EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Five prime time games, including two in MetLife Stadium, plus home games against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Jets, highlight the Giants’ 2015 regular season schedule, which was announced today by the NFL.
The schedule includes two Sunday night games (the season opener in Dallas and a home game vs. San Francisco), two Monday night road games (at Philadelphia and at Miami) and a Thursday night home game vs. Washington.
The Giants, who finished 6-10 in 2014, will play three of their first five games at home and four of their first six games at night.
“This is a difficult schedule that includes many formidable opponents,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “We will face a challenge every week, not only in who we play, but with the different elements of our schedule. In the first six weeks of the season, we play two Sunday night games, a Thursday night game and a Monday night game.
“We open the season in the NFC East at Dallas, which won the division last year. We’re playing some teams that are growing with new coaches. The AFC East includes the Super Bowl champions, a Miami team that just missed the playoffs last year and two teams, the Jets and Bills, which have new coaches. We have an unusually late bye this season, which we will hopefully use to our advantage.”
The Giants will begin Coughlin’s 12th season as head coach on Sunday night, Sept. 13, against the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium. It is the third time in four seasons the Giants will open a season with a prime time game against their division rivals. They lost to the Cowboys in MetLife Stadium in 2012 and in Dallas the following season.
Following their game in Dallas, the Giants will play two games in MetLife Stadium. They will host the Atlanta Falcons in their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. Four days later, they will meet another NFC East foe when the Washington Redskins visit New Jersey for a Thursday night game beginning at 8:25.
On Oct. 4, the Giants will face the first of their four AFC East foes when they visit the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m.
The Giants will then play two consecutive night games: Sunday, Oct. 11 against the San Francisco 49ers in MetLife Stadium and Monday, Oct. 19 at division rival Philadelphia in Lincoln Financial Field.
The Giants and Cowboys will stage a rematch of their Kickoff Weekend game on Sunday, Oct. 25 in MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m.
The first two weekends of November will find the Giants on the road against the NFC South. On Nov. 1, they will face the Saints in New Orleans, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. One week later, the Giants will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4:05 p.m. game.
On Nov. 15, the Giants will host the defending champion Patriots in the teams’ first regular-season meeting since the Giants defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI. That game is scheduled to begin at 4:25.
The Giants will have their bye on the weekend of Nov. 22.
The following week, they will be in Washington. That is one of five games among the Giants’ final six that is currently scheduled to start at 1 p.m. but could be changed under the NFL’s flex scheduling system.
The two teams that jointly own MetLife Stadium will square off on Dec. 6, when the Giants host the Jets. They last faced each other in the regular season on Dec. 24, 2011, when Victor Cruz turned a short Eli Manning pass into a 99-yard touchdown, the longest play in Giants history.
The Giants will play their second Monday night game on Dec. 14, when they visit the Miami Dolphins. It will be just their third visit to Miami and first since 1996.
On Dec. 20 the Giants will host the Carolina Panthers, who last season won the NFC South title.
The Giants’ last road game of the season could be played in frigid conditions. They will visit the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 27. The Vikings will again play their home games this season in TCF Bank Stadium, an open-air facility on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Their new domed stadium is scheduled to open in 2016.
For the second season in a row, the Giants will end their season at home against Philadelphia.
Some highlights from the Giants’ 2015 schedule:
The Giants will play four games against 2014 playoff teams: Dallas, Carolina and defending Super Bowl champion New England at home and the Cowboys on the road.
The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Atlanta (Dan Quinn), San Francisco (Jim Tomsula), Buffalo (Rex Ryan) and the Jets (Todd Bowles).
The Giants will host three opponents with whom they are tied in their all-time regular-season series: San Francisco (15-15), Atlanta (11-11) and Carolina (4-4).
The Giants will play a Kickoff Weekend prime time game for the fourth consecutive season, including their third year in a row on the road. They lost at home to the Cowboys in 2012 and were defeated in Dallas and Detroit the previous two years. Including a 2011 loss in Washington, the Giants have dropped their last four season openers.
The Giants will open their season against an NFC East opponent for the fourth time in five seasons.
The Giants are 49-36-5 in both season opening games and road openers. They are 32-24-5 in season-opening road games. The Giants are 49-38-3 in home openers.
For the second year in a row, the Giants will face Washington on a Thursday night. Last Sept. 25, they defeated the Redskins in FedEx Field, 45-14. This year, the teams play in MetLife Stadium exactly 52 weeks later, on Sept. 24.
The Giants play consecutive home games just once (Sept. 20 and 24 vs Atlanta and Washington) and back-to-back road games just once (Nov. 1 and 8 at New Orleans and Tampa Bay).
The Giants are 22-35-1 on Monday nights, including 15-26-1 on the road (where they play both of their Monday night games this season).
They are 19-25-1 on Sunday nights, including 9-11 at home and 10-14-1 on the road.
The Giants are 14-7-3 on Thursday, including 2-1 since the NFL began mandating in 2012 that every team play a Thursday game every season.
The Giants are 7-20 in regular-season games against defending Super Bowl champions (though they are 3-0 in the postseason). Their most recent such loss was last season in Seattle. Their last victory over a defending champion was in Green Bay in the 2011 postseason. Their last regular-season victory over a reigning Super Bowl champion was on Dec. 13, 1998 vs. Denver.
The last two seasons in which the Giants faced the AFC East – 2007 and 2011 – they won the Super Bowl.
The Giants will end their regular season at home for the fifth consecutive season and for the third time in four years vs. the Eagles.
“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 5-17. In Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.
The Giants also announced the dates and times for their four preseason games.
They will open against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Friday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. It is the teams’ first preseason meeting since 1998 and fourth overall. The Giants won the previous three games, in Giants Stadium in 1992 and ‘98 and in Cincinnati in 1993.
The Giants will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The Jaguars lead the preseason series, 4-3.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Giants will host the Jets in the annual MetLife Bowl beginning at 7 p.m.. The teams will meet in the preseason for the 47th consecutive summer since the series began in 1969. The Giants won their 2014 meeting, 35-24. They trail in the preseason series, 24-21-1, with the tie coming in 1972.
The Giants will visit the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in their preseason finale on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. This will be the 11th consecutive year the two teams will close the preseason by facing one another. The Giants lead the preseason series, 15-9.
By Michael Eisen | Giants.com | April 22, 2015