June 29, 2022
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

East Rutherford, NJ - They were not going to let it happen two weeks in a row. The New York Giants were in the same situation against the surprising Buffalo Bills (the real New York State team) that they were in against the Seattle Seahawks last week. This time, instead of turning the ball over in their last possession, the Giants put the winning points on the board, courtesy of a Lawrence Tynes 23-yard field goal with just over a minute left in the game. Still, like they did last week, the Giants once again made a crucial mistake with a chance to put 6 points on the board before the winning kick.

Last week, in their last drive that would have given them a lead over Seattle, they got called for a false start at the 5-yard line. Eli Manning would then force a pass to Victor Cruz and the pass tips off his hand and gets returned for a touchdown. Sunday at the 17-yard line, tackle Stacy Andrews gets for a false start. This time, they decide to keep the play calling simple, leading to the winning score.

The Giants put the first points on the board the second time the offense took the field. Starting on their own 31, Manning (21-32, 292 yards and no turnovers) leads them to a 9 play, 69-yard drive ending in a 1-yard touch down run (the first of 3) by Ahmad Bradshaw. He would finish his day with 104 yards on 26 carries, his first 100-yard day this year. With Brandon Jacobs missing his second straight game with a sore knee, the Buffalo defense keyed on Bradshaw but the offensive line did a good job of opening holes. Said Bradshaw, "I'm very proud of our offensive line. The front did a great job for me to push it in on the goal line."

The Bills didn't waste any time showing everyone why they are one of the top teams in the AFC. They scored quickly on their next 2 possessions in a big way. First, Fred Jackson rumbles 80 yards tying the game at 7. The last couple of yards, he stumbles, but the Giants defense could not bring him down. Then, at their own 40, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick connects with Naaman Roosevelt for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Both plays took less than 3 minutes. It could have set the tone for the defense for the rest of the day, but Big Blue tightened up the rest of the day. Said head coach Tom Coughlin, "we had a couple of lapses on defense with the big plays. But we settled in there."

New York took a brief 3 point halftime lead (17-14) after Tynes' second field goal and Bradshaw's second touchdown run, but the Bills sent the teams to the locker room tied at 17 after a Rian Lindell long 49-yard field goal. Buffalo out-gained the Giants in the running game 125 to 46 but Fitzpatrick only threw for 99 yards. The Giants defense had to make adjustments while the offense needed to open up the running game. They did both in the second half.

The Giants took a 7 point lead (24-17) midway of the third quarter as the tandem of Manning and tight end Jake Ballard continue to click. In the 10 play, 75-yard drive, they connect on passes totaling 31 yards. It ends in Bradshaw's last touchdown of the day. Ballard finished his day with 5 catches for 81 yards. Said Ballard of the chemistry between the two, "you do what Eli expects of you to do and you're going to get the ball." With Fitzpatrick moving the ball from their own 41, he looks for Stevie Johnson deep down the left sideline. Corey Webster steps in front for the interception (his first of the day) returning the ball to the Bills 48. Looking like they would put more points on the board, Tynes attempts a 51-yard field goal that gets blocked. The lead would stand up until the fourth quarter as the defense did not give up any points in the third.

Buffalo would not go away quietly. They came from behind trailing New England by 21 points so it surprised nobody when Fitzpatrick moves them 51 yards in 11 plays after the block as Johnson catches a 9-yard touchdown pass. Webster would then pick off his second pass of the day as Fitzpatrick tested him again looking for Johnson on another deep pass to the left side. Not only did Webster snatch the pass but as he is returning the pick, Johnson gets called for a 15-yard face mask penalty. The Giants begin their game-winning drive on their own 27. A beaming Webster talked about his defense. "We didn't start off well early on giving up the two big plays. Other than that, we kept on fighting and ultimately we got the 'W'."

The New York Giants have the luxury of a bye week hoping they can get healthy on both sides of the ball. Jacobs' knee is a real source of concern. Justin Tuck is still battling neck and groin problems. First-round draft pick Prince Amukamara ran last week and might be ready when they face the Dolphins at home October 30th. Wearing a Yankee cap, Ballard said it best when asked how important it was to win going into the bye week. "It's huge. If we had lost this game, we would have had to wait two weeks to play again."

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