Sep 152019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO BILLS 28 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The simply dreadful New York Giants were soundly defeated by the Buffalo Bills 28-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants are 0-2 for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

The game was eerily reminiscent of last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys as the Giants started off the contest on fire. Without attempting a pass, the Giants drove 75 yards in five plays to quickly go up 7-0. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 55 of those yards on four carries, including the 27-yard touchdown gallop for the score. The Giants also forced a three-and-out on defense, sacking quarterback Josh Allen in the process.

The game then quickly turned. The Giants went-three-and-out and the Bills tied the game at 7-7 after driving 75 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. Allen ran around right end for the 6-yard score. The Giants went three-and-out again and the Bills followed that up an 11-play, 70-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Devin Singletary. On this possession, Buffalo converted on 3rd-and-10, 3rd-and-5, and 3rd-and-10. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Giants had four incompletions and zero passing yards in the first quarter.

The nail in the coffin came on the subsequent Bills’ possession after New York’s third punt in a row. Reserve corner Antonio Hamilton and receiver Cody Core combined to down the punt at the Buffalo 2-yard line. But it took the Bills just seven plays to move 98 yards and go up 21-7. While the entire defense was struggling, the Bills in particular targeted rookie cornerback Deandre Baker with great success throughout the first half.

The Giants finally began moving the ball again on their fifth drive of the game, gaining 57 yards on 14 plays. However, after a dropped 3rd-down pass by Bennie Fowler, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed a 48-yard field goal.

With less than two minutes to play before halftime, the Giants forced a three-and-out by the Bills. Receiver T.J. Jones returned the ensuing punt 60 yards to the Bills’ 33-yard line with 1:15 to go. However, quarterback Eli Manning’s second pass after the punt return was tipped and intercepted. At the half, the Bills led 21-7.

The New York defense tightened up in the second half, but the offense simply could not get untracked. The Bills went three-and-out to start the second half as defensive end Olsen Pierre sacked Allen on 3rd-and-7. An 8-play drive by the Giants sputtered when Manning was sacked on 3rd-and-12 in Bills’ territory.

After two punts by the Bills and one by the Giants, the Giants cut the score to 21-14 early in the 4th quarter after a 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Jones. The Giants had converted on 4th-and-2 just prior to this when Manning threw a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer.

The Bills responded to this challenge with a killer 13-play, 75-yard drive that took over six minutes off of the clock. It looked like the Giants had forced the Bills to settle for a successful 21-yard field goal, but defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was flagged with a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on the kick. Two plays later, the Bills scored from one yard out, making the score 28-14 with 5:53 left to play.

After picking up one first down, Manning’s next four passes were incomplete and the Giants turned the ball over on downs at their own 42-yard line. However, the Bills hardly took any time off of the clock and the Giants got the ball back with 4:39 to play. Four players later, Manning was intercepted again. Buffalo killed all but 26 seconds off of the clock. Manning padded his stats with three meaningless completions and the game ended.

Manning was 26-of-45 for just 250 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His leading receivers were tight end Evan Engram (6 catches for 48 yards) and Fowler (5 catches for 51 yards). Barkley carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, but 55 of those yards came on the opening drive. The offense was 3-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-2 on 4th down.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 24 first downs, 388 total net yards (151 rushing, 237 passing). For the second game in a row, the defense did not force a turnover. The Giants did accrue three sacks however: Markus Golden (1), Olsen Pierre (1), Lorenzo Carter (0.5), and Oshane Ximines (0.5).

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion0, WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), TE Garrett Dickerson (quad), QB Alex Tanney, RB Paul Perkins, OG/OT Chad Slade, and OT Eric Smith were inactive.

WR Cody Latimer left the game with a concussion and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants fell to 0-2 for the third season in row and fifth time in six years.

The Giants lost their third consecutive home opener, including a 3-7 record at MetLife.

The Giants were the first team to throw for more than 210 yards against Buffalo’s top-ranked (in 2018) pass defense since New England threw for 324 yards last October 29th.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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