Bumbling Bills pay big-time against Giants

Penal­ties, dis­ci­pline is­sues prove costly for Buf­falo, Man­ning solid with 3 TDs

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - JOHN WAWROW

OR­CHARD PARK, N.Y.— As run­ning back Rashad Jen­nings broke one tackle af­ter another, the New York Giants be­gan shed­ding their early sea­son rep­u­ta­tion for blow­ing fourth-quar­ter leads.

Jen­nings eluded three would-be tack­lers to score on a 51-yard catc­hand-run mid­way through the fourth quar­ter to se­cure a 24-10 win over the un­rav­el­ing and undis­ci­plined Buf­falo Bills on Sun­day.

And if the out­come was ever in doubt, cor­ner­back Prince Amuka­mara set­tled it on Buf­falo’s next pos­ses­sion by strip­ping the ball out of the hands of re­ceiver Robert Woods.

“We were chal­lenged af­ter the first two games where we had leads go­ing into the fourth quar­ter and lost them both,” quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning said. “So that was a huge play by Rashad. A great ef­fort and we need it.

“The team needed it.”

Man­ning and the Giants re­sponded once the mo­men­tum be­gan shift­ing af­ter Buf­falo cut the lead to 16-10 on Ty­rod Tay­lor’s 23-yard pass to Kar­los Wil­liams with 9:41re­main­ing. Fac­ing third-and-3 at his own 49, Man­ning busted the Bills blitz by dump­ing a short pass to his left to Jen­nings.

He sidestepped a tackle at­tempt by line­backer Nigel Brad­ham in the back­field. Rac­ing up the side­line, Jen­nings avoided line­backer Pre­ston Brown’s at­tempt to make a div­ing tackle from be­hind. And then he shoved aside safety Bacarri Rambo be­fore scor­ing. “Some­body had to step up and make a play,” re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr. said. “And he came up big.”

The Bills (2-2), by com­par­i­son, col­lapsed a week af­ter a dom­i­nat­ing 4114 win at Mi­ami.

“As far as me as a player, I’ve got to make that play,” Brad­ham said, re­fer­ring to the missed tackle on Jen­nings.

Trou­ble was, it wasn’t just Brad­ham in a game the Bills lacked fin­ish on of­fence and un­done by a lack of dis­ci­pline.

Buf­falo’s of­fence com­bined for just 77 yards and two first downs on its first nine pos­ses­sions. Once it fi­nally be­gan mov­ing, it came away with no points on two con­sec­u­tive drives into the red zone.

Another con­cern was penal­ties. The Bills were flagged17 times for135 yards, two weeks af­ter they were pe­nal­ized 14 times for 140 yards in a 40-32 loss to New Eng­land.

Tay­lor had a 31-yard touch­down run in the third quar­ter negated by a hold­ing penalty against guard Kraig Ur­bik. In the fi­nal minute of the game, Charles Clay’s 32-yard touch­down catch was nul­li­fied when Richie Incog­nito and Cordy Glenn were flagged for a chop block.

“Can we play a lot smarter? Ab­so­lutely,” coach Rex Ryan said. “But I’ll take a team that will fight.”

Safety Corey Graham called it “em­bar­rass­ing.”

“One af­ter another, dumb penal­ties,” Graham said. “It’s ter­ri­ble.”

Giants de­fen­sive tackle Cullen Jenk­ins got a kick out of see­ing the Bills im­plode.

“You could re­ally see the frus­tra­tion start­ing to come over them,” Jenk­ins said.

Man­ning went 20 of 35 for 212 yards and three touch­downs — in­clud­ing a 21-yarder to Dwight Harris and an 11-yarder to Rueben Ran­dle — and an in­ter­cep­tion.

The Bills were play­ing mi­nus two stars with run­ning back Le­Sean McCoy (ham­string) and re­ceiver Sammy Watkins (calf ) both side­lined by in­juries.

BILL WIPPERT/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bills’ Robert Woods is taken down hard Sun­day at Ralph Wil­son Sta­dium.

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