- Gamegirl Reviews
it looks like the defense picked up right where it left off
does. I wonder what the Vegas odds were on Christian Peter
scoring the first touchdown of the NY Giants season?
They really had some opening day! As it turned out, my Giants
D scored 14 of the total 17 points, and caused the turnover
for the other 3! On top of that, they did it without Conrad
Hamilton and Jason Sehorn.
They were out there on that field most of the game, only allowed
13 points, and that was what was supposed to be an explosive
Tampa Bay offense."
think the heat and playing time would affect them.
"Yes, but those guys showed that they can play in Hell
if they have to, and do anything it takes to win a game. They're
really amazing, and speaking of amazing, I didn't
expect the Tampa Bay defense to be so good as to totally shut
down our offense the way they did.
I'm hoping they're really that good, and it's not just that
our offense is really that bad."
a hunch you're right on that one.
Teams barely scored against them in preseason.
say so, and I guess thinking on it, even if we had Gary Brown
in there or switched quarterbacks to Kerry Collins the results
would probably have been about the same.
We won't know until next week when we play Washington, and
they lost a tough one today to the Cowboys in overtime. They
won't want to go 0-2 by losing to the Giants."
It would be foolish to underestimate the Redskins.
"Right, and we can't expect this exceptional level of
play from the defense week in and week out. I mean Percy Ellsworth
had two interceptions,and Phillipi Sparks had one, and they
were all over the field.
It seemed like everyone was blocking passes and batting balls
away. What an effort, and Maynard was really on his game.
He had a good rush coming at him, had to re-kick a few times,
and even kicking into the wind he got the ball where he wanted."
had 12 punts and averaged 43.8
I think about half of them put the Bucs inside the 20, including
the one that rolled out of bounds at the Tampa Bay 1 yard
It's just too bad that there's not much to say about the offense.
Toomer and Mitchell caught a few, but there was no kind of
consistency with all the penalties, and no running game.
I guess the best thing you can say is that the offense didn't
hurt themselves. There were no interceptions or fumbles."
One more thing. I
saw the Jets game earlier, and with Testaverde out for the
season, and the way the Tampa Bay fans were booing Trent Dilfer,
he might as well pack his bags and head to NY to fill in!"
it looks like you have the rundown.
"Yes, but before we get to that, Gamegirl was a little
bit off on one thing.
The offense did hurt themselves with some bad play calling.
Like what was the deal with calling on Bennett to run up the
middle with a third and one on the opening drive? I guess
Fassel didn't read my preview report. Bennett can't run up
the middle any better than Wheatley right now. He might learn
to do so, but was this the best time to teach him? The offense
was three and out on the opening drive thanks to that, and
it became the trend for the game."
going to send Fassel a reminder note to read your previews?
"Hey, the defense must
have read it. They knew they were in for trouble right away,
because on the very next series Armstead hits into Trent Dilfer,
causes a fumble, and Christian Peter scoops it up and runs
it in for a TD.
The fired up Giants defense had to stay on the field again,
and they simply ate up the Tampa Bay offense.
Of course the Giants got a bad call on the next offensive
series when Toomer made a great catch and they still can't
get a first down.
Then the Bucs get their act together using their running backs
to catch passes as well as run, and they come away with 3
points, but it was a costly drive as Dunn, Mike Alstott, and
Reidel Anthony all get hurt, but they were back in later."
ran over into the 2nd Quarter and made it Giants 7 - Bucs
"Right, and this
time the Giants get the ball and go 3 and out for the third
time, but not before Graham gets knocked down twice, and Tiki
Barber drops a 3rd and 10 pass right to him.
Now the overworked Giants defense takes the field and gives
up some ground, but holds, just so the offense can take the
field and they start off with a penalty, giving them a 1st
and 15 from the 16 yard line.
Again Kent hits Toomer but then SACK, and next Tampa stops
Bennett at the 15.
Maynard punts it good, and it's a fair catch at the TB 31,
but we pull a penalty on the play, and after the re-kick,
Tampa gets it on the 49. Luckily, the Bucs go 3 and out because
Phillipi Sparks is all over the place quietly having one of
his usual good games."
He doesn't get much notice for the job he does.
"Graham takes over at the Giants 7 and Bennett goes for
3, and then Kent hits Toomer for 11, giving the Giant their
first 1st down of the game, and it's about time with only
about 5:12 left in the 2nd Quarter.
