Both teams also come into the game with struggling defenses, so we could be looking at a shootout.
Can the Giants, down many key players, keep up with the resurgent Bills?
Without further ado, let’s preview the game with five key things to watch.
1. Will injuries finally catch up with the Giants?How many injuries can one team sustain? It’s getting ridiculous. Not counting guys lost for the season (Terrell Thomas, Jonathan Goff and Domenik Hixon, etc.), the Giants will go into the game without Brandon Jacobs, Justin Tuck, Chris Snee and possibly without David Baas and long snapper Zak DeOssie? When will one to many injuries break this team? The team has to rally around themselves and figure out a way to fight. The Bills will exploit this and will not feel sorry for the Giants.
2. Can the Giants get their running game going?If there ever was an opportune time to kickstart the running game, Sunday’s game vs. the Bills would be the ideal time. I have already stated here that Ahmad Bradshaw, DJ Ware and Da’Rel Scott have a real good opportunity in front of them considering the Bills rank 29th against the rush, allowing 138.4 yards per game. It would really be frustrating if the Giants can’t get anything going on the ground this week.
3. Can Giants improve their run defense against the stampeding Bills’ rushing attack led by Fred Jackson?It does not look promising. If the Giants can’t stop Beanie Wells or Marshawn Lynch, how can they expect to stop Jackson? Jackson is third in the NFL with 480 rushing yards (5.3 yards per carry) to go along with five touchdowns. The thing is the Giants can’t just go in with the intent of stopping Jackson, as Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can burn you if you give him enough time to connect with a good group of receivers led by Steve Johnson. The Giants must go into the game with the same aggressive defense approach it went into Philadelphia with. If the Giants want to pull off the victory, they may have to put forward their best defensive effort of the season.
4. Will Giants be able to get pass rush on the Bills, a team that has given up the least amount of sacks?While the Giants lead the NFL in sacks (18), the Bills, conversely, just don’t give up too many sacks (a league low five). Fitzpatrick is hard to sack and has one of the quickest releases in the league. The Giants, under DC Perry Fewell (former Bills coach), will try different schemes to disrupt the Bills front. Without Tuck, it is imperative Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka and Dave Tollefson play with extra tenacity and ferociousness to get to Fitzpatrick and mess up his rhythm
5. Can Eli thrive in the passing game, despite the Bills leading the league in interceptions?If it wasn’t for the picks, Eli would be the toast of the town. The Bills are an aggressive and advantageous group who like to pounce on quarterbacks making mistakes. Against Tom Brady and Michael Vick, they racked up eight interceptions. It is very important that Manning plays his smartest game, but on the flipside the Bills do give up big plays in the passing game. The Bills rank 26th against the pass, giving up 283.4 yards per game through the air. So, again, you could very well see an old-fashioned shootout.
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