I’m typing this as I watch First Take and Skip Bayless really said the Patriots should’ve won the Superbowl this year. And because of their cake schedule this season, they’re a straight shooter to the Superbowl again this year.
Obviously, I have to start with the defending champs, the illustrious underdogs NEW YORK GIANTS! Their schedule is reminiscent of the tail-end feat heading into the playoffs. With our playoff hopes in doubt, we faced the Saints, Packers, Jets, Redskins, and Dallas twice. Granted we lost to the Redskins, but our defense beat the frames off the Packers and Dallas. We went 3-0 in the post-season. But the sweetest of sweet victories was sending both A-Rod and Tom Brady packing in the same season. So it’s inevitable that there’d be a target on our new uniforms.
Our season-opener at home against the Cowboys will be a great indicator of where our conditioning is. Teams now have a full season’s worth of work from Victor Cruz to see. They’ve seen how fast and strong Jason Pierre-Paul is. And we’ll have Domenik Hixon and CB Terrell Thomas returning off injuries, along with newly-acquired Martellus Bennett at the TE spot. The Cowboys are similar to us in the sense a few key players are coming back from injuries too. These are 2 teams who know each other very well and will battle it out in true NFC East fashion.
Our rematch against the 49ers will be like that very 1st time Kobe and the Lakers faced Shaq and the Heat. The mood will be extremely hostile, especially since Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs are now moles. Coupled with the #1 defense in the league and an embroiled hometown crowd, this week 6 match-up will be a defining moment for the Giants. That’s no exaggeration!
The other game I’m looking forward to watching is the road game against Atlanta. The Falcons will be on this season of Hard Knocks and they need desperately to redeem themselves from #2points2012!
Other games I’m looking forward to:
* Cam Newton vs. Philadelphia Eagles: This guy had an incredible season with a lackluster roster. He is what Vick used to be in terms of speed, passing, and footwork. Michael Vick jipped Philly fans
(and fantasy GMs) by being so injury-prone last year. Hopefully he stays healthy long enough for this week 12 match-up
* Peyton Manning vs. Steelers: Let’s be clear here…outside of signing Manning, the Broncos did not do anything else to improve this team! They haven’t signed Reggie Wayne or Dallas Clark. They probably won’t get a worthy pick in the draft. The Broncos got far with Tebow but they weren’t high scoring games. They were plagued by Willis McGahee and early exit of Knowshon Moreno. So their wins basically came out Tebow scoring himself and an occassional nice grab from Eric Decker or Demaryius Thomas. In fact, it was Thomas’ 80 yd. run that sent the Steelers home. Will it happen again with a veteran quarterback?
* Randy Moss’ return to Minnesota: The 49ers play the Vikes in the preseason, but the regular season game will be truly exhilarating. For one, that’s a road game. And it’s always a great thing to see a former player returned to the city where his career started.
* The Saints home-opener: This team is in complete disarray because of the scandal that’s ensued. Through it all, they re-signed Marques Colston (Hofstraaaaaaaa!). Plus, it’s still a few free agents that they can pick up short-term. Nobody from the offensive side of the Saints has really publicly talked about the team’s internal issues so we can’t say how this is affecting them. However, they have not legitimized Drew Brees’ contract which is a bone of contention. At any rate, last year they went undefeated at home. Can they repeat despite being a “disgraced” franchise?
Any games you looking forward to seeing? Do you think the veteran signings of Randy Moss and Peyton Manning will significantly improve their teams?