The New York Giants wrapped up their 2018 regular season by scoring 35 points and still losing when Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley made a leaping touchdown catch on fourth down to give his team a 1-point lead.
The loss was a tough one for head coach Pat Shurmur and the players to swallow. It was the fourth loss during the 2018 regular season where the Giants lost their lead in the final two minutes of the game, including three of those games where they lost the lead in the final minute. However, the end result is bittersweet for the Giants organization and their fans.
With a loss to the Cowboys in Week 17, the Giants improved their positioning in the 2019 NFL Draft (by up to nine draft slots prior to the Week 17 slate). The Giants were already locked into fourth place in the NFC East so that means they will play the fourth-place teams in each of the NFC divisions that they are not assigned to match up against during the 2019 regular season.
First, a quick refresher on how the NFL chooses what teams will square off each season:
Six games against divisional opponents — two games per team, one at home and one on the road.
Four games against teams from a division within its conference — two games at home and two on the road.
Four games against teams from a division in the other conference— two games at home and two on the road.
Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference — one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season.
Despite finishing fourth in the NFC East, the Giants schedule is no cakewalk. The modern NFL schedule is only loosely related to how a team finished in the season before (two of 16 total games). With everything now settled in those slots and others based on the NFL’s schedule algorithm that remains unchanged for now, let’s have a gander and look back at the history of each matchup to get an idea of what the future might hold.
Let’s jump in and break it all down: