The Giants had a big game heading into their bye week. It could have went both ways. They could have had two straight home losses and all the wrong kind of momentum at 3-3 heading into their bye week. Or, they could be 4-2 and be a top the NFC East and have the glass half-full heading into the bye week. They did just that. With the cavalry coming, and the Giants beginning to get healthy, here’s our game review.
QB Eli Manning – Boy was Manning on Sunday. Instead of talking about RB Ahmad Bradshaw’s big day, it very well could have been Manning we were talking about. Manning hit WR Mario Manningham who originally scored, but was ruled down at the 1-yard line. Manning also hit Ballard who was tackled at the 1-yard line. Throw in the beautiful bomb Manningham dropped in the end zone, and Manning nearly had a three-touchdown day. Although he ended up with no touchdowns, he still had a tremendous game. Is it a coincidence that the Giants are 3-0 when Manning doesn’t turn the ball over? I don’t think so.
TE Jake Ballard – Every time QB Eli Manning looked his way, Ballard made the Bills pay. Ballard registered 81-yards on 5 catches and is continuing to become a reliable target for Eli Manning. The Bills defense didn’t account for Ballard. They played him soft. As a result, Ballard made them pay. If teams in the future play him soft, look for Manning to keep hitting Ballard.
WR Hakeem Nicks – Manning hit Nicks for a beautiful 60-yard bomb. You won’t see many more throws better then that. Hit him right in stride. Nicks ended up with 4 grabs for 92-yards. If you add the two pass interferences he drew, he ended up with 6 catches for 122-yards. Nicks had a terrific day. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Revis v. Nicks. I can’t wait to see what this kid can do.
The Entire Offensive Line – After some bashing by RB Ahmad Bradshaw about the lack of holes they were creating, the offensive line responded. Even without their top offensive linemen, all-pro G Chris Snee, the line led Bradshaw to a three-touchdown performance. If you remember, I (correctly) predicted the Giants would find their running game against the Bills. It seems they did. Kudos to swingmen Kevin Boothe for playing a great game and filling in for G Chris Snee.
DE’s Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul – With QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s quick release, few thought the Giants would sack Fitzpatrick. Heck, even DE Osi Umenyiora didn’t think so. Heading into this game, the Bills had only allowed 3 sacks. That number doubled, as the Giants sacked Fitzpatrick three times. And on the final play of the game, Pierre-Paul batted the ball down to seal the victory. Big game for both defensive ends.
S Deon Grant – Last week, Grant dropped two interceptions. This week, Grant took a horrendous angle and failed to even touch Bills RB Fred Jackson on his 80-yard touchdown. I don’t care that LB Jacquain Williams failed to maintain his gap; Grant needs to slow down Jackson and make a play. Another rough game for S Deon Grant.
TE Travis Beckum – Another week, another week not making an impact. The Giants all but gave Beckum the starting job this off-season and he lost it to an UNDFA who wasn’t even on the roster last season. Beckum got 1 on 1 coverage on a CB and, although Manning threw a poor ball, Beckum tripped and couldn’t make the play. Another zero catch game for the disappointing TE.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Without his other half, RB Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw came to play. Bradshaw had 104-yards on 26 carries. He also scored three times from the 1-yard line, cleaning up the garbage in the red-zone. For his terrific game, Bradshaw won NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
CB Corey Webster – Talk about a big time game. Webster, who has been covering all the opponents top WR’s played lights out. Webster picked off QB Ryan Fitzpatrick twice; both times the Bills were driving to score. Webster saved the Giants butt this game. Webster is quietly having a tremendous season.