buccaneers, Chicago, Rams, and Chiefs.

*The Giants play both 2020 Super Bowl participants (Buccaneers and Chiefs) on Monday night on the road. The Giants are 25-43-1 on Monday night, including 16-30-1 on the road.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 5-18. Under flex scheduling, game times can be changed, and games currently scheduled to be played on Sunday afternoon can be moved to Sunday night on NBC. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games that are played on Thursday or Monday nights.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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