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New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills Preview and Prediction

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz

Rex Ryan is at it again. Ryan has come into Buffalo, and inspired the Buffalo Bills (2-1) to fight and compete and this Sunday afternoon will be no different, despite the team's challenges with injuries. After being admittedly embarrassed by the New England Patriots in a 40-32 game that wasn't as close as the score indicated, the Bills took out their frustrations on the Miami Dolphins and trounced them in their own building 41-14. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 277 yards and three TDs in the victory, but the Bills will be without both RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and WR Sammy Watkins (calf) for this game. Instead, the offense will lean on rookie RB Karlos Williams and WR Percy Harvin as they try to continue putting up big numbers.

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The New York Giants (1-2) finally finished a game and got their first victory of the year, with an impressive win over their divisional rival, the Washington Redskins. The Giants receiving core of Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle combined for 195 yards and two TDs including two late bombs of 30 and 41 yards to both receivers. Quarterback Eli Manning is quietly having the most efficient season start of his career, with zero interceptions through three games. However, it was the Giants' defense that seems to be playing better, stifling a Redskins rushing attack that had dominated the week before. 

Both Buffalo and New York are battling injuries to key players. The Bills, in addition to the absence of McCoy and Watkins, could also be without safety Aaron Williams, who suffered a neck injury on Sunday and is listed as questionable for this week. The Giants were hoping to get Victor Cruz back this week, but a strain of his already injured calf will keep him out of the lineup one more week. This game will most certainly come down to whose defense can slow down the other's offense, as both teams are averaging around 350 yards per game on offense, while giving up 400 yards on defense. 

New York at Buffalo

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET (Sunday)

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: New York  -5

Three Things to Watch

1. Ruben Randle vs. Percy Harvin

Both wide receivers are coming off monster games. Both wide receivers looked incredibly impressive in their Week 3 matchups. And both wide receivers also have a tendency to disappear as quickly as they arrived. The challenge will be even greater for Harvin, since it looks as though the Bills will be without Watkins and McCoy, which means Harvin will probably be in double-teams all day long, unless Williams can get the run game going, which no team has done against the Giants yet. The Giants are only giving up 74 yards a game to opponents, so unless that trend changes this week, expect Harvin to struggle to get open. Meanwhile, Randle has been the beneficiary of the double teams on Beckham, and as a result he put up monster numbers against the Redskins - seven catches for 116 yards and a TD. He should be open again this week. Look for Randle to have another big game.

2. Is Tyrod Taylor The Real Thing?

The Giants' defense has given up an average of 335.7 yards in the passing game. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is averaging 74 percent passing over three games. 

Seems like a recipe for disaster right? Maybe. Maybe not.

Taylor has thrown the ball 30 percent of the time to either McCoy or Watkins, who probably won't be on the field. So this week, Taylor will be forced to find new targets, especially if Harvin finds the double-team that should be expected this week. It will be very interesting to see if this young starting QB can spread the ball around to new receivers, especially under the pressure he will most certainly see from the Giants' front seven. The Giants were able to force Kirk Cousins into three INTs, giving them a total of four for the season. Taylor will probably see some of the same aggressive fronts that Cousins witnessed, and will be forced to get the ball out quick to Harvin, TE Charles Clay or WR Robert Woods.

3. The Mind of Rex Ryan

Rex is still steaming about the beat down he took at home to the New England Patriots in Week 2. He felt New England tried to "embarrass his team" by running up the score on his Bills. Rex will be determined not to let another quarterback come into Buffalo and do that again. Eli Manning will probably be under major pressure all afternoon with the front seven of DE Mario Williams and defensive player of the week LB Preston Brown. However, if the Giants' offensive line can hold them off, and Bills safety Aaron Williams is not 100 percent, then the secondary of the Bills may be in a lot trouble trying to contain Beckham and Randle.

Final Analysis

The Giants seem to be clicking offensively, and this week should not slow them down. The Bills have also found an offensive rhythm, but that flow could be disturbed greatly without McCoy and Watkins. The challenge of losing both offensive weapons may be too much for a young quarterback to overcome. The Giants will make enough plays on Taylor to keep him flustered long enough to steal a win in Buffalo. 

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Prediction: Giants 31, Bills 21 

— Written by Lloyd H. Spence, Jr., who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Spence also has written for the Dallas Morning News, Yahoo!'s, and ESPN Louisville. He can be heard on the radio of "Talkin NOIZ" and "The Football Show of Collin County." Follow him on Twitter @TalkinNOIZ.

(Rex Ryan photo courtesy of Getty Images)