NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It stuck out like a sore thumb to WFAN’s Mike Francesa as he was breaking down a leaked New York Giants schedule on Wednesday, hours before the NFL’s official announcement.

How’s this for a brutal stretch: Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and Dallas. In other words, Andrew Luck, the defending champs, Colin Kaepernick, and a bitter rival in the NFC East. All in succession. All in November.

That’s not great news for a club that has had a number of second-half swoons under coach Tom Coughlin.

“It’s a difficult and challenging schedule, as we knew it would be,” Coughlin said after the schedule was revealed, according to the Giants’ official website. “We play a lot of very good teams. We’re playing some teams that we haven’t played for a while that feature some key, key ingredients, some teams that are building and growing and teams with new coaches, guys I have a lot of respect for.”

Most of the focus has been on that stretch following the bye. But Coughlin said teams like Arizona, St. Louis and Jacksonville should be taken just as seriously.

“We do have any number of outstanding games in a row, because in addition to the NFC East, (we face) the NFC West and the AFC South,” he said. “The NFC West is a very strong division and certainly continues to be strong. Seattle won the Super Bowl, San Francisco played in the NFC Championship Game, you look at the improvement in the Arizona team and the way they played, particularly toward the end of the year.

“And the way in which the St. Louis defensive team has played, their quarterback (Sam Bradford) being injured but coming back. That’s a very tough challenge and that’s to say nothing about the fact that we really haven’t been in that AFC South for a while. We played Atlanta a couple years ago. They’ve made drastic changes with their team. You saw Jacksonville improve. Houston has a new coach and with (Bill) O’Brien there and the first pick of the draft … so there are a lot of interesting factors that go into taking a look at this.”

The Giants, who finished 7-9 last season after an 0-6 start, will open 2014 at home on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions.

Here’s the complete schedule:

Monday, Sept. 8 at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 14 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 21 vs. Houston, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25 at Washington, 8:25 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 5 vs. Atlanta, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 12 at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 19 at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.


Monday, Nov. 3 vs. Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 9 at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 16 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 23 vs. Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 30 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 7 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Washington, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 21 at St. Louis, 4:05 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 28 vs. Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

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