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Big Blue View staff picks, Week 2: Giants vs. Bills

Like everyone else, our staff is split on this one

Chicago Bears v New York Giants
Will Giants fans have things to cheer about Sunday?
Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Everyone on the Big Blue View who participated picked last week’s New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game correctly. That, of course, means the Giants lost.

Perfection won’t happen this week as our writers are split over whether or not the Giants will defeat the Buffalo Bills. Let’s examine the picks.

Chris Pflum

Earlier in the year I thought this was the Giants’ chance to even their record and avoid the dreaded 0-2 start. [This is usually the point where ESPN mentions what low percentage of teams that start 0-2 go to the playoffs]

But while I was expecting a loss to open the season, I wasn’t quite expecting how the Giants lost. If the Giants’ offense failed to score points, I was expecting it to be a situation similar to week 2 of last year, where Barkley saw nearly all the touches, but Dallas kept him from getting any traction. What I wasn’t expecting for him to see few looks, play explosively, and for it to not matter. I was expecting bumps in the road as the Giants young and re-rebuilt defense came together — not for the defense to barely look like a speed bump.

In light of last week, this week’s game against Buffalo is a “good news, bad news” situation. The good news is Buffalo’s offense isn’t anywhere near as good as Dallas’ so the game could come down to which team makes one more big play than the other. The bad news is that Buffalo has a very good defense with speed at all three levels and one of the few linebackers who might be able to actually match up with Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley. Meanwhile, the Giants’ passing game is looking awfully thin with Sterling Shepard out with a concussion and Cody Latimer dealing with a calf injury. If Buffalo can afford to play single coverage on the Giants’ receivers, it will make it that much easier to play coverage on Engram and swarm to Barkley — or scheme pressure on Eli Manning.

This should still be a winnable game for the Giants, but I find myself where I have been since 2016: The Giants are going to have to show me that they can actually win — not “not lose” — a game before I can pick them.

Pick: Buffalo 24, Giants 20

Season record: 1-0

Joe DeLeone

Sunday presents a perfect opportunity for the Giants to secure their first win at home against a very beatable Bills team. However, while they may be beatable, they should not be underestimated.

Last season and already in Week 1, the Bills struggled to be productive on offense. Josh Allen is still developing and very inconsistent because of it. He also does not have a strong or proven supporting cast around him. This Bills team will not hang as many yards on the Giants defense as the Cowboys did in Week 1.

Facing Buffalo’s defense will be the most difficult task this weekend. With a plethora of young and budding talent, this defense can take over the game. That being said, considering how productive the Giants were against a similar quality defense in Week 1, they shouldn’t have any issues stuffing the stat sheet. Eliminating mistakes and being efficient on third down will decide this game for them.

Pick: Giants 24, Bills 20

Season record: 1-0

Patricia Traina

The Giants are looking to avoid their third straight season-opening 0-2 start, and they still have a lot of unanswered questions.

For example, can they get their young defense to play better this week? This is a unit that is still learning how to play together at game speed, and I have a feeling there might be more rough spots ahead.

On the other side of the ball, a matchup no one’s talking about is the Giants passing game against the Bills pass defense, which right now is in the top-five league-wide and which is the strength of that defense. That matchup scares me.

That’s why the Giants MUST, repeat, MUST get the ball into Saquon Barkley’s hands and attack the Bills’ edges, which is what the Jets did last week with some success.

If the Giants do that — and I think given the injuries at receiver they will — they’ll give themselves a legitimate chance at winning.

Pick: Giants 27, Bills 24

Season record: 1-0

Joseph Czikk

This is a bit of a tough one. The Buffalo Bills’ third-ranked defense from 2018 is legit. There’s no questioning that. But they also won by a shoestring last week at MetLife because C.J. Mosley got injured and Sam Darnold was ineffective after halftime. The loss of Mosley literally opened the door for the Bills to win the game.

Saquon Barkley will very likely bust a few big gains on the Bills and that should open up some lanes for Eli to find Evan Engram and the Giants other receivers, even without Sterling Shepard and perhaps Cody Latimer. (PS - anyone else notice how much everyone suddenly loves Engram in national media now?) Anyway, it should be interesting to see how the Giants O fares against Buffalo’s legit defense. I do believe Eli will be able to throw a touchdown and Saquon will run for a pair.

The Giants D is what scares me. It really wasn’t good last week and I can foresee Josh Allen having a decent day if he can find some running holes.

I’m going to give this one to the Bills, but not by much.

Pick: Bills 24, Giants 21

Season record: 1-0

Mark Schofield

Covering the New England Patriots last season, two games that they won gave me serious pause about their ability to make a deep playoff run.

Both of those games were against the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo’s defense frustrated Tom Brady throughout both contests, and the passing game really struggled to get going. New England had to rely on their own defense, and a rushing attack, to pull out victories. That could play into what the Giants are looking to do on Sunday, but in addition, Josh Allen is a year more experienced, and as we saw last week, he’s starting to show signs of development. I’d look for this to be a close game that the Bills eek out in the end.

Pick: Bills 20, Giants 14

Season record: 1-0

Matt Williamson

The Giants will need to force Josh Allen and the Bills into turnovers and that very well could happen. But Buffalo has an excellent and underrated defense. Because of this, expect the Bills to play this one close to the vest and not ask too much from Allen. In the end, the Bills win a close game.

Pick: Bills 20, Giants 17

Season record: 1-0

Ed Valentine

I will stick with the pick I made earlier in the week over at Buffalo Rumblings. That’s the Giants to win a close game, largely because I just don’t want to think about all of the ramifications, and all of the nastiness that will ensue in comments here at BBV, should the Giants start 0-2 for a third straight season.

Even short wide receivers with Sterling Shepard (concussion), Darius Slayton (hamstring) and Golden Tate (suspension) out and Cody Latimer (calf) questionable I think the Giants can play good enough offense. If, that is, coach Pat Shurmur remembers that Saquon Barkley is the Giants’ best player. The question will be whether or not they can score points at the ends of their drives.

Defensively, no one should expect the Giants to become dominant overnight. The Bills, though, are not the Dallas Cowboys and shouldn’t be able to march up and down the field at will like Dallas did.

In the end, I have to believe the Giants find a way to win this one.

Pick: Giants 24, Bills 20

Season record: 1-0