The 2020 NFL regular season will commence on Sept. 10, 252 days from today.
For fans of the New York Football Giants, looking ahead to next season has become an annual rite of passage. Big Blue has been mostly miniscule in the eight years since winning Super Bowl XLVI. They’ve managed just two winning seasons (2012, 2016) and are looking for their third head coach since their latest playoff appearance in ’16.
Prognostication has begun in earnest as the Giants’ 2020 opponents are now set.
The NFL uses a scheduling formula to determine the schedule of 256 regular season games. Each of the NFL’s 32 teams plays 14 of its 16 regular season games against a common opponent.
Each team plays two games (home and away) against the other three teams in its division. Naturally, this means the Giants will play a total of six games against the other members of the NFC East: the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins.
One game is played against each member of a division within the AFC and NFC as determined by a rotating schedule. Because the Giants are in the NFC, the rotating schedule is every four years for the AFC and every three years for the NFC.
In 2020, the Giants will play a combined eight games against the AFC North (Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers) and NFC West (Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks).
The Giants’ two remaining games are intraconference games determined by the previous season’s final standings. For example, a team that finishes with a first-place record will play two teams with first-place records from the divisions with a conference that a team is not scheduled to play in a particular season. The second-, third-, and fourth-place teams are similarly scheduled.
The Giants will face the 49ers, Browns, Bucs, Cardinals, and Steelers at the cozy confines at MetLife Stadium. They will travel to square off against the Bears, Bengals, Rams, Ravens, and Seahawks.
Besides the NFC East champion Eagles, the Giants will play three ’19 playoff teams (49ers, Ravens, Seahawks). Eight of their opponents (49ers, Bears, Cowboys, Eagles, Rams, Ravens, Seahawks, Steelers) finished .500 or better.
In recent years, the NFL regular season schedule with dates and times has been released on the third Thursday in April. In 2020, that date is Apr. 16.