That sure was an ugly one with Seattle, wasn't it? The last place Seattle Seahawks were a 1-3 team, traveling across the country to face the New York Giants, who were looking to keep pace with the Washington Redskins in the NFC East.
Seattle left MetLife Stadium with a 36-25 victory over our Giants. What went wrong? I think the easier question to answer is: what went right?
The best statistic I can pull away from this game is that we had 464 yards of offense against Seattle, including 395 of those yards through the air. Victor Cruz had 8 receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown, with Jake Ballard and Hakeem Nicks sharing the same number in the touchdown stat.
On defense, Aaron Ross continues to attack the ball, coming away with an interception. Our defensive front also had 6 sacks on the day and knocked Tavaris Jackson out with a high-grade pectoral strain near his throwing arm.
Everything else, though, just reminds you of the ineptitude displayed during the Dave Brown era. While Eli Manning performed considerably better than Brown ever could - he did have a 91.8 passer rating - we had a total of 69 yards rushing - that's one really spectacular run for a high-end running back, not a team stat!
I'm not going to pick on Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs here: when you have 69 yards total rushing yards it's almost all on your offensive line. Sure, there are a couple of plays where you can point out Jacobs trying to extend the field, or Bradshaw being impatient, but for the majority of the day the Seattle Seahawks defensive front was pushing our offensive line backwards off the ball.
Of course, Seattle does have the 9th ranked rushing defense in the league, so limited rushing output is to be expected, but only getting 69 yards is an embarrassing testament to the ineffectiveness of our offensive line right now.
Oh, I guess I have to talk about that safety, don't I? Here's what happened: our bad fullback made a bad play. I'll get more into what exactly happened in another article (I've got to pimp my podcast somehow!)
On defense, well I just don't know what to say. while we stopped the Seattle Seahawks on the ground for 145 yards rushing, we gave up 279 yards through the air. On the ground, Seattle had two big running plays and one rushing touchdown. While you'd like to take back the Marshawn Lynch 47 yard run and touchdown runs, you still have to tip your hat to the Giants defensive front who, without Justin Tuck, managed to play fairly well ... right up until Tavaris Jackson got injured.
This game fell apart in the third quarter because Charlie Whitehurst spanked us. Yes, I just said that: Charlie "Matt Hasslebecks backup" Whitehurst beat the New York Giants defense. 11 of 19 for 149 yards and a touchdown with a 100.6 QB rating. In the 4th quarter he managed to drive his team down the field for a couple of field goals a touchdown. That may not sound impressive - because it's not - but you need to keep in mind the Giants own stats: while Seattle was busy putting up 22 points against us in the second half, we managed to only put up 11.
We were beat on the pass - by a backup, no less - at home against Seattle, a team, by all accounts, that just plain sucks. Now the Buffalo Bills come into town, and if you're a New York Giant fan, you've got to be a little more than a bit nervous. Seattle isn't a team that is known for ball control, a consistent running game, and big play execution at crucial moments.
The Buffalo Bills are.
To best compare the Buffalo Bills to the New York Giants, I would say look at the 2009 team we put together: an excellent offensive line, a smart quarterback, and a killer running game. The Bills do one thing extremely right: they control the ball effectively. In each of their games this season - win or lose - the Bills have controlled the ball for an average of 30 minutes. That means that they're almost guaranteed to get the ball for half of the game.
Here's something else that should scare you: the Buffalo BIlls have exactly 5 interceptions and 1 fumble. Take away one of those interceptions because it was on backup Brad Smith and you have 4 interceptions through 5 weeks of play. Less than one interception per game. That is, in a word, outstanding.
In short, this is a very disciplined, well coached team. This is a team that plays mistake-free football; yet, this is a team that can be beaten.
While we may not win the turnover battle - and with 12 interceptions on the season so far, I fully expect Buffalo to pick off Eli Manning at least once this game - we can stop their running game, or, at least, stop Buffalo from being on the field so damn much.
With the 4th ranked rushing offense, the Buffalo bills will be facing a test against the Giants defensive front - known for slowing down the run game. If they're able to slow down the run game enough, then Eli Manning should have enough time to get the ball out to our #1 WR Vickeem Nicuz. Like other teams, the Buffalo Bills biggest weakness this season is their secondary, ranked 26 in the league in passing yards, and 24th in the league in passing touchdowns.
The key for the New York Giants this week is to play mistake-free football. If you stop the simple mental mistakes - like Henry Hynoski made last week on the safety - then the Giants should have a really good chance against the Buffalo Bills.
This could be an excellent game for the New York Giants, or it could be a blowout. Now, if I were a betting man, I'd take Buffalo Bills at +3. I'm a fan though so I've got to take the Giants over the BIlls in this game - I just don't see Coughlin letting this team fall asleep going into the bye week.