What Went Right
Kevin Everett visiting the Bills locker room before the game was the best thing to happen in Buffalo – by far.
Amani Toomer suited up. With the Giants playing without offensive leader Jeremy Shockey for the first time this season, the veteran dependable Toomer stepped right into that role. Toomer showed unusual fire after catches and was the main reason the Giants rebounded from their early 14-0 hole. Toomer finished the game with five catches for 99 yards. His huge, 39-yard third-down catch in the first quarter, during which he got free behind Bills safety Jim Leonhard, gave the Giants life.
Brandon Jacobs shook off a sprained ankle and broke free to help Big Blue move the ball consistently. His 43-yard touchdown run, during which he was untouched, was the longest run of his young career. In lousy weather, Jacobs’ ability to finish with a career-high 145 yards on 24 carries was the key to victory.
The defense woke up. After allowing Buffalo to streak to long touchdown drives on its first two possessions, Steve Spagnuolo’s troops tightened their collective belts and limited Buffalo to only one 31-yard TD drive the rest of the way.
The much-maligned Lawrence Tynes calmly drilled a 42-yard field goal into the wind and through the rain to give the Giants a 17-14 halftime lead. Say who you will, but Tynes has been real dependable of late.
What Went Wrong
In the third quarter, the Giants had a first-and-goal from inside the Bills one-yard line. With Brandon Jacobs on the sideline, Reuben Droughns was unable to get into the end zone on three tries and Bradshaw was stopped on the other attempt. Bills DT John McCargo sliced through the line and dropped Droughns for a loss on fourth-and-goal.
Lawrence Tynes couldn’t keep his game-opening kickoff in bounds, which gave the Bills the ball at their own 40 yard line. Seven plays later, Buffalo was in the end zone with a 7-0 lead.
Eli Manning’s first pass of the game was an embarrassing flutterball that didn’t even come close to intended receiver Plaxico Burress. He didn’t start the second half much better, as his errant pass to Burress was deflected by Jabari Greer and then picked off by Keith Ellison. Two plays later, the Bills scored to take a 21-17 lead.
The fact that Manning had to take a timeout coming out of the break following the third quarter was inexcusable. The fact he fumbled away the ensuing snap and also threw two interceptions was even worse.
James Butler dropped a sure interception in the fourth quarter that would have helped New York salt the game away. Edwards’ awful throw hit Butler right between the ‘3’ and the ‘7’.