At the half-way mark of the season, the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants are in good position to defend their title. New York is 6-2 and in control of the NFC East. However, the road ahead is going to be long and tricky. Here's a game-by-game look at Big Blue's second-half schedule.
vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 4) -- The Steelers are 0-3 on the road this season and haven't seen a team as good as the Giants. But this is not a great match-up for New York. Tight end Heath Miller could give Big Big trouble, considering how Dallas tight end Jason Witten destroyed the Giants last week with 18 catches for 167 yards. Plus, big-play threat Mike Wallace could burn the secondary.
@ Cincinnati Bengals (Nov. 11) -- The Bengals entered their bye week with three straight losses and it could be four since they play the Denver Broncos before meeting the Giants. For that reason, plus the fact that the Giants may look ahead to the Green Bay Packers, worries me a little bit. But if the Giants come out focused and don't play down to the competition, they should handle the Bengals.
Green Bay Packers (Nov. 25) -- This may be the toughest game of the second half only because the Packers are hitting their stride. Green Bay has won four of its last five games and is averaging 30 points per game in that span. However, the Packers currently have allowed the second-most sacks in the league at 28. Plus, the game is at MetLife and the Giants will be rested coming off a bye week.
@ Washington Redskins (Dec. 3) -- I'll admit it, Robert Griffin III makes me nervous. The Giants had trouble controlling him the first time these teams met on October 21. But, as we learned in that game, a 27-23 Giants win, the Redskins' secondary is extremely vulnerable. New York has won four of its last five games in Washington and I could see the G-Men winning another one here in a shootout.
New Orleans Saints (Dec. 9) -- This game seemed more dangerous at the start of the season, especially since Drew Brees picked apart the Giants in New Orleans last year for 364 yards and four touchdowns. But the Saints and their bottom-of-the-barrel defense aren't intimidating anyone these days. My only concern is Big Blue's alarming tendency to start games slowly at home.
@ Atlanta Falcons (Dec. 16) -- At this rate, this game could be a preview of this year's NFC Championship. At the very least, it may decide home field advantage in a future playoff match-up. The high-flying Falcons, who currently are undefeated, will be seeking payback for a 24-2 beating at the hands of the Giants in last season's NFC Wild Card round. But the Giants relish big games.
@ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 23) -- Styles make fights. And while the physical Ravens are beasts at home, the Giants are road warriors. Something has to give in this game. It's anybody's guess which team will need this game more by week 16, so let's just call this one a toss-up for now. Incidentally, the Ravens lead the all-time series against the Giants, 3-1, including a win in Super Bowl XXXV.
Philadelphia Eagles (Dec. 30) -- When I first saw the Giants' 2012 schedule, I thought the division, if not the season, could come down to this game. Now I'm not sure the struggling Eagles will even be around by the end of the season. However, this game will be tough regardless of the standings. Ten of the last 16 games between these division rivals have been decided by seven points or less.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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