In a disappointing yet close game, the Bills lost their second game of the season to the New York Giants by a score of 27 to 24. For the first time of the season, the Bills lost the turnover battle. Heading into a bye week, the Bills have more than their fair share of injuries to let heel across the board. But whereas the Bills had not yet won a game at this point last season, the team has already won four out of their first six games. There are still areas in which the team can improve and communicate better, but more players are beginning to step up, make plays and win games.
Run Offense: A
Fred Jackson is one such player that has really emerged this year. An 80 yard TD by Freddy on the Bills first drive was a good start to the game. As it wore on, the Giants did well in limiting Jackson to 41 yards on 15 carries afterwards. Finishing with a 7.6 yard average is still quite impressive. Brad Smith had great success in the wildcat with 4 carries for 26 yards. Spiller again did not carry the ball.
Pass Offense: C+
While Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 70% of his passes and threw 2 touchdowns, he also underthrew his wide receivers and paid dearly with 2 picks in Giants territory. Stevie Johnson had an on-off day with 5 catches for 39 yards and a TD. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller also had 5 receptions apiece. David Nelson led the team in receiving yardage with 4 grabs for 62 yards. Naaman Roosevelt only had one reception but went 60 yards and a touchdown.
Blocking Offense: B-
Three sacks nearly totaled their previous high 4 in the past five games. The Giants have an incredible pass rush which in large the Bills O-Line did well with, a few of the sacks coming after Fitz stayed in the pocket too long. Backup LT Chris Hairston did well throughout the game, but left with a leg injury. Andy Levitre switched to tackle, but often got beaten on the edge. Nice job pulling holes, particularly with Fred Jackson's run.
Run Defense: D
Early on, the Bills did a great job on the Giants run game. By time the fourth quarter rolled along though, they let a few big plays occur. Even though the Bills were tough in goalline situations, (Dareus had a few good plays), Ahmad Bradshaw still had three TDs and 100+ rushing on the day. The run D looks better than last year, but still has a ways to go.
Pass Defense: D-
The turnover magic that helped the pass defense for the past five weeks failed to appear in New York. Eli Manning had his way with his receivers all day almost having 3 TDs (two just shy, a third broken up). Terrence McGee had a fair return with 11 tackles and 2 pass break ups while McKelvin was not targeted against as much, but a had a late deflection to prevent a touchdown. Drayton Florence had almost half the Bills 7 penalties with interference calls including two in the last Giants scoring drive. Florence and the other corners need tighter coverage and to be more aware of the players around the field.
Pass Rush Defense: D
The Bills continued to hold the league low of sacks after failing to record a sack again. Having two starting outside linebackers and a starting nose tackle out hurts. And while the line and linebackers are getting better pressure, they have to finish plays. Either better disguise for blitzes or more refined techniques need to be implemented, with the secondary creating tighter coverage schemes.
Special Teams: A
A blocked field goal is huge! Alex Carrington managed to get enough on the kick to deflect it. Rian Lindell was one for one while Brian Moorman went over 45 yards per punt. Smith and Spiller had few opportunities to return the ball, although a nice Spiller return was offset by a penalty.
Working without a few of his usual pieces, Gailey's game plan did not stack up to the Giants in the end. At the half, the Bills lost some cohesion and only managed to score once. A full 60 minutes is required. Play calling was alright throughout the game, innovative, but predictable as the game wore on. Between Jackson, Spiller and Smith, the run game should have been used more against the the Giants. Good time management on the other side.
Heading into the bye is welcomed to an injured Bills roster. Hopefully time to recuperate and more practice to develop consistency will pay off in the last 10 games. Still 4-2 is something to be proud of especially after 2010. Interesting side note I heard, the Bills two loses have been each by a field goal. Preventing penalties is also a must after the break.
Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.