The Buffalo Bills are still one of the Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, yet have two blemishes in their first five games that has them looking up at the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East race. Buffalo (3-2) is coming off a rough loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London after averaging 41 points per game in their previous three outings. The Bills have been held to 20 points or fewer twice in five games, both of which are losses.
Fortunately for the Bills, the New York Giants are next on the schedule. The Giants (1-4) have struggled out of the gate, scoring 16 points of less in four of their five contests. The Giants still don't have an offensive first-half touchdown through five games, as they are just the sixth team since 1991 with zero first-half offensive touchdowns in that stretch. The Giants and the 2017 Dolphins are the only teams since 2005 not to record an offensive touchdown in the first half through the first five games of a season. New York is being outscored 94-19 in the first half of games, so slow starts have been a problem for a team that is struggling offensively.
To make matters worse, the Giants won't have Daniel Jones in this one either, as he was ruled out with a neck injury. Tyrod Taylor will start against the Bills on the "Sunday Night Football" stage against his former team. The 34-year-old Taylor started 43 games in three seasons with the Bills, making the Pro Bowl in 2015.
Can the Giants get anything going on offense with Taylor? Will the Bills bounce back from a tough London trip? Here's a short preview on Sunday's showdown, along with how to watch the game:
How to watch
Giants offensive line issues
Hard to talk about the Giants without bringing up their offensive line. which has struggled even more than in previous years. The Giants have allowed 30 sacks this season, the most in the NFL heading into Week 6. New York is the only team to allow more than 100 pressures this season, allowing a league-high 104 and a 47.7% pressure rate through the first five games.
While Jones won't play Sunday, he's been sacked 28 times this season (second-most in the NFL), but his sack rate of 15.6% is the highest for all quarterbacks in the NFL. The Giants haven't been able to protect their quarterbacks, nor can they establish the run to take the pressure off the pass protection either. New York averages just 3.7 yards per carry (24th in NFL), and averages 92.2 rushing yards per game (23rd in NFL).
Having Saquon Barkley will help in running the football and pass protection, but the Giants offensive line has struggled as a whole. Of course, New York is going up against a Bills defense that leads the NFL in sack percentage (12.5%) -- not exactly the best medicine for offensive line woes.
Bills home-field advantage
The Bills have been really good at Highmark Stadium of late, almost unbeatable in regular-season contests. Buffalo has averaged 32.8 points per game in their last 13 games in Buffalo, sporting a 12-1 record in that span -- with the lone loss occurring against the Vikings when the Bills fumbled on their goal-line running out the clock. They have outscored their opponents by 211 points and scored 32-plus points in Buffalo in each of their last four regular-season games.
Of course, this coincides with Josh Allen playing extremely well in Buffalo. Allen is 9-1 in his last 10 home starts in Buffalo and he has thrown for at least three passing touchdowns in each of his last four games at home. Over the last two seasons, Allen averages 278.5 pass yards per game with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions -- throwing for three-plus passing touchdowns in six of those 10 games.
Buffalo is averaging 394.9 yards per game at home with 22 takeaways. Even with all the injuries to their defense, the Bills have been finding ways to get the football and shut down opposing offenses in home games.
This may just come down to the Bills pass rush against the Giants pass protection. The Giants allow the highest sack rate (15.3%) in the NFL while the Bills have the most sacks (21) and highest sack rate (12.5%). Even without Greg Rousseau or Shaq Lawson (Lawson is expected to play), the Bills haven't had trouble getting to the quarterback.
The Giants have been a nightmare this season, starting with their offensive struggles early. If the Bills get off to a fast start and the Giants can't counter with Taylor right away, New York could be in for a very long night. This is the NFL, but also a huge mismatch on paper.
Score: Bills 38, Giants 17
I'm pretty confident the Bills are going to roll, but you should check out Sportsline expert R.J. White, who is 42-22 with his last 64 picks involving the Giants. We can tell you he is leaning Over the total and knows a crucial X factor that makes one side of the spread a MUST-BACK! You ABSOLUTELY need to see what it is before locking in any picks of your own.