Giants (1-6) Tampa Bay (5-2)
Last Sunday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited
the Las Vegas Raiders. The score was tied at the end of the first quarter at 7-7.
Early in the fourth quarter the game was still close, but then Tampa Bay added
three straight touchdowns and left with a 45-20 win.
The Giants had a Thursday
game with the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Giants held a 21-10 lead midway into
the fourth quarter. They let it slip away and took a 22-21 loss to the Eagles.
last time the Bucs were in the playoffs was back in 2007. They lost in their wildcard
game with the Giants 24-14. Since then, there have been just three winning seasons,
the last being 9-7 in 2016. Even having the 4th and 1st ranked NFL passing offense
in 2017 and 2018, the team finished at 5-11 in each of those years. A change was
made, and in 2019 Bruce Arians was brought in to be the head coach. Arians and
his new staff finished the season with a 7-9 record.
A combination of Ryan
Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston quarterbacking for the Bucs over two years, gave
the team a great passing attack, but there were lots of turnovers. Last year Fitzpatrick
was gone and Winston was throwing all the passes. His 5109 passing yards had the
team still ranked first in that area, and 33 touchdowns was the most for any quarterback,
but his 30 interceptions were also the highest.
When Tom Brady became available
in the offseason, Tampa Bay didn't hesitate.
Brady has given Tampa Bay what they have been looking for in a quarterback, although
not right at the start. In his first two games, he threw 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions
and the team had a 1-1 record. Since then, Brady has thrown 15 touchdowns and
had just 1 interception. As an added bonus for the Bucs, with Brady aboard in
a new environment, Rob Gronkowski was attracted to come out of retirement and
join him. Like Brady, Gronkowski also started slow in those first two games, catching
a total of just 2 passes for 11 yards. Gronkowski has 5 catches in the last two
games, and has scored a touchdown in each of them.
has thrown 18 touchdowns this season, which has him second behind Russell Wilson
going into week 8. Thanks to his offensive line and how quickly he gets rid of
the football, Brady has only been sacked eight times on the season, one of the
lowest in the NFL. Chris Godwin led the team in catches, yards and touchdowns
last season, ahead of Mike Evans, but he won't be available for Brady this game.
Godwin had failed to connect with Brady on only four passes this season, pulling
in 25 of 29 for 15 first downs and 2 touchdowns. Ronald Jones led the team last
year in carries and rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Jones has already rushed for
4 this year. Running back Leonard Fournette was back last week,and has 2 touchdowns.
many players have made such a stamp on the NFL, so much so, to be known just by
their initials. RG3- Robert Griffin III got off to a great start in his career,
and is now with the Baltimore Ravens. For the Giants, it's been OBJ - Odell Beckham
Jr., currently on IR playing with the Cleveland Browns. Then there's also JPP,
who stated this week. "I'm going to Monday Night Football and I'm going to
destroy the Giants." Since the Giants parted with JPP in 2018, he has produced
26.5 sacks for the Buccaneers, 5.5 this year.
The Bucs have one of the top
ranked pass rushing units in the NFL. Shaquil Barrett is coming off a year where
he led the NFL in sacks with 19. In their last two games, they held Green Bay
and Las Vegas, teams that averaged 30 plus points a game, to a combined total
of just 30 points. The Bucs came off their win last week ranking first in pass
defense and second in run defense.
Daniel Jones started off his career
with a win over Tampa Bay. You could say he did almost everything in the first
start of his career to guide the team to a 32-31 win. Even though Jones was sacked
5 times, he completed 64 percent of his passes, threw for 2 touchdowns and ran
for 2 more. His 9.3 yards per completion is still the highest of his career. What
is Bruce Arians thinking, knowing that he has to face this quarterback now for
the second time? Well, he has some consolation knowing that since that first meeting,
Jones as a starter has won 3 games and lost 15.
The Giants have a shaky offensive
line, and this week placed starting left guard Will Hernandez on the Reserve/COVID-19
list. Rookie guard Shane Lemieux is expected to start in his place. Five offensive
linemen, including three starters, have missed some practice following the NFL
protocol. Darius Slayton is the biggest receiving threat for opposing defenses.
He has converted over 80 percent of his receptions into first downs, and Sterling
Shepard came back last week looking as sharp as ever, catching 6 out of 8 passes
for 59 yards and 1 touchdown.
It shouldn't be this way, but Jones
is currently the leading rusher with 296 yards. He trails only Kyler Murray and
Lamar Jackson, who have more quarterback rushing yards this year. It will likely
stay that way since running back Devonta Freeman is out for this game. Wayne
Gallman looks to be the starting running back. Dion Lewis will be in the mix that
may include Alfred Morris, who was called up from the practice squad for the game.
The defense let down near the end
of the game with the Eagles last week, allowing them to come back from an 11 point
deficit to win. This week they're up against a team that's scoring more points
on average than any other in the NFL. Every time they get into the red zone, they
come away with either a field goal or touchdown - 22 touchdowns and 6 field goals
on 28 red zone trips. It looks to be a tough task to stop them.
player who knows what he'll be up against the most in this game is Logan Ryan.
He was with New England, and practiced against Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for
four years. They seem to be in their usual groove now playing in Tampa Bay.
Coach Joe Judge and some on his staff should also be able to offer some insight
about their connection. Gronkowski was dealing with a shoulder issue earlier in
the week, if that means anything, and the only real break for the Giants is that
they won't have to cover wide receiver Chris Godwin. That means that cornerback
James Bradberry will likely cover Mike Evans. They played in seven games against
each other when Bradberry was with the Panthers.
They say that 'Getting into
Brady's face' is the best way to make him feel uncomfortable and keep him from
making plays. Best plan for the Giants this week if things aren't working, maybe
on some plays when they line up, the defense yells out 'Third Down.', 'Second
down!', 'No Third down!' to confuse him.
Tampa Bay sure looks like a team that could
end up in the playoffs. The NFC East is up for grabs, and considering the way
things are going for this group, the Giants, could end up there as well. Imagine
maybe it could all happen again. The last time these two teams battled it out
in the playoffs, the Giants won the game and went on to win the Super Bowl. Just
(maybe have a drink or two) and let those happy thoughts unfold in your mind as
you watch this game on Monday Night.
Sunday at 8:20pm Cowboys (2-5)
at Eagles (2-4-1).
Monday at 8:15pm Tampa Bay (2-4) at Giants (1-6).
Eagles are the only NFC East team favored to win in these games.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
Brady was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October.
Bay's defense has intercepted at least one pass in six straight games.
Jones first career victory was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Nov 8 Giants at Washington
Nov 15 Philadelphia at Giants