The New York Giants will host the surging Buffalo Bills before heading into a much needed bye week. The Giants, who will be without starters DE Justin Tuck, RB Brandon Jacobs, FB Henry Hynoski and RG Chris Snee will look to jump start the running game and gain much needed momentum heading into the bye week. After a brutal home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Giants will look to prove last week’s matchup was an aberration.
Matchup’s to Watch:
Giants DE’s Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora vs. Bills LT/RT’s Chris Hairston and Erik Pears
Take this number in for a second. Three. That’s the amount of time through five games QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been sacked. That stat is simply remarkable. Even though Ryan Fitzpatrick has a quick release — estimated at about 1.5 seconds — rookie Chris Hairston will be protecting his blindside. Hairston is making just his second career start, and if looked at the tape last week, DE Osi Umenyiora must have salivated. Hairston’s footwork is not very good, and the rookie will have his hands fun. Pears isn’t great, either. While he’s doing a solid job, excellent DE Jason Pierre-Paul will be his biggest matchup yet. Pierre-Paul, the second year player out of USF, will look to add to his current total f 6.5 sacks.
Giants Defense vs. Fred Jackson
The Giants defense will be up for their toughest rushing matchup yet. Bills RB Fred Jackson ranks third in the NFL in combined rushing and receiving yards with a total of 712 yards. With a tough pass-rush, the Bills will look to run screens up the field keeping the defense honest. “He’s got it all,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Friday. “He’s an excellent screen runner, let alone flanked out. It’s running the ball, and the big thing is run after first contact. Half his yards are after first contact, so you have to tackle.” Jackson, who averages 5.3 yards per carry, will look to lead the Bills to victory.
Giants Key’s to Victory:
Find the Running Game – If there’s one constant struggle this season, it’s the anemic Giants running game. With power back RB Brandon Jacobs out for his second straight game; the load will once again be on 18 million dollar man, Ahmad Bradshaw. With a struggling offensive line, Bradshaw needs to shoulder the load. He has struggled. Bradshaw hasn’t eclipsed more then 86 rushing yards in a game and hasn’t ran for the preverbal 100-yards in 12 games. Don’t expect much out of backup D.J Ware, either. The Giants don’t seem to trust him to be much more then a solid blocking, third-down back. The Giants have said they’d like to get rookie speedster Da’Rel Scott involved in the offense. If they can use Scott in some packages where he can show off his speed, watch out. Pro-bowl NT Kyle Williams is questionable for Sunday’s game. If Williams can’t go, look for the Giants to figure out the running game. Even without all-pro G Chris Snee.
Manning the Offense – Regardless of if the running game gets on track, the Giants will need QB Eli Manning to lead the offense. If Manning can lead long drives, and keep the dynamic Bills offense off the field, the Giants will be in business. Manning has to protect the football and not give it away. The Bills lead the NFL in interceptions. The Bills do a terrific jobs of making other teams pay when the take the ball away.
Contain Action Jackson – The Giants might not be able to stop RB Fred Jackson. They might be able to contain him, though. Only one team has been able to hold Jackson to under a 100 total yards — the Cincinnati Bengals. — The end result? The only Bills loss this season. If the Giants can contain Jackson and make other players step up and beat them, they’ll have a good chance at victory.
Win One for the Gipper. …. Well Perry Fewell
Who was the interim head coach who made Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting QB? Why it was current Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. “That’s his old team,” S Deon Grant said. “I’m not going to call it a homecoming, but it is for him. That’s where he was at before he came here. We definitely want to show them they let something good go.” ”It means more to us than it does to him . . . as a defense we want to get him this victory more than anything,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin also added that the knowledge of “those guys” could make a big difference. Coughlin responded “certainly” when asked if Fewell’s expertise with the Bills personnel will be helpful this week. While Fewell seemingly made a tremendous decision in pegging Fitzpatrick to be Trent Edwards replacement, he hopes he can take down the guy he built up to once be his starting QB.
Prediction: Giants 31 v. Bills 20
After picking the Giants to beat Seattle, I might not be as good at this as I thought. However, I have a small hunch the Giants get it together and beat the surging Bills. I believe the Giants will contain Fred Jackson, get to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and find the running game. If the Giants can win this week, they’ll gain much needed momentum heading to a bye week. Who knows, they might even be healthy soon. It appears G Chris Snee, RB Brandon Jacobs, DE Justin Tuck, FB Henry Hynoski and even CB Prince Amukamara will be back after the bye week. With a brutal schedule ahead, look for the Giants to make plays on both sides of the ball and prove last week’s brutal loss was just an aberration -not a trend.