On 2nd and 10 from the 21, Graham hits Hilliard for 12 yards
and another first down. Then he opens it up with a deep one
to Pete Mitchell, but it's incomplete.
Kent calls a timeout, and then hits Bennett for 7 on a screen.
Now it's 3rd and 3, and it's all set up for Graham to hit
Tiki on the third down, but Tiki dropped it the last time
and Kent looks at Tiki but can't bring himself to throw it.
He takes off instead and doesn't make it.
Next there are a bunch of stupid penalties, and instead of
Tampa Bay taking over on their own 15, they end up with it
on the 47 with 1:42 left."
were really costing us now.
"You bet, and the Bucs made a few plays for a first down,
and called a time out and on the 1st and 10 from the NY 40.
They decide to test Lincoln and he looks lost out there while
they complete a 39 yarder to Emanuel and and before you know
it, Dilfer completes to Moore for a 1yard TD Pass.
There's only 10 secs left in the half and you wonder where
Bashir Levingston is as Patten mishandles the ball and there's
no runback, and then the Giants offense takes a knee."
end of the half, and it's Giants 7 Bucs 10.
"The Bucs end up starting from their 20, make a 2nd and
12 for a !st down, and then another 1st down. The Giants are
making some sloppy tackles now and you start to worry the
the heat is getting to them.
The Bucs are moving the ball and are at the TB 44.
Then it's like the defense has had it with this, and they
swarm and the next thing you know, it's 4th and 11, and TB
has to punt it away, and it ends up out of bounds to the NY
Graham hits Toomer for 8, then Jurevicius drops a pass.
Bennett picks up 5 and the first down. Graham does the hard
count and it costs the Bucs 5. Bennett goes nowhere on the
next play, but Graham passes to Mitchell for 9 and gets the
Just when things are
looking good, Stone pulls a False Start penalty. (He had 8
in 1998), and Graham is stuck with a 1st and 15.
It ends up being too much as Graham passes to Toomer for 6
yards and Hilliard for 6, but incomplete to Jurevicius with
TB Kelly all over him. Maynard punts another good one for
40 yards, and out of bounds at TB11.
Armstead and then S.Williams make big plays and the Bucs have
to punt without getting a first down.
Giants on offense from the NY 45 get nowhere as the refs let
Tiki's brother Ronde beat up on Hilliard. To right this injustice,
the football Gods intercede, and Maynard punts a 52 yard beauty
that hits down and rolls out of bounds at the TB1.
Alstott goes up the middle
to the TB2 for only 1 yard. Dilfer passes to Hape who is in
the clear and would have gone far, but he flubs it.
Maybe that got to Dilfer, because he shotgun passes the next
one toward Green but it's intercepted by rookie Andre Weathers
at the TB8, and he runs it in for a TD.
The Tampa Bay fans boo Dilfer off the field. Daluiso does
his thing, and gets the extra point.
Giants are ahead 14 - 10.
Daluiso's kickoff goes out of bounds and Dilfer, amidst more
boos takes the field, getting to start off from the 40. He
misses a wide open Emanuel on the left sideline deep and gets
the call at the line and people are moving on both sides of
the ball and he passes to Alstott for 12, and then follows
it with a pass to Moore for 26.
The fans are all cheering now as Dilfer has the Bucs moving
and at the NY 22.
Now the Giants defense toughens against the Bucs for no gain
on three tries, and Gramatica kicks a 36 yard field goal."
makes it Giants 14, Tampa 13.
"Levingston gets to return a short kick from the NY 17
to the 33 yard line.
Kent Graham resists the temptation to apologize to the defense
and instead takes the field and hits Jurevicius for a 4 yarder
that ends the quarter.
one up the middle and gets only 1 yard. Then Graham passes
incomplete, but there's offsetting penalties. Unfortunately,
there's none called on the next play when Abraham is all over
Maynard punts it 45 to TB17 and it's Fair Catched by Green.
Dilfer gets some boos as he takes the field and then completely
loses it as he scrambles backfield and lobs one intended for
Moore, but it's intercepted by Percy Ellsworth at the TB29
and he wisely runs it out of bounds at the TB24.
Giants on offense get only 3, as Daluiso just barely makes
a 36 yard field goal.
at Giants 17, Tampa 13.
Backup QB Eric Zeier,
formerly from the Ravens, takes the field at the TB20 amidst
many cheers, but P.Ellsworth ruins his debut, as he bats away
the ball headed to Emanuel who would have gotten big yardage.
