T-day clash highlights '09 sked

The Giants 2009 campaign begins with two divisional foes, includes the club's first regular-season three-game road trip in 15 years, and ends up exactly where last season's did – in Minnesota. New York's Thanksgiving night clash in Denver is one of five prime-time games for the defending NFC East champs.

The Giants will officially close Giants Stadium (at least regular season-wise) on Dec. 27 when they host the Panthers.

"We have known who we are going to play, so we already knew the difficulty of the schedule," Tom Coughlin said. "Now we see the way it is organized. Without a doubt, it is challenging, but all schedules in the National Football League are challenging. And it has been my position and my statement in the past that I don't worry about the things that I can't change. This is the way it is going to play out. That having been said, it is going to be exciting."

Coughlin's sixth season as head coach will begin on Sunday, Sept. 13, with a home game at 4:15 against division rival Washington. The Giants opened the 2008 season by defeating the Redskins at home, 16-7.

The Giants will play their first prime-time game the following week, when they visit Dallas in the first regular season game in the Cowboys' new stadium. They will also play on the road the next two weeks, at Tampa Bay and at Kansas City, with both games scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

"Those are healthy trips," Coughlin said in reference to the length of the flights. "Two years ago, we talked about how we were the road warriors (winning 10 in a row on the road, including three in the postseason). We are going to have to be road warriors again, without a doubt."

Schedule notes

*The Giants will play seven games against 2008 playoff teams, including five at home: Arizona, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Carolina. They will play two postseason teams on the road: Philadelphia and Minnesota.

*Five of the first eight games are on the road. Last year, five of the first eight were at home.

*The three-game road swing through Dallas, Tampa Bay and Kansas City will be the Giants' first in the regular season since Nov. 21-Dec. 4, 1994, when the Giants swept the Houston Oilers, Washington and Cleveland. The Giants won road games in three consecutive weeks in the 2007 postseason, defeating Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay on their way to Super Bowl XLII.

*The Giants last played on Thanksgiving on Nov. 26, 1992, when they lost to the Cowboys in Dallas, 30-3. The Giants are 7-6 on Thanksgiving, but have played on the holiday just twice since 1938, including a 13-6 victory over the Lions in Detroit on Nov. 25, 1982. Overall, the Giants are 9-6 on Thursdays.

*The Nov. 15 bye is the Giants' latest since 2001, when they were off on Dec. 2.

*The Giants will open their preseason schedule on Monday night, Aug. 17 against the Panthers in Giants Stadium. They will have just five days off before facing the Bears in Chicago on Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Giants will host the Jets in their annual preseason game, the last one to be played in Giants Stadium. Kickoff is 8 p.m. The Giants will conclude their preseason schedule against the Patriots in New England on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

New York GIANTS 2009 Schedule

Preseason

Day Date Opponent Time

Mon. Aug. 17 CAROLINA 8:18 PM

Sat. Aug. 22 at Chicago 8:00 PM

Sat. Aug. 29 JETS 8:00 PM

Thurs. Sept. 3 at New England 7:30 PM

Regular Season

Day Date Opponent Time

Sun. Sept. 13 WASHINGTON 4:15 PM

Sun. Sept. 20 at Dallas 8:20 PM

Sun. Sept. 27 at Tampa 1:00 PM

Sun. Oct. 4 at Kansas City 1:00 PM

Sun. Oct. 11 OAKLAND 1:00 PM

Sun Oct. 18 at New Orleans 1:00 PM

Sun. Oct. 25 ARIZONA 8:20 PM

Sun. Nov. 1 at Philadelphia 4:15 PM

Sun. Nov. 8 SAN DIEGO 4:15 PM

Sun. Nov. 15 BYE

Sun. Nov. 22 ATLANTA 1:00 PM

Thurs. Nov. 26 at Denver 8:20 PM

Sun. Dec. 6 DALLAS 4:15 PM

Sun. Dec. 13 PHILADELPHIA 8:20 PM

Mon. Dev. 21 at Washington 8:30 PM

Sun. Dec. 27 CAROLINA 1:00 PM

Sun. Jan. 3 at Minnesota 1:00 PM

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