BY JORDAN O’DONNELL
The 2012 NFL Schedule was released this week with much fanfare. The event caused analysts to make predictions about team’s records and outlooks, even though the identity of everyone’s opponents has been known since the regular season ended. The only new information is the order of games and times they will be played. In addition to basing opinions off of whether lights and Al Michaels are involved in a particular game, these predictions also act as if parity in the NFL is a myth— like unicorns or global warming or the iPhone 5.
Having said that, here are my totally serious, realistic, plausible predictions for the New York Giants in 2012, and how—nee—WHY they will go 16-0:
Week 1: Wed., Sept. 5 vs. Dallas @ 8:30
Did you not see what the Giants did to the Cowgirls twice late last season? The Cowboys were the fuel to the Giants’ Super Bowl run. And on opening night, with a pregame concert in Times Square by Bon Jovi — whether or not the NFL asks them to play— and a celebration of the SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP, Tony Romo may want to call out sick.
Week 2: Sun., Sept. 16 vs. Tampa Bay @ 1:00
Former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano returns to New Jersey! I’m sure the Newark Star-Ledger will have 57 feature stories leading up to this game, but when a relatively unaccomplished college coach takes over for a fired unaccomplished pro coach, that’s a sign a team is in disarray. This game won’t be close.
Week 3: Thurs., Sept. 20 at Carolina @ 8:20
Only four days to prepare for Cam Newton! Look, Cam was great as a rookie and all, but do you know who was better? Jason Pierre-Paul. I suppose Cam could just run the other way, but then he’d meet Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora. Cam’s dad may want to wager some of that under-the-table Auburn money on the G-Men for this one.
Week 4: Sun., Sept. 30 at Philadelphia @ 8:20
By Week 4, I don’t expect Michael Vick to be hurt yet, but I do expect Andy Reid to be the ire of Philly talk radio. The golden age of Philadelphia sports is ending. The Phillies are older than Betty White, the Sixers blew their chance to avoid Miami or Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, and America doesn’t care about hockey, and thus the Flyers. I don’t care if the Eagles finished hot to end last season. Do you know who finished hotter? The SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS.
Week 5: Sun., Oct. 7 vs. Cleveland @ 1:00
With all due respect to Yi! News’s libertarian contributor Brian Ruddock, there’s a better chance Drew Carey leads the Indians to the World Series than the Giants losing this game. I’m more scared of Mike Holmgren’s mustache than I am of Brandon Weeden.
Week 6: Sun., Oct. 14 at San Francisco @ 4:15
A rematch of the very close NFC Championship Game. This one has added tension since the Niners employed the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, take their backups,” and signed Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham and frustrating bigmouth Brandon Jacobs. They also added Randy Moss, who I think plays for the Phillies right now. While Jim Harbaugh is crazy and unpredictable, thanks to the released Gregg Williams audiotape, the Giants will know exactly where to attack San Francisco!
Week 7: Sun., Oct. 21 vs. Washington @ 1:00
The Redskin did beat the Giants twice last season, but that was with the unbeatable football legend that is Rex Grossman. With the even less athletic Robert Griffin III at quarterback, the Giants will have no issues with this mediocre team. A rookie? Just forfeit, Shanahan.
Week 8: Sun., Oct. 28 at Dallas @ 4:15
These clowns again? The Giants haven’t lost in Jerry’s House. Notice that I did not include “yet” at the end of the previous sentence.
Week 9: Sun., Nov. 4 vs. Pittsburgh @ 4:15
There’s a lot on the line in this one, as the Maras battle the Rooneys to see which grandparents the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo considers her favorites. I’ll point out there is an Ikea (the Wal-Mart of Sweden) off the New Jersey Turnpike. Advantage: Giants. Also, Eli Manning’s Southern genteel classiness will outshine the dastardly villain that is Ben Roethlisberger.
Week 10: Sun., Nov. 11 at Cincinnati @ 1:00
Am I supposed to be worried about Andy Dalton? The man has no soul, people.
Week 11: BYE
Lest the Giants lose their winning ways, I am certain that during their off week, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks will win a two-on-two ping-pong tournament, Antrel Rolle will defeat every child that challenges him to the sample XBOX at Best Buy and Tom Coughlin will defeat himself in Solitaire.
Week 12: Sun., Nov. 25 vs. Green Bay @ 8:20
It will be beneficial for the Giants to have an extra week to prepare for the Packers, because it will give them the chance to integrate Knicks forward Steve Novak into the defense, so when he sacks Aaron Rodgers and does the Discount Double-Check celebration, it will feel natural and deserved.
Week 13: Mon., Dec. 3 at Washington @ 8:30
The Giants’ only Monday Night game comes too late in the season, as I will have already decided who on the team is “a football player,” and thus Jon Gruden will be of no use to me. Of no use to the Redskins: trying.
Week 14: Sun., Dec. 9 vs. New Orleans @ 4:15
I wish Bill Parcells were coaching the Saints for this game. As much as I love the Big Tuna, I think he deserves one last dash of punishment for agreeing to coach those awful Cowboys. This game would worry me, except that Sean Payton has to watch it in solitary confinement, some defensive players may soon be suspended and Drew Brees has yet to sign his contract tender. JAMBABLOWOUT!
Week 15: Sun. Dec. 16 at Atlanta @ 1:00
The Falcons “scored” two points against the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs. They were the result of a tackle in the end zone for a safety. They were not the result of Matt Ryan resembling anything close to a good quarterback.
Week 16: Sun., Dec. 23 at Baltimore @ 1:00
A rematch of that Super Bowl where Trent Dilfer won. If Ray Lewis hasn’t ripped off Joe Flacco’s fu manchu by this point, I hope the Giants let Lawrence Taylor do it in a pregame ceremony. Consider it his community service. Ray Rice is obviously very good, but back in New Jersey, he will be unable to overcome his urge to visit the Grease Trucks at his alma mater Rutgers, have three Fat Darrels, and will be otherwise immobile for the game’s entirety.
Week 17: Sun., Dec. 30 vs. Philadelphia @ 1:00
Was it not two seasons ago late in the season when Matt Dodge became Public Enemy No. 1 and DeSean Jackson crushed my hopes and dreams with that absurd punt return? Well Matt Dodge is gone. In is Steve Weatherford: workout fiend, potty mouth celebrator and Tweeter of Eli’s hairdo. Bring it on.
Unlike the Patriots, the Giants will finish the job and go 19-0, winning their second consecutive SUPER BOWL. It’s already been well-chronicled that Eli Manning owns Tom Brady’s soul (see: Super Bowls, 42 and 46). The Giants won’t miss a chance to once again remind everyone who is superior.