Bills-Giants Preview

Rather than keep Perry Fewell as their coach after promoting him

during the 2009 season, the Buffalo Bills gave the job to Chan

Gailey.

No one is questioning that decision now.

Gailey and the Bills look to knock off an NFC East opponent for

the second straight Sunday when they visit a New York Giants team

being plagued by a struggling run defense with Fewell as

coordinator.

Buffalo (4-1) is tied with New England and San Diego for the

AFC’s best record. The Bills, third in the league with 32.8 points

per game, already have beaten the Patriots and knocked off

Philadelphia 31-24 last Sunday at home.

“They have beaten the outstanding teams,” Giants coach Tom

Coughlin said.

The Bills already have matched their win total from last season

as they look for their first postseason berth since 1999.

“I expect us to win every time we walk out there, I don’t care

who we’re playing or when we we’re playing,” Gailey said. “You

expect to win. Everything you do, every practice rep that you take,

every meeting minute that you spend is done with the idea that

you’re going to win. You’re surprised when you lose, not when you

win.”

Gailey, though, is concerned about Fewell’s familiarity with

Buffalo after he spent four seasons there as defensive coordinator

and served as interim coach for the final seven games of 2009.

“Well, he certainly knows a lot of the people that are on this

team,” Gailey said. “He knows what some of the strengths and

weaknesses are of some of our players. I think that’s probably a

little bit of an advantage for him to be able to talk about

personnel.”

While Buffalo is impressive in numerous areas, its 138.2 rushing

yards per game for the league’s fourth-highest total could be the

biggest factor against New York (3-2).

The Giants defense, with Fewell in his second season as

coordinator, has allowed an average of 159.3 rushing yards over the

last three weeks. Now Fewell’s group will have to face Fred

Jackson, the NFL’s third-leading rusher with 96.0 yards per

game.

“I don’t know,” Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said. “A

lot of times you look at the films and just shake your head as

whatever the situation may be, we could have played it better or

it’s a combination of a lot of things.”

Tuck has played two games this season because of neck and groin

injuries, and he’s been ruled out again Sunday. The Giants have

produced a league-high 18 sacks even with his limited

availability.

The Bills have allowed a league-low four sacks, with Ryan

Fitzpatrick producing 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Buffalo defense picked off four of Michael Vick’s passes

last week to bring its NFL-leading total to 12 – one more than it

had all of last year.

“We’re getting the breaks,” linebacker Andra Davis said. “I

don’t really believe in luck. But whatever it is, we’ll take

it.”

Eli Manning is fourth in the league with a 102.3 passer rating,

but he was picked off three times in last Sunday’s surprising 36-25

home loss to Seattle. Manning has five interceptions after throwing

a league-high 25 a year ago.

“We have to make sure that we are careful with the ball,”

Manning said. “The receivers have to watch it all the way in and

myself throwing it in the right spots, being accurate and making

sure I am making the right reads.”

The Giants’ offense has been hampered by a rushing attack that

is the league’s fifth-worst in yards per game (83.8) and

second-worst in yards per carry (3.2).

New York has averaged fewer than 3.0 yards per rushing attempt

in back-to-back games for the first time since 2004.

“Of course, you are not going to control the ball unless you are

running the ball and that would certainly help us,” Coughlin

said.

Backup running back Brandon Jacobs will miss a second straight

game with a sprained left MCL, though he’s averaged just 3.1 yards

per carry. That will leave Ahmad Bradshaw with the majority of the

carries.

The Giants’ offensive line would be boosted if center David Baas

returns from a neck injury. He’s questionable, while right guard

Chris Snee will miss his first game since his 2004 rookie season

because of a concussion.

The Bills’ key pass rushers, however, are also banged-up.

Starting outside linebackers Shawne Merriman (Achilles) and Chris

Kelsay (calf) are out and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (foot) is

a game-time decision.

Buffalo leads the series 6-5, with New York winning 20-19 in

1991 in the only Super Bowl decided by a single point.