2018 New York Giants game-by-game predictions

The New York Giants don't get any breaks early this season. It will be an uphill climb back to respectability with their schedule. But hey, at least they don't open in Dallas for the fourth straight year. They'll save that difficult prime-time contest for Week 2. Instead they will open against a tough AFC team with a familiar face coming back to MetLife Stadium.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET

This isn't going to be any old game for Tom Coughlin and the Jaguars. The former Giants coach returns to stick it to his former team, which fired him after the 2015 season. This is a tough spot for the Giants to unveil a new offensive system against the Jaguars' tough defense. Record: 0-1

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

This year you have to wait an extra week for this matchup. The Giants had started their season in Dallas each of the previous three years. This doesn't bode well playing on the road in prime time against a quality opponent. Record: 0-2

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, at Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. ET

Back to Texas for the second straight week. This isn't going to be an easy game. Much like the Giants last season, the Texans were devastated by injury. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is back. But the Giants manage to confuse the young quarterback with all the exotic blitzes in new defensive coordinator James Bettcher's bag. Record: 1-2

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. ET

Drew Brees and the Saints are expected to be Super Bowl contenders after an influx of young talent led to a resurgence last year. They prove to be too much for the Giants. Record: 1-3

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. ET

Dave Gettleman gets a crack at his former team. Thankfully, this is the year the Giants finally have some kind of an answer for tight ends thanks to Bettcher's new scheme and improved linebacker play. The Panthers' Greg Olsen gets silenced and Carolina doesn't have enough weapons to overcome it. Record: 2-3

Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 11, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET

The defending Super Bowl champs make the trip north on a short week. The Eagles have the Giants' number. They have won seven of the past eight games between these NFC East rivals. It continues here. Philadelphia's pass-rush continues to give Eli Manning and the Giants' offensive line fits. Record: 2-4

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

Matt Ryan in the dome is dangerous. He has his way against a questionable Giants secondary. Record: 2-5

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, vs. Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m. ET

Alex Smith struggled against a porous Giants defense last season. He has trouble again this year with a new team against an improved unit. Record: 3-5

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: Monday, Nov. 12, at San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET

The 49ers should be much improved this season. This won't be an easy game. It's an L right now. Record: 3-6

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. ET

This is where the Giants start to put it together under new coach Pat Shurmur. It took some time, but that is to be expected. They beat Jason Pierre-Paul and a Bucs team that is improved this season. Record: 4-6

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. ET

The first real staple victory of the Shurmur regime. Something tells me this is the game where the Giants top 30 points for the first time in almost three years. The Eagles were one of the few teams Manning had success against last year. It happens again. Record: 5-6

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, vs. Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET

The Bears will be better this season. But so will the Giants. The home team dominates the young quarterback. Finally back to .500 with a third straight win. Record: 6-6

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m. ET

The Redskins end the streak. They still have some talent on their roster and will win some games. They'll manage a split with the Giants in '18. Record: 6-7

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, vs. Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. ET

This is a tight one. The Giants win it on a last-second field goal, even though we don't know who their kicker will be yet. Record: 7-7

Week 16: Dec. 22/23, at Indianapolis Colts, TBD

This is a chance for the Giants to snare a road victory. They get it done even if Andrew Luck is healthy and back in business. Record: 8-7

Note: The NFL will decide no later than after Week 8 whether the Giants-Colts will be played on Saturday (Dec. 22) or Sunday (Dec. 23). If the game is played on Saturday, it will be at either 4:30 p.m. ET or 8:20 p.m. ET on the NFL Network; if the game is selected for Sunday, it will be 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m. ET

Maybe an outside chance to sneak into the playoffs. But the better team wins here. That is the Cowboys. They go into the playoffs on a high by beating their division rival on the road on the strength of their dominant ground game. Record: 8-8