Jay Bromley watches from the sideline during the second half...

Jay Bromley watches from the sideline during the second half of a game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 7, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. Credit: Getty Images / Frederick Breedon

Jay Bromley understands how it works. The injury that ended the season for Johnathan Hankins, the Giants' best interior defensive lineman, certainly is a damaging blow to the Giants, but it also is an opportunity for Bromley.

"I want to have the best game I've ever had," he said Friday when asked about the job of stepping into Hankins' shoes in Sunday's game against the 8-0 Patriots. "And that's the way I came into this week."

Bromley, 23, has been on the rise in his second NFL season after being selected out of Syracuse in the second round of the 2014 draft. After playing in eight games (with five tackles) as a rookie last season, he has played in all nine games this season and participated in 21 tackles.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said though the Giants certainly will miss Hankins, it is "good" that Bromley will be getting increased playing time now.

"He's been playing a lot of football and we've been rotating, anyway," Spagnuolo said of Bromley on Wednesday. "So it won't be new to anybody that will be in there."

Tom Coughlin also likes Bromley's potential to make big plays. "The thing that Jay can do is that he can rush the passer in addition to playing the run," he said. "We expect that we're going to need some help in every facet in terms of being able to get after the passer."

Bromley said he has worked to improve his technique against the run since he got to the NFL and believes he has made big strides in that area. He is better at staying "square" along the line of scrimmage, he said, and his footwork and ability to shed blocks have improved greatly.

"I've always been good at rushing the passer," he said. "I feel like it's more of an instinct thing than it is other things. I feel like I have the will, and it's just relentless. But stopping the run was more technique. And I came here and it was a different technique that I had to learn for stopping the run than when I was in college. It wasn't the same. So that's why it took me so long to really adjust to it."

Bromley knows he's about to be put to the test Sunday as he tries to get to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at MetLife Stadium.

"It's probably going to be the biggest game I've ever played in in my short career," he said. "So I'm really excited, man. I really don't have any expectations. I can't wait to get out there with my brothers and let it fly."

Notes & quotes: Defensive back Prince Amukamara (pectoral muscle) will miss his fifth straight game. Receiver Victor Cruz, tight end Larry Donnell and linebackers J.T. Thomas and Uani 'Unga also were listed as out. Linebacker Jamie Collins and linemen Marcus Cannon, Tre' Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer (concussion) are out for the Patriots.

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