The New York Giants have two two-game road trips in 2014, first against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys and a second against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, but they came dangerously close to a three-game road trip against all three NFC East opponents in an early version of the 2014 regular season schedule.
In fact, two separate versions of the 2014 regular season schedule had the Giants going on a three-game road trip, with the other variation including a trip to Washington to take on the Seattle Seahawks. But, ultimately, the scheduled experts determined they could do better and, eventually, they did.
But no schedule makes 32 teams and the TV networks universally happy. The computerization of the process makes sure Katz’ crew at least sees every possibility. About a month ago, before one of the computers spit out the magic schedule, North saw a schedule he liked during a sleep-deprived night. He was home. It was about 3 a.m. He screen-grabbed the slate and fired off an email to Katz with the schedule. Just one problem: One version of it included a three-game road trip for the Giants, including one to Seattle; another version of it included a three-game road trip for the Giants, all against division foes. Weird, playing all three division roadies in a row.
Still, the three-game divisional road trip was strongly considered and deemed "acceptable" despite the unfair disadvantage it would have caused the Giants, and wasn't nixed until the very end when they eliminated the Washington Redskins from the trip. Instead, they decided to have the Giants host the Atlanta Falcons prior to the now two-game trip, while also giving the team a bye week (Week 8) on the other end of the short divisional trip.
“This schedule,” said NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz, “has the best television without putting really any unfair burden on any club.”
If head coach Tom Coughlin thinks the current version of their schedule is "difficult and challenging," just imagine what he would have thought had the Giants been slated to travel to Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington over three straight weeks — one of which being a Sunday night game and a second, potentially, having been a Thursday night game. Yikes.
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