The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game has been a tradition since the inaugural contest took place on Aug. 11, 1962. During that encounter, the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals battled to a 21-21 tie. The 51st edition of this game featured the Giants and the Buffalo Bills. New York posted a 2-1-1 record in past appearances while Buffalo has gone winless in three games.
Since the inaugural game took place, 31 NFL teams, except the Baltimore Ravens, have made at least one appearance in this game. The Cleveland Browns have the most appearances with five while the Washington Redskins have the most wins with five. The Detroit Lions have not played in Canton since 1991, which is the longest active streak of team’s who have not participated in the Hall of Fame Game.
On a beautiful 78 degree night at Fawcett Stadium, the 2014 NFL season officially kicked off. Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was looking to rebound from a career-high 27 interceptions in 2013, completed six of seven passes for 43-yards. However, he did lose a fumble after being sacked by Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams. The turnover led to a 30-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter.
With 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Giants took the lead on a three-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Andre Williams. A collegiate star at Boston College, Williams led the nation in rushing with 2,177-yards, which is also the fifth highest total in NCAA history. The fourth round draft pick got his career off to a good start, scoring a touchdown and gaining 48-yards on seven carries.
Last season, Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel set a franchise rookie record with 11 touchdown passes. Against the Giants, he completed just two of seven passes before relieving the duties to Jeff Tuel. Tuel engineered a 15 play, 53-yard drive which ended with a two-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Robert Woods. The Giants answered with a 47-yard Brandon McManus field goal and the score was tied at ten going into halftime.
Dan Carpenter’s field goal from 51-yards out was the only score of the third quarter and it gave Buffalo a three point lead. New York eventually answered when second year quarterback Ryan Nassib hit rookie receiver Corey Washington with a 73-yard touchdown pass. Nassib completed seven of twelve passes for 139-yards. The Bills tried to answer with a two minute drill, but Thaddeus Lewis’ fourth down pass to Caleb Holley fell incomplete with 1:33 left.
The Giants got their preseason off to a good start by beating the Bills, 17-13. New York held the edge in rushing yards (121-94) and total yards (308-246). They also had a nine minute advantage in time of possession. The Bills will travel to Bank of America Stadium, where they will face the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 8. The Giants next game will take place on Aug. 9, when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium.
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