The NFL released its preseason schedule on Monday. Some of the dates and times still have to be finalized but die-hard Giants fans won’t care. It will be nice to have football again…even if the games don’t count.
Week 1-vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers ended the Giants’ six-game win streak in Week 13 last season. Of course, that meeting actually counted in the standings. Regardless, this may be the final time we see Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger in the same game barring a Super Bowl appearance. Manning and Roethlisberger are linked because they were a part of the same draft class (2004). They have also been measured against one another statistically (Big Ben has thrown for 46,814 yards and 301 touchdowns. Eli has thrown for 48,214 yards and 320 touchdowns) and hardware (they have two Super Bowls apiece).
Week 2-Monday, Aug. 21 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)-at Cleveland Browns
It is extremely difficult to get excited about any game against the Cleveland Browns, exhibition or regular season. The Giants looked like world beaters against the Browns last season. Big Blue’s 14-point margin of victory in Week 12 was the largest of 2016. Of course, that game actually counted. The biggest matchup in last season’s game was Terrelle Pryor Sr. against Janoris Jenkins and this game won’t even have that. Pryor signed with the Washington Redskins in the offseason.
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Week 3–vs. New York Jets
The 2017 installment of the Snoopy Bowl is a homecoming…well, sort of. Geno Smith, Brandon Marshall, and Damon “Snacks” Harrison are facing their old team in the same stadium. Since the Giants and Jets don’t play in the regular season until the 2019 season, this game won’t have much significance except for die hard Giants and Jets fans. We will see the starters for Big Blue and Gang Green going into the regular season for much of the first half.
Week 4–at New England Patriots
If the past is any indication, this game will be played on Thursday, Aug. 31. The Giants and Patriots are rivals…sort of. Who can forget Super Bowls XLII and XLVI? These teams won’t face each other when it counts until 2019. Last year’s game had a more sizzle than your typical preseason finale. Tom Brady missed the first four regular season games due to a suspension. He played the entire first half of the preseason finale and first series of the second half. This season, don’t expect to see much of Brady (or Manning) in the last preseason game, if at all.