The Giants head into week four looking for a second consecutive win when they head to Buffalo to take on the Bills.
The Bills are 2-1 so far this season, defeating the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. The Bills so far are the number one rushing defense allowing only 222 yards on the ground this season. Quietly right behind them are the New York Football Giants, allowing 224 yards.
The Bills rely on their run game to open up the offense for playmakers like Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin, Charles Clay and Tyrod Taylor. Buffalo will be without their veteran running back, former Philadelphia Eagle LeSean McCoy. Buffalo’s offense has put up no less then 27 points in any of their three games this season.
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Bills rookie and leading rusher Karlos Williams will be the key to this matchup for the Giants. If they can contain Williams as they did last week with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones the Giants will greatly improve their chances to win this game. With the run game under control the Giants have the corners to match up against Buffalo’s receivers Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins.
Tight end Charles Clay is second on the team with 12 catches thus far and he may cause a matchup problem for Giants linebackers, it may be up to rookie Landon Collins to cover the athletic pass catching tight end and keep the Bills offense under wraps.
Though quarterback Tyrod Taylor has played very well this season the Giants must do their best to confuse him with blitzes and different looks and they must also keep him in the pocket. Taylor has 96 rushing yards so far this season including a long run of 31 yards.
On offense the Giants will struggle to run the ball. Their offensive line is improving but Buffalo’s front seven is arguably the best in the NFL. As I mentioned before, Buffalo is the only team better then the Giants at stuffing the run. To offset this the Giants must hit a lot of short underneath routes, as Buffalo’s corners are also a very good unit. Tom Brady and the Patriots carved the Bills up in week 2 by throwing the ball underneath the secondary 47 times. I don’t expect the Giants to throw that much but it shows a blueprint of how to beat aggressive defenses, New England used the same strategy in last year’s Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
With the return of Victor Cruz the Bills strong secondary will have their hands full. Cruz’s return will do one of several things. First it may open up room for Rueben Randle. Randle was invisible his first two games but played very well last week with 7 catches 116 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. With Beckham expected to see double coverage the defense must choose to put more attention on Randle or Cruz. If they pay attention to Cruz, Randle may have a big day. If they pay attention to Randle then Cruz may be the one getting open underneath on short routes and racking up stats.
Cruz’s return will also open up an opportunity for one of the tight ends and even the running backs to catch more passes. Tight end Larry Donnell can be a threat, sometimes. Daniel Fells is sure handed possession type receiver and running backs Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings are always a receiving threat out of the backfield. Less attention to anyone of these players will give the Giants an advantage. Hopefully Cruz’s presence trickles down and allows more room to run as well.
The Giants have both the offense and defense to matchup well against what is a very good Buffalo Bills team. The Giants must remain level headed throughout this game as Buffalo will get chippy and play very undisciplined football. They currently lead the league with 293 yards given up via penalties.
I like how the Giants match up in this one, if they can continue to control the run and play exceptionally well in the secondary the Giants have a very strong shot to get to erase an 0-2 start to the season.