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Giants’ 2024 schedule demands early wins for Brian Daboll’s team to stay relevant



The Giants started 6-1 and made the playoffs at 9-7-1 in Joe Schoen’s and Brian Daboll’s first year at the helm in 2022.

Then they started 1-5 and skidded to a 6-11 finish in a disappointing 2023.

It is critical that the Giants start fast in 2024, their franchise’s 100th season, despite high turnover on the coaching staff and roster. And the schedule that became official on Wednesday night provides them the opportunity to do that.

But they have to capitalize and not let key games slip through their fingers like they did a year ago.

Here are all 17 of the Giants’ games and the Daily News’ predictions for the season. All game times are Eastern Standard.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8 vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)

The Giants open with a daytime matchup of projected last-place finishers after last year’s 40-0 prime time, blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams boast former star LSU wide receivers in Justin Jefferson and Malik Nabers. Minnesota arrives with former Giants head coaching candidate Brian Flores as defensive coordinator and two familiar names in the quarterback room: former Jet Sam Darnold and rookie J.J. McCarthy. It’s hard to call a Week 1 game a must win. But this is a game the Giants have to win if they want to be taken seriously.

Prediction: Vikings 25, Giants 13 (0-1)

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15 at Washington Commanders (1 p.m., FOX)

It could be advantageous to face Washington early, before rookie QB Jayden Daniels and new head coach Dan Quinn get comfortable, established and experienced in their positions. College teammates Daniels and Nabers called off their $10,000 Rookie of the Year bet, but bragging rights and important NFC East positioning is still on the line.

Prediction: Commanders 31, Giants 16 (0-2)

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22 at Cleveland Browns (1 p.m., FOX)

Daboll’s new offensive line will have its work cut out against superstar pass rusher Myles Garrett and a stout Browns defense led by Jim Schwartz. The timing of this game certainly is better than having to travel to Cleveland in December. But that won’t make it any easier for the Giants’ offense to move the ball and score

Prediction: Browns 20, Giants 0 (0-3)

Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 26 vs. Dallas Cowboys (Thursday Night Football, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video)

Daboll and Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy both are coaching for their jobs this fall, which ratchets up the pressure. Schoen and Daboll are 0-4 against the Cowboys in two seasons, getting outscored 140-53. And the Giants have lost six straight to Dallas overall. It’s impossible to pick New York in this rivalry until they win one again.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Giants 10 (0-4)

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6 at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 p.m., CBS)

Will this be a Drew Lock revenge game? A potential snoozer could turn into an intriguing cross-country trip if the former Seahawks backup starts against his old team. Geno Smith’s squad has beaten the Giants twice in the last two years by a combined score of 51-16. But rookie head coach Mike McDonald is now running the Seahawks instead of longtime boss Pete Carroll. Maybe the desperate Giants can steal one as Seattle still grasps for its new identity.

Prediction: Giants 23, Seahawks 20, OT (1-4)

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday Night Football, 8:20 p.m., NBC)

Joe Burrow is healthy. So Brian Burns and the Giants’ pass rushers need to pressure the Bengals’ quarterback, or this will be a long night in New Jersey. Cincy defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is also one of the best in the league. This seems like a strange Sunday Night pick by the NFL, frankly, and it very well could get flexed out. The league is allowed to flex up to two Sunday Night Football games between Weeks 5 and 10.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Giants 7 (1-5)

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m., FOX)

Saquon Barkley makes his highly-anticipated return to what promises to be a hostile MetLife Stadium. The Giants have lost five of their last six against the Eagles. Daboll is 1-4, outscored 151-97, but beat the slumping Eagles, 27-10, in last season’s finale. The NFL could flex this into Sunday Night Football, but the fact that the league didn’t put this matchup in prime time says a lot.

