Giants get prime-time spotlight

April 14, 2009 6:02:06 PM PDT
The New York Giants will play five prime-time games in the upcoming season, including a Thanksgiving night contest in Denver against the Broncos. The schedule released by the NFL on Tuesday also has the Giants playing their first three-game road trip in 15 years in what will be the final season of Giants Stadium. The team will move into a new facility adjacent to the old stadium in the Meadowlands sports complex in 2010.

The defending NFC East champions will start and end the season as they did in 2008, opening at home against Washington on Sept.

13, playing their final home game against Carolina on Dec. 27 on the penultimate week of the season and then finishing on the road at Minnesota on Jan. 3.

"We have known who we are going to play, so we already knew the difficulty of the schedule," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Now we see the way it is organized. Without a doubt, it is challenging, but all schedules in the National Football League are challenging. And it has been my position and my statement in the past that I don't worry about the things that I can't change. This is the way it is going to play out. That having been said, it is going to be exciting."

After the home game against Washington, the Giants (12-5) will play at Dallas the following Sunday night and then travel for games at Tampa and Kansas City the following two Sundays.

"Two years ago, we talked about how we were the road warriors," Coughlin said of winning 10 in a row on the road, including three in the postseason. "We are going to have to be road warriors again, without a doubt."

The last time the Giants had a three-game regular-season road trip was in 1994, when they swept Houston, Washington and Cleveland. New York won three road playoff games en route to winning the Super Bowl in 2008.

The Giants will return home to face the Oakland Raiders at 1 p.m on Oct. 11 and then travel to New Orleans to face the Saints.

The Giants' second prime-time appearance will be on Oct. 25, when they host the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals at 8:20 p.m. On Nov. 1, the Giants will make their annual visit to Philadelphia to face the Eagles and return home to face the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 8, which leads into a bye week.

"We play nine games before the bye. I think that is better for us," Coughlin said. "The bye gives the players, I think, an opportunity to play a long stretch against high-quality opponents and then have a little break."

New York returns to action at home against Atlanta on Nov. 22 and then has the short turnaround with the Thanksgiving game, the Giants' first on the holiday since 1992. Dallas beat New York 30-3 that year.

"We already know that the majority of the work is going to have to be done in the offseason," Coughlin said of the Broncos game. "But Denver has a new head coach, a new staff and will undoubtedly have a new offense, defense and special teams. But we will be ready."

After a 10-day break, the Giants will play Dallas at home on Dec. 6, Philadelphia at home on Dec. 13 (8:20 p.m.) and at Washington on Monday night, Dec. 21 (8:30 p.m.), their only Monday night appearance of the season.

The Giants will host the defending NFC South champion Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 27, and will conclude the regular season at Minnesota on Jan. 3.

The league also announced that the Giants will open the preseason at home against Carolina on Aug. 17, a Monday night. Five days later, they will play the Bears in Chicago. The annual preseason game with the Jets will be on Aug. 29, while the final preseason game will be in New England on Sept. 3.

2009 Schedule

Sept. 13 Washington, 4:15 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Oct. 11 Oakland, 1 p.m.
Oct. 18 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Oct. 25 Arizona, 8:20 p.m.
Nov. 1 at Philadelphia, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 8 San Diego, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 15 BYE
Nov. 22 Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 at Denver, 8:20 p.m.
Dec. 6 Dallas, 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 13 Philadelphia-x, 8:20 p.m.
Dec. 21 at Washington, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 27 Carolina, 1 p.m.
Jan. 3 at Minnesota, 1 p.m.