A late 23-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes gave the New York Giants an ego-boosting 27-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The win sends the Giants in to their bye-week with a 4-2 record and sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled over the Bills defense for 104 yards including a leaping goal-line flip that put the Giants up 24-17 in the third quarter. Bradshaw became the first Giant to run for three touchdowns in a game since Brandon Jacobs did it against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 21, 2008.
The Giants (4-2) also found some remnants of their smashmouth style of play after losing their mojo last week in a devastating home loss against the Seattle Seahawks. As Bradshaw helped the Giants discover the running part of their game, the defense did just enough to keep the Bills at bay.
Bills running-back Fred Jackson gained 121 yards but most of that acreage came on an early 80-yard breakaway. The Giants D harassed Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick all day and registered 3 sacks, 2 interceptions and made one fumble recovery. While it's not enough to make fans hearken back to the days of L.T., they held the Bills when they had to.
The Giants' Eli Manning was facing a Bills defense which led the league in interceptions but the turnover prone quarterback came out of the game unscathed. Manning was nearly flawless and completed 21-of-31 for 292 yards. He had no TD throws but a couple of passes in or around the endzone were dropped by his receivers.
While the Giants were scoring on short runs by Bradshaw, the Bills (4-2) made the big plays highlighted by Jackson's run and a 60-yard Fitzpatrick pass to Naaman Roosevelt. Jackson's scamper was the longest run given up by the Giants since Oct. 15, 2006 when the Falcon's Warrick Dunn scored on a 90-yarder.
The Giants have to feel good settling into their bye week. They face a pretty bad Miami Dolphins at home when they resume play in two weeks and all signs are leading to Big Blue being less black and blue by then.
Chris Snee (concussion), Brandon Jacobs (knee) and Justin Tuck (neck) are all expected to be fully recovered from injuries which have them on the sidelines.
There is also talk that Prince Amukamara will be ready to suit up for his first regular season game. Last spring's first-round selection broke a bone in his foot the first week of camp and could be ready to join the rest of the defensive backfield.
The Giants had to work hard for this victory and things can only get better with the return of Snee, Jacobs and Tuck-- all crucial parts to the G-Men's grind-it-out running and swarming defensive style.
If today's game proved anything, it's that the Bills are the real thing but the Giants are just a little better.