Week one of the 2013 NFL Season is finally upon us and no matter how one views this New York Giants matchup, “must win” isn’t far from the truth. Division games weigh heavily in the grand scheme of playoffs and Lombardi trophy dreams.
There is more than a fever coursing through the Big Blue Faithful this weekend and a large part of that is because meaningful football has returned. As with the past six years, five of those have opened up against an NFC East Division rival (oddly, either Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys). 2010 was the only season since 2006 that the football year wasn’t kicked off versus a team also competing for the same division title. Every game counts, but these…a bit more for various reasons.
No one wants to kick off the season 0-1, especially when the next game on deck is against an amazing 37-year-old quarterback in Peyton Manning that everyone mistakenly counted out several years ago. One week at a time, one game at a time, right? This is what the offseason has been about: getting better on all sides of the ball in an attempt to achieve that annual team goal. It starts on September 8th at approximately 8:40 PM EST in Arlington, Texas against a team that’s also allegedly made some changes towards improving.
Dallas looks to run the ball more and take the “burden” off of quarterback Tony Romo. They’ve also changed from their base 3-4 defense to a 4-3, “Tampa 2.” Both alterations come at the hands of new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Whether or not they both help the Cowboys finally defeat the Giants at home is another story with the ending to be written by a little after midnight Monday morning.
Beginning the season with a division win is a definite asset — especially in an NFC East that has as of late come down to weeks 16 and 17 of the season all too often. A win is a win, but this kind of win in the proverbial pocket is a bit special.
As the team captains have officially been announced for blue, constant leader in safety Antrel Rolle told Giants.com on Thursday that he would continue his role regardless of the title. He also has plans for the defensive side of the ball, which has seemingly gotten burned in the past years by Dallas. His views are simple, as most football should be.
“Just to start fast. I think this will definitely set the temp of our season, to get the bitter taste out of our mouth from last year and how we finished off. Just go out there and play consistent ball. We know that we’re a great team, we just have to prove that we’re a great team consistently. That’s something that we’ve done off and on but never on a consistent basis. I think that’s the message thus far”, Rolle told Giants.com.
As for the offense, they are a bit more on the side of holding their hand closer to the vest. Not much in the way of the definitive was uttered. Most answers came in the form of “we don’t know” and “we’ll see.” Many feel there isn’t much to hide in the way of a shot-gun draw, but there may very well be something different — especially with the offensive line in a recent/permanent state of shift.
One thing that can be proclaimed about this Sunday Night Football game is that it will be a typical “NFC Beast” showdown, purposely scheduled for the prime time 5-0 viewing slot.
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