New York Giants' grueling early schedule begins with Jaguars, Cowboys and Texans

Pat Shurmur takes over a Giants team that finished 3-13 last season. Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has released its 2018 regular-season schedule. Here's a look at what's in store for the New York Giants.

Breakdown: The turnaround from a 3-13 season won’t be easy for the New York Giants. Their schedule is rather unforgiving -- especially early -- for a team coming off a last-place finish.

Tough start: Five of the Giants’ first seven opponents reached the playoffs last year. The other two -- the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans -- are expected to have bounce-back seasons and are considered serious postseason contenders. There are no gimmes for the Giants early in the 2018 campaign. They’re going to have to earn every victory while playing a pair of early prime-time games and do so while learning on the fly under a new coach while digesting new offensive and defensive schemes. It’s going to be tough to stay afloat.

The perfect bye: Their week off will be smack dab in the middle of the season. The bye week comes in Week 9. That’s provides the ideal break. “The bye is in a good spot,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “We’ll be able to play the first half of the season, and then have our bye as we get ready for the second-half push.” The Giants will even have an extra day off because they play the San Francisco 49ers on their first game out of the bye. It puts them in a favorable spot to finish strong. Only two opponents in the second half of the season finished with a winning record last year.

Strength of schedule: T-8th, .520

Giants' Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, at Houston, 1 p.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Carolina, 1 p.m.

  • Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 11, Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m.

  • Week 7: Monday, Oct. 22, at Atlanta, 8:15 p.m.

  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, Washington, 1 p.m.

  • Week 9: BYE

  • Week 10: Monday, Nov. 12, at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Chicago, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Washington, 1 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Tennessee, 1 p.m.

  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, Dallas, 1 p.m.