Excerpt: "The New York Giants ended their run to defend their Super Bowl title earlier than expected by finishing the 2012 regular season 9-7 and missing the playoffs. They started the season 6-2 and fell into their inconsistent ways, but this time they were not able to make a run in the end to stay alive as they did the year before. Here is a look at the teams the Giants will face in 2013.
Obviously the Giants will be facing their division opponents twice, once home and once on the road. In 2012 the Giants went 3-3 against NFC East opponents.
Washington Redsksins (10-6)
The Giants split their series with the Redskins in 2012, winning the first one at home and losing the second at FedEx Field. The win at home didn't come easy, either, needing some fourth-quarter magic from Eli Manning. Manning found Victor Cruz in the slot in the final two minutes for the game-winning touchdown. The 17-16 loss in Washington, however, was frustrating as the Giants had more possession of the ball than the Redskins and managed to lose by one point. What went wrong?For starters the Giants run defense was poor throughout the year, and with the explosiveness of Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III's ability to run, they undoubtedly struggled against Washington. The Giants offense also did not seem to take advantage of the Redskins' corners, even after Cruz had caught some big passes. Was it to try and keep the ball out of RGIII's hands? Who knows?
Right now there is uncertainty surrounding Griffin. Early estimates indicate a 6-8 month recovery from the major knee surgery he underwent Wednesday, but that really is an unknown. Even without RGIII, the Giants would have to worry about Morris. An improved run defense is a must in these two games.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
The Giants and Cowboys met early in the 2012 season as opposed to the final few weeks of the 2011 season. The Giants swept the Cowboys in 2011, however, they split their series in 2012. What's funny is even though the Giants got one of the wins, it seemed like the Cowboys outplayed them in both games.
In Week 1 the Giants were hoping to "build their bridge" from the Super Bowl to the regular season, but unfortunately they looked like they needed more practice. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 24-17 with Tony Romo throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Ogletree was a nightmare for the Giants when Romo couldn't get a rhythm going with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and an injured Jason Witten. When the teams met again Week 7, the Giants got off to a fast start, but let Romo and Witten lead the Cowboys back in the game. Despite Romo throwing four interceptions, he threw 437 yards and a touchdown, and even rushed a touchdown himself. The Cowboys lost that game by, literally, a couple of fingertips when Bryant came down with the ball in the back of the end zone and his fingers touched out of bounds.The Giants struggled against the Cowboys for a few reasons. First, the Cowboys defense is solid and the corners did a good job of covering the receivers, including Cruz who couldn't seem to make catches in either game.
Defensively, the Giants always seemed to allow Romo to make the big play. They can stop him on all of the smaller plays, but Romo has a quick release and when he needs to on third down he'll find a way to get that big play off. In 2013 the pass rush needs to get to Romo and make him run for his life as they did in 2011. Force him to make bad throws. If they Giants have to face a healthy DeMarco Murray, then the run defense will also need to be at its best.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
Despite the Eagles' struggles that eventually led to the firing of head coach Andy Reid, the Giants still managed to lose their first meeting with Philadelphia. The Giants lost Week 4 19-17 in Philadelphia due to some costly mistakes in the final minute which led to an offensive pass interference on Ramses Barden forcing Lawrence Tynes to kick a field goal from more than 50 yards and missing it by two. Tom Coughlin hoped it wouldn't be a game that would "bite us in the butt." Eventually, though, it did. The Giants handled their second meeting with the Eagles easily giving them a 42-7 beating.
It's hard to really say what the Giants need to do to avoid their issues with the Eagles in 2013 because they're likely going through a lot of changes. Rumors say they're planning to part ways with quarterback Michael Vick, and they still don't have a head coach.Here are some quick looks at the non-division opponents the Giants will face in 2013 at home and away." Read more...