At the moment we speak, the NFL is in the middle of a lockout. Nevertheless, they have still managed to go forth with having a 2011 NFL Draft and created a sixteen-game schedule for each of the teams. The NFL had strikes back in 1982 and 1987 due to issues having to do with the higher authorities of the NFL. In 1982, the season was cut to nine games and in 1987, it was cut to fifteen. This season, we have no idea how many games the season will be cut to. No matter how many games the season is cut down to, it will hurt the New York Giants to have so many games cut from their season. It will hurt any team with easy games in the beginning and tougher games in the end, but it happens that the Giants could very well hit the double whammy if the lockout continues into the NFL season.
Not only do the Giants have an easy schedule in their first half of the season, but the Giants have a history of being a team that starts off really well and then falters toward the end of the season. Last season, they were playoff bound before taking their pedal off of the medal. In 2009, they went 5-0 before limping to 8-8 and being out of the playoffs. In 2008, they were 11-1 before giving up three of their final four games, going to 12-4 and being eliminated from the playoffs early. It was in 2007 when they last had an end that was stronger than their beginning. In the NFL, it's always about how you finish. The 2007 season demonstrated that very well. Unfortunately, the fireworks that came from the 2007 season doesn't last forever. We need some new fireworks to keep up. It's just like 1986 and 1990, that vibe only lasts for one season. It's about being a team like the 60's Packers, early-70's Dolphins, 70's Steelers, 80's 49ers, 90's Cowboys, late-90's Broncos, and 2000's Patriots. Every group of fans is looking for that consecutive amount of happiness that makes them feel on top of the world.
As for the Giants schedule, they will open up at FedEx Field, playing their division rival Washington Redskins. I'm currently predicting that the Skins will finish at the bottom of the division, simply because the team has the least amount of fresh talent and the commotion between the veterans and coach Mike Shanahan needs to be resolved before the team is able to progress. Shanahan had a brilliant career as the Denver Broncos head coach, and I'm looking to see what he could do with the Skins, if he could do anything at this point. Other than the Eagles in week three, who they need to beat this season in order to boost the confidence of fans, they play the Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Bills before their bye in week seven. The Rams are the only team of these four who may have a potential of a good season. The team has finally found a foundation that they could lean on with quarterback Sam Bradford. After the bye is when they'll be playing teams such as the Patriots, Saints, and Packers.
The one game that's bound to stand out in the Giants schedule is their week sixteen matchup on Christmas Eve against the New York Jets. The two have not played in the New Meadowlands Stadium against one another in the regular season. When they played in the preseason, the Giants won. It's the regular season that matters most. I can place my wagers on the fact that Jets coach Rex Ryan is going to have a lot to say about this game. However, on my end, the game I will be looking forward to seeing is the November 20th Sunday nighter in which the Eagles will be visiting the Giants. After one of the most painful experiences I ever had to endure last season, it would bring me a whole load of relief to see the Giants achieve redemption.
If the schedule and the strive for victory stays on the Giants side, then there's a good shot that the Giants will be able to achieve victorious results. I am not ready to make 2011 predictions, but I just hope that what's going on with the authorities that keep the NFL going will have a solution to their problems by the beginning of the season.
One more thing, I do not support an eighteen game schedule. I think that the sixteen game schedule with the thirty-two teams that are in eight divisions, four in each, is the perfect setup. Everything is set up perfectly, and an eighteen game schedule will cause a ton of commotion to what we have right now. It also increases the chances of further injuries and further physical aggravation.
Back to the main point, if the Giants can overcome any challenges that lie ahead of them and learn from previous mistakes, then they have a good shot at making a good run.