They run Dunn for 5 yards, and then Zeier working from the
shotgun passes to Green who catches it out of bounds on the
deep right side.
Tiki Barber gets a good return on the punt, taking it to the
NY39 for 13 yards.
The Giants need to get a drive going so they can kill some
clock. Graham passes to Pete Mitchell for 7, but then they
foolishly send Bennett up the middle for no gain, and the
next pass is incomplete to Mitchell, but it doesn't matter
because of a False Start on Oben.
Now it's 3rd and 8, and Kent hits Patten deep but he has gone
out of bounds first so it counts as no catch. Maynard punts
48 yards to the TB11.
The Giants on defense
won't even let Zeier test our secondary as they nail Alstott
for minus 2, chase Zeier into the end zone where he passes
incomplete to Dunn, and then they allow a 6 yard pass to Williams
for no first down.
The punt goes to Tiki who has no choice but to jump out of
bounds at the NY36.
Campbell gets penalized for 5 yards for a False Start to put
Kent Graham in the hole with a 1st and 15.
Kent passes to Pete Mitchell to the NY40 for 9 yards, but
Charles Way gets hit for -1 yard by Sapp and Tiki's brother,
Ronde. Then they pass to Way but it only nets 1 yard."
their first time out with 3:10 left.
"Right, and Maynard punts it 45 yards to the TB15 and
Green has to Fair Catch it. Zeier pass falls incomplete as
Percy Ellsworth knocks it down, and his next pass is knocked
into the air by Cedric Jones who almost intercepts it.
Zeier realizes that this is not so easy as his next pass is
complete to Anthony but for no gain. Royals punts a good one
50 yards and it's tough to handle, but Tiki Barber fields
it and returns it 8 yards to the NY43."
Giants have it with only 2:32 left.
but you and me and Gamegirl and all the Giants fans and even
the booing Tampa Bay fans know that the Giants on offense
won't be able to kill all the time, and Tampa will get another
chance, and that's exactly what happens.
They feed it to Charles Way 3 straight times for a gain of
2 yards, gain of 1 yard, and loss of 2 yards as Tampa Bay
uses all their timeouts, and we're at the 2:00 warning.
Maynard punts it 41 yards to the TB15, and on the return Green
runs it to the NY6 where Maynard shoves him out, but there
are penalties on both sides, and when all is said and done,
Bucs have it at the TB23 with 1:41 left.
Eric Zeier's pass is almost intercepted but bounces over Williams
and it looks good for the Bucs for 28 yards to the NY49. The
Tampa fans groan as the on-field official's decision was reversed
by the Replay Official who said it was trapped by Williams
against the ground.
Now it's 2nd and 10 and Zeier completes to Williams for 8
to the TB31.
On 3rd an 2, E.Zeier shotguns it incomplete to R.Anthony,
and his 4th and 2 pass intended for B.Emanuel is intercepted
by the Sparks at TB38 and he takes it to the TB10."
Giants take the field with 1:17 left, and Tampa Bay has no
Yes, and this time the offense isn't supposed to move the
ball, so it all works out very well as Kent Graham takes 2
knees and they're out of there.
The Tampa Bay fans go home unhappy, wondering what's going
on at the quarterback position, because as unhappy as they
were with Dilfer, Zeier was 3-of-11 for 14 yards, didn't make
a 1st down on four possessions and also threw an interception."
Graham was 12-of-23 for only 91 yards as his longest completion
was just 12 yards. but as Gamegirl said, there were no mistakes
as far as turnovers go.
I agree with her that Collins would have done no better. A
healthy Gary Brown going up the middle might have produced
a few more first downs, but we didn't have him, and yes, Gamegirl,
the Tampa Bay defense is really that good.
1-14 0n 3rd down conversions and had only 4 first downs.
Sean Bennett rushed 13 times for only 24 yards.
Charles Way rushed 6 times for only 2 yards.
Percey Ellsworth had 2 Interceptions.
Phillipi Sparks had 1 Interception.
Andre Weathers had 1 Interception.
Corey Widmer had 10 tackles and 1 sack.
Jesse Armstead had 7 tackles and 1 sack.
Next Week - September
Giants play Washington at home at 1 PM.
Tampa Bay travels to play the Eagles at 1 PM.
1 - Preview
Game 4 - Preview
Game 3 - Review