Matchups

New York Giants (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7)

New York Giants Defense
12th Ranked against the Run
11th Ranked against the Pass
New York Giants Offense
6th Ranked in Rushing
17th Ranked in Passing

Buffalo Bills Defense
22nd Ranked against the Run
28th Ranked against the Pass
Buffalo Bills Offense
16th Ranked in Rushing
29th Ranked in Passing

The Giants have won six straight games on the road this year; only the Patriots and the Cowboys have a better record when playing away games. Unlike New England and Dallas however, the Giants can’t wait to pack up and leave the Meadowlands. They are an unimpressive 4-3 at home this year, but whether playing for the New York crowd or visiting their opponents the bigger problem for the Giants this year is their lack of execution on offense.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been hard pressed to connect with his receivers, and after starting the season as one of the top rated quarterbacks in the league for passing yardage and touchdown throws he has since sunk far down the performance charts. The Bills have struggled over the last six games, posting 17 points or more only once, and that was when they scored 38 while rolling over the winless Dolphins. But a similar cloud has hung over the Giants; in their last seven games they have managed to put more than 17 points on the board only twice.

The key for the Giants will be to stop Bills rookie running back Marshawn Lynch and to put pressure on Buffalo’s rookie QB Trent Edwards. Lynch is one of the top ten running backs in the league in yardage, gaining better than 85 yards per game, and he is also one of the more dangerous outlet receivers for his young quarterback. Edwards started the season with 5 interceptions and 1 touchdown, but over the past three games he had 4 TD’s with no interceptions. Edwards is a sharp, quick passer, and with nothing to lose he may well open up the field against New York and start throwing some touchdowns.

The Giants defense has been putting adequate pressure on their opponents quarterback lately, but Manning and the offense have failed miserably to take advantage of it. With Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey now out with a broken leg and WR Plaxico Burress already hobbled by a sore ankle and a sure candidate for the double team, the Giants will need WR Amani Toomer to have a very good day. A big game is also needed from running back Brandon Jacobs, who has averaged almost 89 yards a game, good for 4th best in the NFL. Without good numbers from Toomer and Jacobs, the Giants are likely to lose at Buffalo.

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