Breaking Down the New York Giants' 2013 Opponents

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws an 17-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas #88 in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The moment the 2012 NFL regular season concluded, the New York Giants knew their opponents for 2013. 

Eleven of your 13 opponents are predetermined based on an annual cycle, with only two opponents differing from your division mates' opponents based on where you finished the previous season. But while the Giants finished second in the NFC East last season, they arguably have the easiest schedule in the division. 

Based on a superb breakdown from Blogging the Boys, the Giants have the ninth-easiest schedule in the league in terms of 2012 records, the eighth-easiest in terms of 2012 point differential and the easiest in the East in terms of point differential and quality opponents.

A quality opponent is defined as one that won at least nine games. In that category, the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles face eight, while the Giants face seven. 

Every team in the East will play the following teams outside of the division next year: Chicago (10-6), Detroit (4-12), Minnesota(10-6), Green Bay (11-5), Denver (13-3), Kansas City (2-14), Oakland (4-12) and San Diego (7-9). 

Beyond that, the Giants will face second-place finishers Seattle and Carolina. The drop-off from Washington having to play Atlanta to New York getting to play the Panthers is the major difference in those two schedules. 

Record of non-common opponents:
Redskins: 24-7-1
Giants: 21-11
Cowboys: 17-14-1
Eagles: 9-23

Another major advantage for Big Blue is that while Washington has a very difficult road sked, the Giants face only one team away from home that posted a winning record in 2012. They only face two sub-.500 teams at home, but you'd rather get your strong opponents in your own stadium anyway. On top of all that, New York only has to travel more than one time zone once all year.

All in all, its 2013 opponents went 123-133 last season. Five of its eight home games come against 2012 playoff teams, but none made the conference finals.

The Redskins are its only road opponent that made the playoffs. You'll notice that, by way of dumb luck, its home opponents really struggled on the road, and its road opponents weren't particularly good at home.

NFC East schedule breakdown:

See also: Opponent analysis for the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins