But the NFL prides itself on a level playing field. The schedule and the draft reward the failing teams and make it more difficult for the successful teams to sustain their success.
The Giants finished 9-7 last season and have not had sub-.500 finish since Coughlin's first season with the team in 2004. Since then, the Giants have drafted no higher than 15th and have traditionally drawn some of the league's toughest schedules.
“When I looked at the schedule the first word that came to mind is ‘challenge,’” Coughlin said. “The schedule presents us with many challenges, because of the outstanding teams we play and the way it is set up. Anytime you’re in the NFC East and you’re playing the AFC West and the NFC North, you’re going to be faced with a challenging and competitive schedule.”
“A unique challenge is the opener with Dallas two years in a row - and this time we’re on the road,” Coughlin said. “Then we have Denver at home, which is the obvious matchup, and we’re on the road two weeks in a row. It’s interesting that Dallas and Carolina are in the same spots they were last year, first and third."
“I will say this. Here comes the challenge again," Coughlin stated about playing the five of the first eight games on the road. "We didn’t play as well last year on the road as we had in previous years and so that’s a great challenge for our team.”
The Giants’ bye falls exactly at midseason, after Week 8 Sunday, Nov. 3.
“The bye is at the right time for us,” Coughlin said. “That’s something I think we can look at, plan toward, play hard for. The break has been a nice spot for us to regroup.”