Bills At Giants: When Buffalo Has The Ball

(Sports Network) – Buffalo comes into the Meadowlands as the NFL’s third-highest scoring team (32.8 ppg), in part due to the scoring chances the defense has generated, but also because it’s displayed very good balance and gotten savvy play-calling from the creative and experienced Gailey. The well-traveled head coach has made excellent use of Jackson (480 rushing yards, 5 TD, 19 receptions), as the versatile back is averaging a healthy 5.3 yards per carry and is also an integral part of an efficient passing game directed by underrated quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (1233 passing yards, 10 TD, 4 INT). The journeyman and Harvard graduate has completed nearly 66 percent of his throws on the season and been sensational in crunch time, having recorded a 119.0 passer rating and no turnovers in the second half while orchestrating a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks. Stevie Johnson (28 receptions, 343 yards, 3 TD) is the headliner of a rather unknown cast of pass-catchers that have aided Fitzpatrick’s cause, though the Bills will be without No. 2 receiver Donald Jones (16 receptions, 1 TD) for a while after he sprained his ankle in last week’s win. Slot specialist David Nelson (23 receptions, 2 TD) will shift outside in Jones’ absence, with practice-squad promotee Naaman Roosevelt (6 receptions) now asked to play a more prominent role. Buffalo has been outstanding within the red zone as well, scoring touchdowns on 15-of-20 possessions inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and all of onetime Giants tight end Scott Chandler’s (12 receptions) team-best four scoring grabs have come in that area.

Fewell’s main priority will be trying to repair a suddenly-leaky run defense that was gashed for 98 yards on only 12 attempts by Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch last Sunday, one week after Arizona’s Beanie Wells powered his way to 138 yards and three touchdowns against the group. The Giants haven’t had much trouble pressuring the passer, however, even with their stellar duo of ends Justin Tuck (6 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (6 tackles) each having been limited to just two games each due to injuries. Umenyiora has been a terror since returning from preseason knee surgery, with the two-time All-Pro amassing four sacks and two forced fumbles in his brief stint, while 2010 first-round draft choice Jason Pierre-Paul (27 tackles) stands third in the league with 6 1/2 quarterback takedowns over the first five weeks. Tuck, still hampered by a sore groin and a neck stinger, seems likely to sit out a third straight contest. New York registered six sacks against the Seahawks, pushing its NFL-best total to 18, but allowed a season-high 424 total yards in defeat.

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