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April 22, 2019

Giants may get first crack at knocking off Patriots next season

February 11, 2019

The Giants could open the 2019 NFL regular season on the road at the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

The league is leaning toward opening the season on Thursday Night Football with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, paying tribute to the league’s oldest rivalry to kick off its 100th season celebration, according to Sports Business Journal.

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This would break the NFL’s custom of having the defending Super Bowl champion host the opening game the following season. But it could create a possible clash of familiar Super Bowl adversaries in Foxborough that first Sunday night of the 2019 season, Sept. 8.

SBJ’s John Ourand speculates: “New England’s most likely opponents for the opening ‘Sunday Night Football’ game are the Browns, Chiefs, Giants or Steelers … My guess is that the NFL picks the Giants over the Steelers.”

Tom Brady could face off against Odell Beckham in Game 1 next season. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Ourand says the NFL probably will want to save the strongest AFC games, such as the Chiefs-Patriots AFC Championship rematch, for later in the season, since the NFC’s schedule is much stronger. And the Browns may not have earned such a premier draw yet.

The Giants and Patriots don’t play often in the regular season but have closed the preseason against each other for 14 straight years, dating back to 2005. So presumably, if they were scheduled to play in Week 1 this year, they would have to alter their preseason routine to avoid going head-to-head in back-to-back games.

The Giants last played the Patriots in an NFL regular season game on Nov. 15, 2015, and fell 27-26 at MetLife Stadium. That is their only meeting of consequence since the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI victory over the Patriots, their second in five years.

The Giants last played a regular season game at Foxborough on Nov. 6, 2011, 24-20 Giants win.

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