As a result of winning Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants had the toughest schedule in the National Football League in 2012. Next season's slate won't be as daunting, but there are a few tough match-ups in store for Big Blue in 2013. So grab your calendar and a red marker. Here are the five toughest games on the Giants' 2013 schedule, which was released on Wednesday, April 17.
Denver Broncos (Sept. 15; 4:25 p.m. on CBS)* -- It'll be billed as the Manning Bowl, but the Giants can't get caught up in the hype. Denver may represent Big Blue's toughest opponent in 2013. This past season, the Broncos had the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL (30.1 points per game), while the Giants gave up a franchise-record 6,134 yards. Frankly, it's not a great match-up on paper.
@ Chicago Bears (Oct. 10; 8:25 p.m. on NFLN) -- As if visiting Soldier Field for a primetime match-up isn't tough enough, the Giants will be playing Chicago four days after hosting division rival Philadelphia. Furthermore, the Bears, who forced the most turnovers in 2012, allowed the third-fewest points in the league this past season. The Giants' all-time record against Chicago is 18-27-2.
Green Bay Packers (Nov. 17; 8:30 p.m. on NBC) -- The high-powered Packers will present problems for Big Blue's defense, so don't be surprised to see the scoreboard get lit up. At the same time, the Giants should be able to put up points on the Pack. Keep in mind, the winning team has scored at least 35 points in five of the last six games between these two old-school franchises.
Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 24 at 4:25 p.m. on FOX) -- The Giants visit Dallas in Week 1, but this game will be more difficult, based on recent history. The Giants have won their last four trips to Dallas, but the Cowboys have been victorious in five of their last 10 games in New York. Furthermore, six of the last eight games between these NFC East rivals have been decided by seven points or less.
@ Washington Redskins (Dec. 1; 8:30 p.m. on NBC) -- Prior to 2011, the Giants had won 9 of the previous 10 meetings against the Redskins. But Washington has flipped the script on the G-Men by winning three of the last four meetings. Last season, New York had trouble containing the dynamic Robert Griffin III, who should be near or at full speed by the time this game rolls around.
* All times listed are Eastern Standard Time.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.
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