NYCSportsNation

NFL released the 2020 Schedule on May 7th.


The Giants will open the 2020 NFL season with a home game on Monday night, September 14th against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This will be the early game of the now traditional Monday night doubleheader, starting at 7:15pm.


NFC East: No Dallas on Opening Weekend, No Problem

This marks only the third time since 2012 that the Giants are not playing Dallas in the first game of the season.  It also is the first time in 25 years that the Giants open on a Monday night at home.

What is a surprise about the schedule is that the Giants will be playing five of the six NFC East games in a six-week period starting October 11th against the Cowboys in Dallas.  They then play the Redskins followed by the Eagles in the Giants only Thursday night game on October 22nd.  So, in the span of 11 days, the Giants face all three division rivals.

After a Monday night game hosting the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start November, the Giants again go back-to-back with the Redskins and Eagles.  Week 11 will be the bye week for the Giants in 2020.  So, with the exception of the second game against Dallas, the Giants will have basically determined their fate against the NFC East by November 15th.  The Giants host the Cowboys in the regular season’s final game at home on January 3, 2021.


The Giants Face the AFC North

There was much speculation on social media that the first four weeks of the schedule would be the four inter-conference games, this year playing the AFC North.

While the Giants do open against the AFC North Steelers, they won’t face the rest of that division until the last half of the season.  But fear not Giants fans.  The NFL is giving all Odell Beckham Jr. fans an early Christmas present with the Browns coming to MetLife Stadium to play the Giants on December 20th.

The Giants travel to Cincinnati on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend to play the 2020 #1 Draft pick, Joe Burrow, and the rest of the Bengals.  A tough game awaits the Giants in Baltimore versus the Ravens on December 27th.


The Giants Face the NFC West

The Giants also face arguably the NFC’s toughest division this year, the NFC West.  The Giants will host the Super Bowl runner up, the San Francisco 49ers in a 1:00pm game on September 27th.  Catching last year’s best team in the NFC at home in an early game is all the Giants could ask for as an advantage.

The following week (October 4th), the Giants take their first of two west coast trips to play the Los Angeles Rams in the Rams’ brand new state-of-the-art stadium.  Then after that heavy division schedule in October and November, the Giants head to Seattle for a December 6th game against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.  Arizona comes into MetLife the following weekend to close out play versus the NFC West.


Travel in 2020? Just Two West Coast games

In all, the Giants’ schedule has been rated the 7th easiest schedule by NFL writers.  There just doesn’t seem to be anything easy when the competition at this highest level.  Maybe the pundits were looking at the travel schedule.  The Giants travel out of the Eastern time zone just four times.

Only two of those games go beyond the Central time zone to the west coast.  Just 6 of the 16 games will start at times other than 1:00pm ET.

Joe Judge got as excited as he’s been so far once the schedule was released, “I’ll tell you what.  When you get the schedule, it definitely does give you a little surge of energy.”  He went on to say, “The number one positive is we’re getting ready to play football.  So, that’s the biggest thing.”


Roster Update: The Initial 90-man roster is Set…For Now

Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge stayed with the Giants’ predetermined draft position for the entire draft.  No trades.  The Giants made ten picks over the three-day draft.  Based on the assessment of nearly every draft pundit, the Giants had a very good draft.  Immediately following the draft, the Giants added 15 more undrafted free agents and signed two players off waivers, including former Dallas backup QB, Cooper Rush.

This will be an interesting preseason with five QBs on the current roster.  The roster “tweaking” will continue as other NFL teams adjust their rosters.


Late Round Draft Recap

You can sum up the later rounds of the draft simply as “Defense and One More Offensive Lineman”.  The Giants used their picks in Rounds 1, 3, and 5 on offensive linemen.  The Giants seven other picks went to strengthen and add depth to the linebacker and secondary positions.

Offense

After the team selected bookend offensive tackles in Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, they used the 5th round pick to select Shane Lemieux, Oregon’s All-American Guard/Center.  Shane started 52 games in college, reflecting the Giants’ continued emphasis on experience, durability, and versatility.  He has been spending the entire offseason working on center snaps to be ready for whatever position the team assigns him.  It doesn’t hurt at all that he was voted to the AP All-American team as a Junior and a Senior.

It’s clear that when Dave Gettleman stated he wanted to “fix the offensive line once and for all,” he meant it.  The Giants now have depth and quality at every position of Dave’s “Hogmollies.”

Defense

In his post-draft media session, Head Coach Joe Judge stated the Giants’ focus for the defense was speed, versatility, and ability to tackle.  That was very apparent with the selections of Xavier McKinney in the second round.  Xavier can be used all over the secondary and will team with Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love to give the defense some very flexible and hopefully confusing (for the opponent) looks and schemes.  In Round 4, the Giants grabbed Darnay Holmes, CB from UCLA.

Although on the short side in height, Holmes has tremendous reflexes and speed.  He could work very well as the slot corner.  At a minimum, he will challenge this young group of corners for a starting spot.  Rounds 6 and 7 saw the Giants add two OLB/Edge players in Penn State’s Cam Brown and Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin.  The Giants also added ILBs Tae Crowder from Georgia and TJ Brunson from South Carolina, and Chris Williamson, DB from Minnesota.


Filling out the Roster for Camp

The undrafted free agents (UFA) signed by the Giants included the following breakdown of prospects by position: one QB, two OL, one RB, two TE, three DB, three LB, and three WR.  Look for some interviews with these players as the preseason gets rolling.

The Giants started rookie minicamp on May 1-3.  The Rookie minicamp will wrap up this weekend, May 8-10.  The veterans have been in OTAs for three weeks.


It’ll be exciting when the team can finally get on the field.
For now, the team is meeting via the internet and training individually.

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