Giants vs. Bills: 3 things to watch
1. Opportunity knocks
The Bills’ secondary is an opportunistic group, logging 12 interceptions so far in only five games. Three of those picks have been returned for touchdowns, so head coach Tom Coughlin has been pounding into the heads of his receivers all week about the virtue of ball security and focus.
“If it’s a high ball, you have to get your eyes up,” Coughlin said. “A lot of those things occur when the eyes are the last thing up and the hands are up there and you end up tipping the ball — the high ball. The ball catches you by surprise. You don’t want that to happen. You have to see the ball all the way into your hands, [because] any time you tip the ball over the middle of the field it’s going the other way.”
2. Pick your poison
Teams that try to pick their poison when defending the Bills generally end up sick anyway. The Bills are averaging 32 points per game, but are doing so in a balanced manner. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been stellar this season (10 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and 1,233 yards), wideout Stevie Johnson continues to ascend (28 catches for 343 yards and three touchdowns) and running back Fred Jackson may be the best duel-threat weapon in the league (480 rushing yards, five touchdowns and 5.3 yards per carry and 19 catches for 232 yards). Buffalo is loaded on offense — not exactly what a struggling Big Blue defense needs to remedy itself.
3. Big timers
As opportunistic as the Bills’ defense is, they are susceptible to the big play. Buffalo has allowed 1,417 passing yards in five games (283 yards per game) and 692 yards on the ground — a 138 yards per game average. Those are awful numbers that are only masked by the pick sixes and prolific offense. It’s a reason why Giants quarterback Eli Manning is so confident his unit can keep pace.
“I think we are very confident,” Manning said. “They give up a lot of yards and a bit of points. We can move the ball on them and there are some plays we can make … we’ve watched a lot of their film and had a great week of practice. Guys are really confident.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.