When the NFL schedule is being made, you have to believe that NFL take position match-ups very seriously. Whether it is two star Quarterbacks playing in Prime-time or an out of division rivalry, they want to make sure the fans are getting the best possible game out of those two teams. Does it happen all the time? Absolutely not. Do some teams/players not live up to expectations? All the time. However, with that being said, the New York Giants have some star powers on both sides of the ball which should lead up to some fantastic positional match-ups throughout the entire 2015 season.
Week 1: New York Giants VS. Dallas Cowboys; the games between these two storied franchises are always nail biters and unbelievably entertaining no matter who you root for. Hence why this game kicks off Sunday Night Football. Who will show up with the least amount of off-season rust and start off the season with a win?
Week 2: Julio Jones (Atlanta) VS Prince Amukamara; The Falcons are a great team with something to prove after back to back disappointing seasons and their best player on their team is Wide Receiver Julio Jones. After missing most of the 2013 season due to injury, Julio came back with a chip on his shoulder and blew it up in 2014 with over 100 catches and 1,500+ yards. Now its Prince’s turn to prove something after tearing his bicep in the middle of the 2014 season. Prince is going to have his hands full while trying the 6’3” Jones and watching Prince attempt to contain him should make for a fantastic week 2 match-up!
Week 3: Ryan Kerrigan (Washington) VS Right Offensive Line; Ryan Kerrigan is what I like to refer to some players as a “Giant Killer”. Giant killers are players that, when the play the Giants, always seem to outperform their normal selves. With Brian Orakpo gone, Kerrigan is going to be the heart of that defensive and whoever is lining up on the right side of that offensive line for the Giants, they’re going to have their plate full trying to keep Ryan off of Eli.
Week 4: Buffalo’s Defensive Line VS Giants Offensive Line; The Buffalo Bill’s Defensive Line might be the best in the league. With the young Marcell Dareus, and veterans Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Kevin Williams under the leadership of the strong defensive mind of new Head Coach Rex Ryan, that defensive line is going to run havoc on the NFL. The Giants offensive line are going to be shuffled all throughout training camp and possibly leaking in to the regular season until they feel like they have it right. Will Beatty and Justin Pugh are going to be the only sure starters and they are going to have to show the new additions the Giant way.
Week 5: Colin Kapernick (San Fransisco) VS Jon Beason; The Giants have always had issues containing mobile Quarterbacks. This will be the fourth time the Giants will play the 49ers in the past 4 years including that fantastic NFC Championship game in 2011. Beason is going to have to really keep an eye on Kapernick to keep him in the pocket and make sure he doesn’t break off one of his signature long runs.
Week 6: Chip Kelly (Philadelphia) VS Tom Coughlin; A good ol’ fashion coaches battle in week 6 in what will be the second prime-time game in 2 weeks for the Giants. A lot of scrutiny has been dished out for how Chip Kelly has approached this off-season and only time will tell if the moves Chip made will play out. By week 6 we should have an idea and Tom will have to be sure to keep that Oregon offensive Chip is trying to implement in check.
Week 7: Dez Bryant (Dallas) VS Giant’s Safeties; Dez Bryant has a tendency to test the deep waters of defenses and with the current question mark at the safety position, I’m sure Jason Garrett will want to test those waters. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big supporter of the rookie Landon Collins and although his coverage skills are going to have to improve, by week 7 we will know what we have in him and it will be his job to make sure Dez does not get past him.
Week 9: Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) VS Giant’s Defense; The number 1 pick of the 2015 NFL Draft will have half more than half the season under his belt at this point and will either be in his stride or struggling to revive the Tampa Bay franchise. In a game I am actually hoping to be at, we will see how Jameis has handled the pressure of the big leagues.
Week 10: Tom Brady (New England) VS Eli Manning; what a match-up we have here! The superbowl champions facing the only team to defeat them in two superbowls. This is, in my opinion, is tied for the most anticipated match-up of the year for the New York football Giants. Need I say more?
Week 12: Desean Jackson (Washington) VS Dominque Rodgers Cromartie; Desean, another Giant killer will be in his second season with Washington and honestly who knows who will be throwing the ball to him. But with his speed he is another deep threat and the Giants will likely have Rodgers Cromartie shadow Jackson because of his speed.
Week 13: Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie (New York) VS Victor Cruz/Odell Beckham Jr.; This is what has tied with the New England game for most anticipated for me. The return of Victor Cruz is going to be one of the biggest story lines heading into the regular season and having him line up with Odell is going to give defensive coordinators nightmares. With Cromartie and Revis suiting back up in gang green against those two is going to make the ‘battle of the meadowland’ a memorable match-up!
Week 17: Demarco Murray (Philadelphia) VS Giant’s Linebackers; in the essence of saving you readers some time, let’s skip ahead to the final game of the season. Year after year it seems as if the NFC Championship comes down to the last game of the year. No one knows who will be fighting for what and scenarios will come into play but with Demarco coming off his NFL rushing title and suiting up for his formal rivals, the Giant’s Linebackers will have to make sure that he does not break off any big runs and to bring him down on the first hit.
Obliviously injuries and scenarios will come into play especially towards the back end of the season, but hopefully everybody can stay healthy and give the fans some spectacular match-ups week after week. Do you think there are any other match-ups that I might have left out or disagree with the match-ups I chose? Who do you think wins these one on one battles? Feel free to tell me on twitter @nighthawk5454.