The Giants bounced back from last week’s atrocious showing against the Seahawks with a much more enjoyable and well-played 27-24 win over the red-hot Buffalo Bills. Against all odds and dozens of injuries, the Giants will be 4-2 going into the bye week for a rest before facing the floundering Miami Dolphins in week 8.
A few observations I made from the game:
-Having Adam Baas in at center over Kevin Boothe definitely makes a difference. The Giants offensive line played much, much better this week, even with All-Pro guard Chris Snee missing the game with a concussion. Boothe filled in at guard for Snee, a position that is more natural to him, and it showed. Eli Manning had much more time to throw this week than he did in the previous game against Seattle and Bradshaw benefited from the improved blocking as well.
-Speaking of Bradshaw, it’s hard to fault a 104 yard, three touchdown performance. But I noticed several times during the game where he would miss a hole up the middle and try to force a run to the outside when there was nothing there. A little bit of a carry over from last week, maybe? It didn’t end up costing the Giants much this Sunday, but he could’ve had even more rushing yards if he’d hit those holes.
-While the Giants defensive line is still managing to get a good amount of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, they’re still missing Justin Tuck as far as run defense is concerned. Osi Umenyiora is still an elite pass rusher but he’s not as good as defending against the run as Tuck.
Tuck said after the game that he is going to play against Miami after the bye week, which hopefully means he’s finally starting to feel better, but we’ll see.
-Deon Grant has been a bit of a disappointment this year in my mind. He was one the Giants most underrated players last season and I was as happy as anyone when the Giants retained his services for 2011-2012. But he’s been taking bad angles, especially on running plays (look no further than Fred Jackson’s 80 yard touchdown run if you need proof of that) and his tackling has been sloppy.
-Mathias Kiwanuka got to take some snaps at defensive end today, which shows how much faith Tom Coughlin has in rookie Jacquian Williams at linebacker.
-Minus the touchdown pass he gave up to Stevie Johnson, Corey Webser had his best game of the season. Good overall coverage and two interceptions to boot. Johnson is the Bills number one receiver but he only had 39 receiving yards on the day.
-The Giants continue to be impressive in the red zone. They were inside Buffalo’s 20 yard line four times this game and scored a touchdown on three of those possessions. The defense forced yet another timely red zone turnover that led to the game-winning drive. It’s a nice change, isn’t it?
-Jason Pierre-Paul continues to impress week in and week out- and he’s only in the middle of his second year. Imagine how good he’s going to be in another couple of years when he has more experience and seasoning under his belt.