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Running Game Comes Up Big in 38-21 Win in Buffalo

New York Giants' Amani Toomer (81) makes a catch under pressure from Buffalo Bills' Jim Leonhard (42) during the first quarter of the NFL football at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007.

Early on Sunday, the second half slump of the Giants was rearing it’s ugly head again.  Then, just as fast as the Buffalo Bills built an early 14-0 lead, the Giants used a running attack normally not heard from as they topped Buffalo 38-21 to clinch a wild card spot in the NFC.  Brandon Jacobs rushed for a whopping 145 yards on 24 carries to go along with two TD’s.  The team put up three TD’s in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach as they overcame an emotional Bills team that was inspired by the return of Kevin Everett.

Everett, who is walking on his own, talked to the Bills pregame, and Buffalo played like it early on.  They went up quickly 14-0 in the first quarter as Trent Edwards threw two scores, one to Michael Gaines and another to Lee Evans to make it a two score game.  The Giants stormed back in the second quarter, and used Jacobs’ two TD’s and a Lawrence Tynes field goal to make it 17-14 at the half.

Marshawn Lynch, 70 yards on 18 carries, put the Bills back up 21-17.  Buffalo used an Eli Manning pick to set up the score, having to go just two plays and 31 yards to wrap up the drive.  Lynch rushed for 28 yards on the first play, then went in from three yards out to go up four.  The Giants came right back, driving to the Bills one before on fourth-and-one Ruben Droughns was stopped for a four-yard loss.

The two teams traded punts before early in the fourth the Giants took the lead for good.  Edwards make a huge error, throwing a pick that was taken back 20 yards by Kawika Mitchell for a score to put New York up for good 24-21.  The Bills offense then punted three straight times, and finally the Giants were able to put the game away as Ahmad Bradshaw went right on a run and broke it for 88 yards and a score to make it 31-21 with 6:12 left.  The final New York score came less than a minute later, as Corey Webster picked off an Edwards pass and went 34 yards for a score to wrap up the scoring at 38-21.

New York outgained the Bills 385 to 244, outrushing them a huge 291 to 117.  They also held the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 34:06 to 25:54.  With bad weather in Western New York, the passing game was tough, and it showed in the numbers as Manning was just 7-for-15 for 111 yards with two picks.  Edwards went 9-for-26 for 161 yards with two TD’s and three INT’s.

The win clinches a spot in the postseason for the now 10-5 Giants.  They play Saturday night vs the Pats at home, and it will be interesting to see how they play the starters in that contest.


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