New York Giants Football: Winners and Losers from G-Men's Win vs. Bills
After a heart-breaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks last week, the Giants played a lot better football against the stronger Bills team.
The G-Men desperately needed the win because after the bye they face some of the best teams in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints left on their schedule. It was a win that might have determined whether the Giants had any chance to make the playoffs this season.
Now they sit at the top of the NFC East with 10 games left in the season.
Here were some players who had a large impact in this game.
Winner: The Giants Offensive Line
The Giants offensive line has played inconsistently in the first five games of the year, but today was a different story.
The O-line played stellar today.
They were opening up holes for running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and they also gave Eli Manning a lot of time in the pocket. As a result, Manning was not sacked the entire game.
Establishing an effective running game and not allowing your quarterback to get hit is an effective formula in running a productive offense and eventually winning the game.
The offensive line made it happen today.
Winner: Running Back Fred Jackson
Bills' running back Fred Jackson had another monstrous game today against the Giants.
Jackson ran for 121 yards on 16 carries, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. This included an 80-yard scamper that he had for a touchdown in the first quarter. He also had five receptions for 47 yards.
His performance this season is an important reason why the Bills have the fourth best rushing attack in the league and also why the Bills have surprised so many people through six weeks.
If the Bills want to stay in the AFC East race, they will need him to keep pounding the rock.
Loser: Running Back Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs has had an extremely unimpressive season so far.
He has ran for 116 yards rushing in 38 attempts and has taken far fewer snaps in the back field than Ahmad Bradshaw has.
He was then inactive for the second straight week against Buffalo Bills.
With Jacobs being either ineffective or injured, it might mean that he will continue to get fewer snaps on game day.
Winner: Running Back Ahmad Bradshaw
While Ahmad Bradshaw has struggled a bit this year as a result of the offensive line's inconsistencies, the little man continues to remain on the field and get those tough yards on the ground. He has also been impressive pass blocking for Eli Manning. Time after time, he has blown up a blitzing linebacker or defensive back in order to give Manning an extra second in the pocket.
He is really a true player.
Today all of his hard work paid off, as he ran for 104 yards on 26 and a career-high three touchdowns.
Bradshaw deserved a game like this. His performance was a major reason the Giants pulled off this win.
Loser: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Bills' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has played well all year. He, along with Fred Jackson, drives the Bills' offense.
Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick had rough game today.
Although his stat line, 21-of-30 and 244 passing yards, is not bad, he threw an interception in the fourth quarter to Giants' corner back Corey Webster that stopped a drive that could have resulted in at least a field goal. Points that would have given the Bills' the lead.
This errant pass could have ultimately changed the outcome of the game.
Winner: Quarterback Eli Manning
Many media personnel had a field day when Eli Manning went on the radio and said he believed that he was among the top 5 or top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL.
So far, Manning has quieted some critics in the first six weeks.
Manning has overcome offensive line troubles and a lack of an effective running game for most of the season and has still played phenomenal.
He has almost 1,500 yards passing, 11 touchdowns, a 63.4 percent completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 102.3. Most importantly he only has five interceptions through six games.
What hasn't shown has his been ability to make important drives late in the game to take his team to victory. He orchestrated, along with Bradshaw's running, another drive late in the fourth quarter that led to the game-winning field goal.
If Eli Manning continues to play at this level, he could take his Giants to an NFC East title.