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Giants will face difficult road back to Super Bowl

A fun fact about the New York Giants that might not be so fun for the team's fan base.

Big Blue aren't any good at defending Super Bowl titles ... at least they haven't been. In the seasons following the Giants' previous three Super Bowl wins, the team has failed to win a playoff game. In two of those years (1987 and 1991), they didn't qualify for the postseason.

The Giants hope for better luck defending the crown in 2012. That won't be easy, however, with a rough schedule on tap:

Week 1: Wednesday, Sept. 5, Dallas
Week 2:Sunday, Sept. 16, Tampa Bay
Week 3: Thursday, Sept. 20, at Carolina
Week 4:Sunday, Sept. 30, at Philadelphia
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, Cleveland
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at San Francisco
Week 7:Sunday, Oct. 21, Washington
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, at Dallas
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, Pittsburgh
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, at Cincinnati
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, Green Bay
Week 13: Monday, Dec. 3, at Washington
Week 14:Sunday, Dec. 9, New Orleans
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, at Atlanta
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Baltimore
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, Philadelphia

There aren't many soft landing spots to be found here. The season's first three weeks are manageable, but a road trip to Carolina could be far more daunting than a year ago. The division slate is always unpredictable in the NFC East and the trip through the NFC North includes three 2011 playoff teams. A late bye week will test the team's endurance as well.

Former Giants coach Bill Parcells was big on breaking a schedule into four quarters. Through that prism, the fourth quarter will be a monster challenge. Home to the Saints, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and home to Philadelphia. Worth noting: The Eagles haven't lost at the Meadowlands since 2007.

We've learned by now not to underestimate the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning team. Still, it won't be easy for the Giants to write a new narrative for their title-defense history.

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