Seven of the Giants’ 12 offensive possessions lasted four plays or fewer. They did have two touchdown drives of 75 and 76 yards, which accounted for more than half of the 286 total yards they gained before padding the numbers with two garbage-time drives in the final five minutes. Essentially they stalled far more than they progressed. Saquon Barkley ran for 107 yards and a TD on 18 carries and caught three passes for 28 yards. Eli Manning was sacked just once, but had four passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, including one that was picked off. The Giants were 3-for-12 on third downs and 1-for-2 on fourths.
Breakdowns in the secondary allowed Bills receivers to find openings for most of the game. They did keep the Bills from scoring on any big passing plays – their one deep attempt was overthrown by Josh Allen – but gave up five passes of 15 yards or more. They were able to apply some pressure on Allen with their pass rush, but still had just three sacks. Allen more than made up for that with his scrambling. The Bills were 4-for-4 in the red zone, scoring a touchdown each time they got within reach of the end zone. Through two games the defense has yet to come up with a takeaway.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
There were a few bright spots here in terms of providing field position. TJ Jones looked good returning punts. He had a 60-yarder and a 13-yarder that should have set the Giants up on offense. On punt coverage Antonio Hamilton made an athletic play to flip the ball from the goal line where it was downed by Cody Core to pin the Bills at the 2. The problem was that none of Jones’ returns led to points and the Bills drove 98 yards after Hamilton’s gold star. Aldrick Rosas missed a 48-yard field goal attempt, his first after 20 straight makes, to rob the Giants of points late in the first half and Dexter Lawrence was flagged for illegal contact with the long-snapper on a Bills field goal attempt late in the game that extended a drive for a touchdown. Seven points were squandered on those two plays.
Six straight runs to open the game seemed like a wise choice for the Giants offense that was without Sterling Shepard and wanted to make a concerted effort to feed Barkley. And it worked early on, too. Eventually, though, the lack of playmakers caught up with the Giants and Pat Shurmur couldn’t scheme his way around it. He did get Barkley 21 touches and kept calling the running back’s number even when the Giants trailed, so that was smart. Defensively, the Giants play as if they receive no coaching at all. There were miscommunications, misreads, missed tackles and missed assignments. The Giants swore last week’s problems were correctable. Yet they did very little to correct them.