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Giants make a stand in fourth quarter, hold off Bills

Rashad Jennings #23 of the New York Giants

Rashad Jennings #23 of the New York Giants is brought down by Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills during the first half of a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Oct. 4, 2015 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Giants came up big in the fourth quarter for the first time this season, using a goal-line stand and a long stomach-settling touchdown catch and run by Rashad Jennings to seal a 24-10 win against the sloppy and undisciplined Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

It is the second straight win for the Giants, who could find themselves in a logjam tie atop the NFC East depending on Sunday night's result between the Cowboys and Saints. At the very least, they will end the first quarter of the schedule in far better position than they started it and a contender for the division.

The Giants had a chance to build on their 16-3 halftime lead, which was built on TD passes from Eli Manning to Dwayne Harris and Rueben Randle. But some mistakes kept the Bills in the game, including a penalty by Geoff Schwartz that negated a long screen pass to Shave Vereen, dropped passes by Harris and Will Tye, and a missed sack for a safety by Craig Dahl.

That made the early stages of the fourth quarter cringe time for Giants fans.

The big stand came when the Bills had the ball first-and-goal at the Giants' 9. Karlos Williams ran for 4 yards, then on second down Tyrod Taylor hit Robert Woods on a pass and Landon Collins made a high tackle to save the touchdown at the 2. On third down it was Kerry Wynn's turn to save the six as he tackled the speedy Taylor on a quarterback run to the right at the 1. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Taylor threw a pass to Williams but J.T. Thomas made the tackle to complete the stand.

It was the second straight strong drive for the Bills that resulted in no points. A series earlier the Bills missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt when Dan Carpenter pulled it wide left.

The Giants offense was unable to hold the momentum, though, going three-and-out after the goal-line stand and giving the ball back to the Bills. They responded with their first touchdown of the game, a 23-yard pass from Taylor to Williams with Devon Kennard in coverage that made it 16-10 with 9:41 remaining. Given the Giants' struggles in the fourth quarter this season -- they entered the game with a league-worst scoring differential of -19 in that key period -- it was definitely time for a gulp.

But then Jennings caught a screen pass, broke a tackle attempt by Nigel Bradham, high-stepped out of the reach of Preston Brown down the left sideline, and made a cut and stiff-arm move against Bacarri Rambo for a 51-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run by Andre Williams made it 24-10 with 7:42 left.

A forced fumble by Prince Amukamara and Landon Collins recovered by Amukamara as Robert Woods fought for extra yards gave the Giants the ball back with 6:22 left and the Bills fans cleared out of the building.

Notes & quotes: Kennard, who had an early interception, left the game with a hamstring injury . . . Rookie LT Ereck Flowers left the game after the first snap with an ankle injury but returned later in the first quarter and finished the game . . . CB Jayron Hosley left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. Hosley missed time earlier this season with a concussion . . . Eli Manning threw his first interception of the season late in the fourth quarter.


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