The NFL released the 2014 preseason matchups today, with actual dates and times to be announced, unless otherwise stated.The Giants opponents are as follows:
Sunday, August 3, 8 PM. Hall of Fame Game Giants vs. Buffalo Bills. Originally selected because of the induction of former Giant Michael Strahan and former Bill Andre Reed, the game will have increased meaning due to the passing of Bills owner and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Ralph Wilson.
Week 1: August 7 to 10. Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. At Metlife Stadium. Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises renew their rivalry in the preseason’s first full week.
Week 2: August 14 to 18. Giants at Indianapolis Colts. At Lucas Oil Stadium. The Giants only road game of the four preseason weeks, they travel to Indianapolis to meet Andrew Luck and the Colts. A good test for their retooled secondary.
Week 3: August 21 to 24. Giants at New York Jets. At Metlife Stadium. In a preseason rivalry that dates back the days of the AFL, the Giants take on the Jets as visitors in their own stadium. Week 3 of the preseason is always the most intense as starters see the most playing time and younger players are fighting for their NFL lives. The winner has “bragging rights” and a trophy of Snoopy.
Week 4: August 28. Giants vs. New England Patriots. Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin share a similar philosophy on the fourth preseason game. Get it over with quickly and don’t get anyone hurt. They are often opponents in this game and a Tom Brady or Eli Manning sighting is rare and short lived. Fans will be treated to an exhibition by players who will be washing their cars or bagging their groceries the following weekend.
The preseason will be especially important to the Giants in 2014 as they will be learning a new offensive system for the first time since Kevin Gilbride became offensive coordinator in 2007. New coordinator Ben McAdoo will have five games to work out the kinks in his system before the games count in the standings as the Giants will play in the Hall of Fame game. The extra game will also give the Giants rebuilt offensive line time to come together as the team will be starting at least two new linemen this season. On defense, several new players in the defensive backfield will also need time to fully integrate into defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s system and will also benefit from the extra game.