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Bills-Giants Preview

Posted Oct 14, 2011

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 it's uncertain whether he will return. 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 could miss a second straight game with a sprained left MCL, though he's averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.

The Giants' offensive line would be boosted if center David Baas returns from a neck injury and right guard Chris Snee comes back from a concussion.

Buffalo leads the series 6-5.