EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Last week, the Buffalo Bills’ defense was stout even when the team fell behind 16-0. With a two-score lead Sunday against the New York Giants, it was essentially impregnable.
Josh Allen’s 210 passing yards and two total touchdowns in the first half helped the Bills build a 21-7 lead before leaving MetLife Stadium with a 28-14 victory — the Bills’ second win in the stadium in as many weeks. After becoming the first team in NFL history to play the Jets and Giants on the road to start the season, Buffalo became the fourth team in league history to record road wins in consecutive weeks against the New York City-area teams at any point in a season.
The Bills’ defense forced two turnovers on a pair of interceptions by Trent Murphy and Jordan Poyer, and allowed only three of the Giants’ 11 drives to span longer than six plays.
Describe the game in two words: Cruise control. After roaring out to a 21-7 lead and scoring on three straight drives, the Bills seemingly went through the motions the rest of the game. Excluding a two-play drive to end the first half, Buffalo’s next three drives after scoring its third touchdown each ended in punts — none of which lasted longer than four plays. Thanks to an elite defense, the Bills don’t necessarily need a high-powered offense to win games, but stringing together short, empty drives doesn’t give that defense much time to rest between series, either. It will be something that coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll look to correct this week.
Eye-popping Next Gen stat: Bills receiver Cole Beasley’s 6.91 average yards of separation at the time of the catch deserves recognition, but is somewhat skewed by his 51-yard catch-and-run in which the Giants left him in his own ZIP code. However, Murphy’s 3.79 average yards of separation from the quarterback on his pass rushes was well below the league average of 4.49 yards — as was rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver’s 3.77 yards. Oliver was drafted to open pass-rush lanes for the Bills’ edge rushers, and Sunday’s contest marked two consecutive games he has been fewer than 4 yards away from the quarterback at the time of a sack or pass attempt.
Promising trend: Rookie running back Devin Singletary has done the most with his limited workload. He went for 57 yards and his first career touchdown on six carries Sunday to bring his season total to 155 total yards on 15 touches. Frank Gore out-touched Singletary with 12 carries for 46 yards and a score of his own — the future Hall of Famer is not going anywhere, and it appears Daboll is committed to assigning matchup-specific workloads. It is promising that the rookie has been so efficient whenever his number is called.