Early Season Schedule Could Help Injury-Plagued Giants

Whether on offense, defense, or special teams, injuries have been mounting all season for the 2010 New York Giants.

Through the first three weeks of the pre-season, the Giants’ entire first-team offense has yet to appear together on the field, two of their top three cornerbacks (Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas) missed the Giants’ last preseason game in Baltimore on Saturday, and receiver/kick returner Domenik Hixon was lost for the season in July.

And, all of that, touching all three phases of the Giants’ squad, has only been a small piece of the myriad of injury problems the Giants have faced this summer.

However, if the Giants can get healthy enough over the next couple of weeks, they could be helped by the beginning of a regular season schedule that might play in their favor.

When you play in the physical NFC East, one thing you want to avoid for as long as possible when you’re battling injuries and missed time in the preseason is to meet your fellow division opponents.

Yet, as bad as the Giants’ luck has been with keeping several key players on the field, is how good their fortune will be with steering clear of NFC East foes to start the season when it counts.

While the Giants should continue to get key starters and reserves back when the preseason gives way to the regular season, there remains significant question as to how ready the Giants will be, even at eventual full strength or close to it. Many Giants, even if healthy for the regular season, will have missed their fare share of work throughout the summer.

That’s where the early regular season schedule might help the Giants out as they catch up to where they would normally be in terms of being regular season ready over the first few weeks of the regular season.

The Giants have a tough matchup, at last year’s Super Bowl runner up Indianapolis, in Week 2. But, aside from that, they don’t play another 2009 playoff team over the first six weeks this year, and they don’t see a divisional opponent until they travel to Dallas, in Week 7.

Other than the Colts, the Giants begin the regular season playing five teams (Carolina, Tennessee, Chicago, Houston, and Detroit) that went a combined 34-46 last season, playing four of those teams at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

Of course, NFL regular season schedules can often prove to be either easier or more difficult than they appear in August. However, as of now, the injury-riddled Giants seem to have caught a break from NFL schedule makers while New York heals its wounds and catches up on fine tuning areas that it hasn’t been healthy enough to get down just yet.

Playing so many non-playoff teams from last season and playing them at home, could help the Giants get some early wins before they can get more prepared both from physical and execution standpoints when they face six NFC opponents in their final ten regular season games.

Or, in other words, the first six weeks might be just what the doctor ordered for a team that’s looking to go from black and blue and return to being simply, Big Blue.

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