Giants Can Enjoy Bye Week As NFC East Leaders

Ahmad Bradshaw (44) of the New York Giants celebrates a one yard touchdown with his teammates in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on October 16, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

-- The schedule toward the end of the season for the Giants is very difficult, making Sunday's victory over Buffalo an important one.

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin called Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills "a very good win." Coughlin is right. This was a victory over a quality Buffalo team that is now 4-2 with victories over New England and Philadelphia.

This was also a victory the Giants needed badly. Thanks to Philadelphia defeating Washington the Giants enter their bye week at 4-2, ahead of the Redskins 3-2 for first place in the NFC East. A loss would have put the Giants at 3-3, sent them into the bye week off two straight home defeats and sent them into a brutal final 10 games with little margin for error.

"I would like to be 6-0, but this is a hard-earned win. To be 4-2 right now and have the bye and to be an optimist if I may, maybe we do get some guys back after this two-week period. That can help us," Coughlin said. "You have to take your hat off to the guys who went out today and played the way they did from a team concept, displaying once again the mental toughness that we always talk about. We are a team and whoever is called upon has to step up and make a play."

The Giants played Sunday without defensive end Justin Tuck, guard Chris Snee, running back Brandon Jacobs and fullback Henry Hynoski. In addition, wide receiver Ramses Barden (PUP) and cornerback Prince Amukamara have not played yet this season. The Giants could have all of those players back in two weeks against the Miami Dolphins.

"I love winning before a bye because it's just a long two weeks where you're thinking about what you could have done, where you needed to get better," quarterback Eli Manning said. "We came together as a team. Guys made the plays and a big win. 4-2, feel like were in a good spot. We made progress offensively. Like we said, we just can't afford to make mistakes like we did last week."

The Giants should handle the woeful Dolphins after the bye, which would put them at 5-2 heading into the final nine games of the season. Under Coughlin the Giants have historically not fared as well in the second half of the season as they have in the first. This season's final nine games could make this a similar season.

Those final nine games are:

At New England; At San Francisco; Vs. Philadelphia; At New Orleans; Vs. Green Bay; At Dallas; Vs. Washington; At New York Jets; Vs. Dallas.

Not a single breather type game in there. Thus, getting back to Sunday the victory over a good Buffalo team is one the Giants had to have. 

Now they can enjoy their week off. 

-- See Big Blue View for complete Giants discussion and analysis

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