Kiwanuka Not Thrown By Big Plays

Kiwanuka Not Thrown By Big Plays

The Bills' two big plays might have thrown another defense into a panic. But Mathias Kiwanuka said that once the Giants got settled, they did the job.

Mathias Kiwanuka, for one, was not thrown for a mental loss after the Bills ripped off an 80-yard Fred Jackson touchdown run and a 60-yard Naamen Roosevelt pass play for another touchdown in the first quarter.

"You can't take that one run out and I wish we could but in terms of the rest of the game, I think we were pretty sound in terms of responsibility and everybody knowing where they were supposed to be," said Kiwanuka, who played a load of his old defensive end spot in Sunday's 27-24 win after starting the season at linebacker. "That was the only issue coming into the game. It wasn't that people couldn't make plays, it was that some responsibilities were mixed up coming in. Once we got that taken care of with sideline adjusting, we were good from there on. Obviously, we have to stop the big plays and that will be the thing that we focus on during the bye week."

Kiwanuka was right on one count. After the Giants adjusted, the Bills had much difficulty running the ball. Although they totaled 155 yards on the ground, 80 of that came from Jackson's run, and the Bills only accumulated 29 ground yards in the second half.

That hadn't been the case the first five games of the season, as opposing rushing games gashed the Giants for an average of 21st-worst, 122.2-yard per game average.

So consider Sunday a day of growth for a defense playing without Justin Tuck.

Now, if they can shut down the big plays, the Giants might actually be able to dominate an opponent.

"(Big plays) are not necessarily a big surprise because those things are going to happen but it is our job to minimize them," said Kiwanuka, who finished with seven tackles and a sack on Ryan Fitzpatrick. "That is what we focused on a lot last week. Going out there and giving one up early is a bad situation to be in, it was tough and disappointing but the fact that we fought and we got it corrected and we were able to come out with a win is the biggest positive you can take out of this week.

"We put ourselves in a bad situation but we came back and we fought and we rose up."

They'll have to raise their game even more after this week's bye, however. Struggling Miami follows next week, but after that comes a murderous six-game stretch against New England, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Green Bay and Dallas. They'll face all but the Eagles and Packers on the road.

Understandably, Kiwanuka won't look too far down the road from the 4-2 Giants' tenuous tie with Washington atop the NFC East.

If he did, he might scare himself to death.

"Whenever you start looking too far ahead, that's when you let one slide away that you should have had and you should have won," said Kiwanuka, who could easily be talking about the Miami game. "For us, it is a non-issue and for me it is a non-issue because we have had a lot of injuries and we know how to play when people are out.

"To get people back would be a huge plus for us but it is not about looking deep into the schedule and trying to map it out. It is about looking into this next game and getting a win."

They'll have the rest of this week to rest up, figure things out, and then get back to the business of improving.

After this first stretch that included three successful fourth-quarter rallies and one failed comeback bid, the Giants can use the breather.

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