Tall Tales: Here Come the Bills

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Our featured guest contributor that we refer lovingly to “The Tall Guy” here at GMENHQ is going to have his very own segment now called — Tall Tales.

Here is what the Tall dude has to say for himself this week ahead of the Bills @ Giants game:

We’re Talkin’ Proud

Back in the 1970’s Buffalo was something of a joke in New York State. It was regarded as a fallen industrial city up by the shores of Lake Erie, and wasn’t even worth the same sort of derogatory humor that Cleveland seemed to generate. The cities of Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cleveland form a triangle (each is about 200 miles from Canton), and Pittsburgh and Cleveland have a storied history of the old NFL behind them. Buffalo was, of course, an original member of the original AFL. In order to generate some civic pride, the city fathers of Buffalo came up with the slogan “We’re Talkin’ Proud.” With a certain amount of justification, the same can be said of this year’s Bills squad.

The Bills storm into the Meadowlands sporting a strong record, with wins over an improved Oakland squad, the Eagles, and the Patriots. They are playing with confidence, and they are playing smart and aggressive football.

First, some things about our G-men. They are banged up, and the OL and DL represent weak points. The LB’s are young, and there are a number of injuries. They get a couple of players back this week, but others will be held out in the hope that the coming bye week will allow the extra time to get healthy. Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs will miss this game, and Chris Snee and Zak DeOssie are still questionable due to concussions. This brings us to a statistical anomaly. The Giants play notoriously well in the game before the bye, and stink up the joint in the game after the bye. In every year that Tom Coughlin has been the coach the Giants have been 5-2 after seven games. The one year that they weren’t the G-Men went 6-1. This is a must win game for the Giants, as after the break they face Miami (losing record) and then they face the teams ranked 1-4 in total offense. San Francisco isn’t one of these foes, but that’s another story.

Buffalo isn’t exactly a dominating team. They win by playing smart football. The roster is full of underappreciated players that have been leavened with veterans. Although you wouldn’t think it, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the second rated QB in the AFC behind Tom Brady. Shawn Merriman adds fire to the defense, and George Wilson is having a career year as Strong Safety. The Bills might also be Dallas North, as Dave Wannstedt and Chan Gailey are the Defensive Coordinator and Head Coach, respectively. Wannstedt was the Defensive Coordinator for the Cowboys under Jimmy Johnson, while Chan Gailey followed Barry Switzer. Both are intimately familiar with the Giants, so the tendencies should be apparent. Perry Fewell was a former coach at Buffalo, so the Bills might have an insight as to how the Giants will be coached. People always remember that Mr. Gailey was fired by Jerry Jones. So were a lot of other people. Most of us seem to forget that he took the Cowboys to the playoffs twice (I did), but they were an old team on the down side by the time he got there.

While the Giants are banged up, so are the Bills. The #2 receiver, Donald Jones, is out with a high ankle sprain. The offensive left tackle, Demetrius Hall is out as well and will be replaced with a rookie. This would give the Giants a big advantage unless the Bills give the LT help. Their rookie nickel corner back is out as well.

This has been long winded, and where does it leave us? The odds makers have made the G-Men a 3 point home favorite. Buffalo is a smart and confident team, and they win by playing to their strengths and not making mistakes. The Giants are an angry team that faces what seems to be a must win game relatively early in the season. This seems to be a common thread with the Giants. They also play well going into the bye. There is a stat geek out there who makes it 60-40 that the Giants pull out the victory at home going into the bye week. If the Giants can’t figure out how to stop the run and get their own ground game moving, it’s likely to be a long afternoon. Statistically, the Giants are rated in the middle of the pack on most categories, which is about where a 3-2 team would be. The Giants must also do a better job of holding on to the football, something they did well in the first four games before reverting to last season’s type against the Seahawks. I’m going to go with superstition here; if I pick the G-men to win, they will almost certainly lose. Conversely, if I pick them to lose, they will win.

Buffalo 27-24. I hope to be eating another serving of crow come Sunday night.

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