Prediction: Eagles 40, Giants 22 (1-6)

Week 8: Monday, Oct. 28 at Pittsburgh Steelers (Monday Night Football, 8:15 p.m., ESPN)

Russell Wilson visited the Giants in free agency before signing with the Steelers. Mike Tomlin’s team is not unbeatable, but they are tough, and they will be better offensively with Arthur Smith as their coordinator. This could be a nailbiter, but Daboll has struggled managing close games. This game is not eligible to be flexed.

Prediction: Steelers 16, Giants 13, OT (1-7)

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3 vs. Washington Commanders (1 p.m., FOX)

The Giants manage to get at least one win — or tie — against Washington every season, even when they’re getting swept by their other NFC East rivals. Daniels’ explosiveness at quarterback running Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is a scary proposition. But the Giants have invested a lot in their pass rush with Burns, Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux. And Washington’s O-line will be improved but still vulnerable at times. A defensive TD saves the home team.

Prediction: Giants 21, Commanders 19 (2-7)

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10 at Carolina Panthers in Germany (9:30 a.m., NFL Network)

It’s exciting that the Giants are playing in Munich. It’s not thrilling that this might end up being a battle between two bottom-feeding teams that are vying for the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. Burns will be motivated to play a monster game against his former team, and the Giants are 3-0 internationally as a franchise all-time. But Derrick Brown and Carolina’s pass rush will be difficult to stop for four quarters at Allianz Arena playing for rookie head coach Dave Canales.

Prediction: Panthers 17, Giants 9 (2-8)

Week 11: Bye week

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m., CBS)

Todd Bowles’ playoff team has three former first-round picks on the defensive line, led by tackle Vita Vea. And they hung with the Detroit Lions in last year’s divisional round. Liam Coen is in as offensive coordinator with Canales’ departure to Carolina, so Baker Mayfield is not guaranteed to have the same success. But this is a difficult, physical opponent to take on out of the bye.

Prediction: Bucs 27, Giants 17 (2-9)

Week 13: Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28 at Dallas Cowboys (4:30 p.m., FOX)

The Giants clearly deliver TV ratings for the NFL, because there is no other explanation for why they are back in this slot given last season’s disaster in Arlington, Tex., and the Giants’ low-scoring effort in their Thanksgiving loss at Dallas in 2022. Dak Prescott is a pending free agent, and the Giants are expected to search for a new quarterback again in 2025. So that will be the most interesting conversation point during the second half of this laugher.

Prediction: Cowboys 47, Giants 20 (2-10)

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8 vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints embarrassed the Giants last season, 24-6, but that game was at the Superdome with Tommy DeVito at quarterback. New York will have a better chance at home with a better QB. New Orleans was 4-5 on the road last year. While Daboll may only be playing out the string here, he can still beat Dennis Allen. A Shane Bowen defense that has floundered most of the season at least shuts down Derek Carr.

Prediction: Giants 16, Saints 13 (3-10)

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15 vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Giants might have the pass rush to present some problems for John Harbaugh’s seemingly offensive line. But even if they affect the passing game, New York’s defense still won’t be able to hold down two-time MVP Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry on the ground.

Prediction: Ravens 31, Giants 7 (3-11)

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22 at Atlanta Falcons

New Falcons head coach Raheem Morris, and either Kirk Cousins or Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback, are going to make the Giants sorry that they traveled south to their dome.

Prediction: Falcons 26, Giants 16 (3-12)

Week 17: Sat. Dec. 28 or Sun. Dec. 29 vs. Indianapolis Colts (TBD)

Trying to stop Jonathan Taylor is a scary proposition for a Giants run defense that has struggled for years on end, but Giants middle linebacker Bobby Okereke wills the hopeless Giants to a late-season upset at home nevertheless.

Prediction: Giants 14, Colts 10 (4-12)

Week 18: Sat. Jan 4 or Sun. Jan. 5 at Philadelphia Eagles (TBD)

With the Eagles and Cowboys in a race to the finish for the NFC East crown, Barkley and the Birds bury the Giants to enter the postseason on a high note and cost some of the running back’s former bosses their jobs.

Prediction: Eagles 38, Giants 13 (4-13)

Final record: 4-13

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