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Giants working double time to prepare for Bills QB Taylor

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The last time the New York Giants’ defense was gouged in both the air and on the ground by a quarterback was on Nov. 30, 2014, when Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars ran for 68 yards on top of passing for 184 yards.

Since then, the Giants haven’t really been tested by a mobile quarterback, but that’s about to change this weekend when they face the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, whose quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, has made just as many plays with his legs as he has with his arm.

Taylor, in his first season with the Bills, has completed 74.4 percent of his passes far for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has run 17 times for 96 yards and one touchdown, making him the type of dual threat that has long given the Giants nightmares just thinking about.

“He’s real dynamic and he doesn’t play like this is his first time as a full-time starter,” Giants defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. said of Taylor, who was with the Baltimore Ravens from 2011-2014 as a backup.

“He has a lot of weapons at his disposal and has a good defense he can depend and lean on so he can play comfortably and trust his teammates. The team believes in him and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”

Ayers praised Taylor for his intelligence and noted that what sets the Bills’ offensive field general apart from other mobile quarterbacks is his grasp of the game.

“He’s super-fast and he’s smart-he’s not just making one read and then taking off and running like a lot of diverse quarterbacks do,” Ayers said. “He’s going through progressions and he’s making smart decisions.”

The Giants, whose past problems with mobile quarterbacks have largely been a result of giving up the edge and not maintaining gaps, know that they have to do a better job against Taylor.

“You have to be disciplined and you have to make sure you close the pocket with those kind of guys and force them to make bad decisions,” cornerback Jayron Hosley said.

Hosley, who was a college teammate of Taylor’s at Virginia Tech for two years, said he is not surprised by Taylor’s success thus far.

“He can throw the ball,” Hosley said. “As much as people like to talk about how versatile he is running the ball and escaping the pocket and scrambling and making people miss, he can put the ball on the money. He has a nice soft touch and he’s a complete quarterback.”

One of Taylor’s favorite targets has been tight end Charles Clay, whom the Bills acquired via free agency after the Dolphins chose not to match the offer sheet presented to the then restricted free agent.

Clay, who is the only Bills receiver this year to have multiple touchdown receptions (two), is second on the team with 12 receptions for 144 yards, behind receiver Percy Harvin.

As for the Bills’ ground game, running back LeSean McCoy, who for years tormented the Giants when he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, probably will not play because of a hamstring ailment.

No matter though as Karlos Williams, the Bills’ fifth-round draft pick this year who just so happens to lead the team with 186 rushing yards on 24 carries (7.8 yard per carry) with three rushing touchdowns, can help loosen up the Giants’ defense.

“You have to know your personnel with these guys,” Hosley said of the Bills’ passing-game weapons. “You have to understand the personnel and what you’re going to get from each guy.”

SERIES HISTORY: 12th regular-season meeting. Bills lead series, 6-5. The Giants have won the last two games, including a 27-24 victory on Oct. 16, 2011, in MetLife Stadium. The Giants are 3-3 against the Bills in Buffalo. The teams have also met once in the postseason, Super Bowl XXV, a 20-19 Giants win.

–LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday. The rookie missed last week’s game, but has been improving to where there is optimism about him returning to the lineup this week.

–CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) has passed the league’s concussion protocol and returned to practice this week, taking his full practice workload. Rodgers-Cromartie will play on Sunday.

–TE Jerome Cunningham (knee) who has appeared in only one game this season, did not practice on Wednesday and is unlikely to play Sunday against the Bills. Cunningham, a healthy scratch in Week 1, was injured in the Giants’ Week 2 loss to the Falcons.

–RB Orleans Darkwa (knee) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Darkwa said he has a knee bruise, but that he didn’t anticipate missing Sunday’s game.

–DT Markus Kuhn (knee) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Kuhn has missed the last two games because of a sprained knee, but appears to be on track to return this weekend.

–DE Owa Odighizuwa (foot), who has yet to get on the field this season because of to a foot injury, returned to practice this week. Odighizuwa, who was limited, is still not a lock for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

–TE Daniel Fells (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, but head coach Tom Coughlin said he thinks Fells will “make it” for Sunday’s game against the Bills. Fells, the Giants’ best blocking tight end, missed the Week 2 game against the Falcons because of a foot sprain, so the ankle injury is something new for him.

–DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), who was inactive last week, was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Ayers has been the Giants’ most consistent defensive lineman, particularly on the pass rush, so is return to the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Bills would be huge.


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