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Scouting Report: Key matchups for Giants vs. Bills


The Giants visit the Bills on Sunday Night Football this week. Here are key matchups to watch:

Stefon Diggs vs. Adoree' Jackson

Stefon Diggs heads into this game sixth in the NFL with 520 receiving yards and is tied for the league lead with five receiving touchdowns. His is one of the complete receivers in the NFL at 6'0 and 191 pounds. He is an excellent route runner that PFF has tracked with only one drop this season. He also has speed and strength to make defenders miss after the catch. He has the 11th-most receiving yards after contact this season, and his 136 yards after catch ranks 22nd in the NFL.

The Bills line him up all over the field. He has played inside 76 times, on the left side 89 times, and on the right side 101. He'll run every route from all of those spots, and has found a good chemistry with Josh Allen. Whenever Allen breaks the pocket and extends the play, Diggs breaks off the play and is often able to find room to make big plays down the field.

The Giants have been matching up with cornerbacks with opposing wide receivers in recent games. Last week, for example, Adoree' Jackson shadowed Tyreek Hill, while Deonte Banks followed Jaylen Waddle for much of the game. The week prior, Banks spent more time on DK Metcalf. Given the size and speed differences of the Bills wide receivers, let's guess that Banks would match up with the bigger Gabe Davis (6'2, 225 lbs), while Jackson would get the smaller but faster and more polished Diggs.

According to PFF's tracking data, Jackson has forced four incompletions this season (he is officially credited with two passes defended). Jackson's versatility would allow him to follow Diggs whether he is playing outside or inside, and their physical traits are similar with Jackson checking in at 5'11 and 185.

Ed Oliver vs. Giants' interior offensive line

Oliver never developed into the superstar many thought he could become when the Bills drafted him as the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he is a very good NFL player who is disruptive in the middle of the line. Oliver will most often line up against opposing guards, and he splits his time nearly evenly between the right and left sides.

Oliver leads the Bills in pressures with 20, is tied for the team lead with Leonard Floyd with nine quarterback hits, and is second on the team with four sacks. He is quick off the ball, and after Christian Wilkins had a number of quick wins inside last week, it will be essential for the Giants' interior linemen to prevent those types of quick-hitters.

The Bills lead the league with 21 sacks, but they are only 13th in pressure rate (37.8% according to PFF), which is more of a predictive stat. They are also just 28th in quick pressure rate (under 2.5 seconds). The Bills do not blitz much (23.8%, 24th in the NFL) or use many stunts (25.9%, 20th) so the Giants' offensive linemen will have to win their individual matchups.

Oliver has also been no slouch against the run. His 24 tackles are third on the team, with 5.5 non-sack tackles for loss and he leads the Bills team with 15 stops (according to PFF).

Against the Dolphins last week, the Giants had moving pieces on the interior offensive line, with Ben Bredeson sliding to center to replace John Michael Schmitz, and Jalen Mayfield getting lifted off the practice squad to replace Markus McKethan at right guard. Mark Glowinski played left guard. Schmitz, Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart have already been ruled out, while Shane Lemieux and Evan Neal are both listed as questionable on the final injury report. It remains to be seen who will be on the starting line this week.

View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.


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