|Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, bottom, reacts after being sacked by New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) as Bills center Eric Wood gets up during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)|
Turnovers costly for Bills in loss
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The Buffalo Bills lost the turnover battle, and it cost them a victory against the New York Giants.
Entering the game, the Bills were plus-11 on turnovers and that helped them to a 4-1 start.
On Sunday, they couldn't overcome their mistakes.
Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions to Corey Webster in the second half on passes to Stevie Johnson as the Giants pulled out a 27-24 win.
"This is one of the hardest parts of playing quarterback, when you don't get the job done," Fitzpatrick said. "The two interceptions I threw, you couldn't ask for better coverage, you couldn't ask for a better play, couldn't ask for a better route. They were both basically the same thing, Stevie on a go-route. I'd like to give credit to Corey Webster, he made plays on both of them. That said, I feel like Stevie beat him, and I underthrew both of them."
The second interception led to the Giants' drive that culminated with Lawrence Tynes kicking a 23-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining.
After tying the game on a 9-yard pass to Johnson, Buffalo appeared in position to take the lead when Fitzpatrick completed a 32-yard pass to David Nelson for a first down at the New York 27.
Fitzpatrick then threw a pass to Johnson down the left sideline and Webster intercepted at the 5. Johnson was called for a facemask penalty, giving New York the ball at the 20.
"They ran the same pattern a couple of times, going to the backside on some slants," Webster said. "I think there was an opportunity for me to get a couple of balls, and the second one set up a little better because we needed the ball back. We just kept fighting and we rallied."
Fitzpatrick disagreed with the idea that Buffalo could have played it more conservatively to set up a field goal.
"I will take that matchup every time," Fitzpatrick said. "If I throw a good ball on that, Stevie scores and everybody's happy. It's easy to second-guess it now, but I thought it was a great call and I thought it was the right play."
Fitzpatrick was 21 of 30 for 244 yards and threw touchdown passes of 60 yards to Naaman Roosevelt and 9 yards to Johnson, but his final attempt was batted down by Jason Pierre-Paul on a fourth-and-5 from the Bills 25 to preserve the win.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a season-high 104 yards and a career-best three touchdowns for the Giants.
He scored on three 1-yard runs and had a 30-yard run to help set up Tynes' winner as the Giants (4-2) rebounded from a bad loss to Seattle by limiting the high-scoring Bills (4-2) to seven second-half points.
Eli Manning was 21 of 32 for 292 yards and no interceptions.
Buffalo entered the game with 12 interceptions.
Fred Jackson had 121 yards rushing, including a career-high 80-yard TD run. He also caught five passes for 47 yards.
Even though this loss hurt, Jackson said the Bills are still in good position heading into their bye week.
"We feel like we're on track to where we want to be," Jackson said. "We look at the two losses as games we should have won. We just didn't finish them. We've still got a lot of work to do but we're excited about where we're going."
On the Giants' key drive, Bradshaw had a 10-yard run and then went for 30 yards two plays later.
Two pass interference penalties against Drayton Florence eventually got New York a first-and-goal and Tynes, who had a 26-yard field goal in the first half, kicked another short one.
"We just kept fighting and scrapping and in the fourth quarter we picked up the win," Webster said. "We just persevered after the big plays. You hate to put yourself behind the 8-ball, but we kept fighting."
The Giants had a chance to take a 14-point lead late in the third quarter when Manning connected with Mario Manningham in stride on a pass from the Bills 37-yard line. Manningham caught the ball, but cornerback Terrence McGee stripped it out as the receiver fell in the end zone.
The pass was ruled incomplete. The Giants challenged the play and lost.
When the drive stalled, Tynes' 50-yard field goal attempt to put the Giants up by 10 was blocked by Alex Carrington.
Buffalo took over at its 40. The Bills overcame a second-and-20 after a sack by Osi Umenyiora and tied the game on Fitzpatrick's 9-yard TD pass to Johnson with 8:57 to play.