Giants (2-7) vs Tampa Bay (3-6)
Sunday the Buccaneers hosted the Washington Redskins. The game was tied at 3-3
in the second quarter. The Redskins went on to do all the scoring after that and
Tampa Bay took a 16-3 loss.
The Giants played their game on a Monday night
in San Francisco.
Eli Manning guided the team to a fourth quarter come from behind win. The final
score was 27-23 in favor of the Giants.
- San Francisco Wrap-Up
The Buccaneers played well
in the second half of their 2016 season. A 9-7 record gave them their first winning
record in six years. Tampa Bay failed to build on that in 2017 and ended up at
5-11. It didn't help that quarterback Jameis Winston had a shoulder injury and
had missed some of those games. Winston started off the 2018 season with a three
game suspension, and Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in. He did so, impressively winning
the first two against tough contenders New Orleans and Philadelphia. Game three
did not go as well and though Fitzpatrick threw three touchdowns, he also had
three interceptions in the Buccaneers three point loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fitzpatrick started the next game in Chicago and was replaced by Winston at halftime.
The score was 38-3 in favor of the Bears, and they went on to a 48-10 win. Winston
was the starter for the next three games, the first, a loss in Atlanta, and then
an overtime win against Cleveland. In Cincinnati, Winston threw four interceptions
before being replaced by Fitzpatrick, who guided the team to a field goal and
two touchdowns to tie things up before the Bengals kicked a field goal to take
the win. Fitzpatrick started in the last two losses to Carolina and Washington.
Even though Winston is healthy, Tampa Bay is sticking with Fitzpatrick for this
game against the Giants.
Bay Buccaneers Offense
have flipped back and forth between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston, and right
now, Fitzpatrick is up. Despite all the confusion an offense can have from quarterbacks
coming in and out, the Buccaneers lead the NFL with an average of 361.2 passing
yards per game. Fitzpatrick has a strong arm, and has thrown 17 touchdowns to
lead all other quarterbacks, averaging 9.8 yards per completion. It helps that
the team has made some great support available for Fitzpatrick, Mike Evans, Chris
Godwin, Adam Humphries, and DeSean Jackson included.
As a team, the Buccaneers
are second only to the Rams in yards per catch, at 13.7. Individually, three of
their players rank in the top eleven. Jackson leads the league, averaging 21 yards
per catch. Tight end O.J. Howard is tenth, averaging 16.8, and Evans is next at
16.7. Evans is the team leader with 50 catches for 837 yards, and he has 4 touchdowns.
The offense sounds unstoppable, but they don't have a balanced attack. Tampa Bay
ranks 29th in the league in running the ball. Peyton Barber is the lead rusher
with 117 carries for 437 yards, and 1 touchdown. Quarterbacks Winston and Fitzpatrick
average better yardage per carry than Barber's 3.7 and each has one rushing touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
They weren't strong on defense last
year, especially against the pass, where they ranked last in the league. The Buccaneers
have shown some improvements, but have really fallen in the area of points allowed.
They fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith after game five, promoting linebackers
coach Mark Duffner to the job. Tampa Bay went on to win the next game before losing
in the last three. Even though they held Washington to just 16 points last week,
they still rank last in the league, giving up an average of 32.3 per game.
year the defense recorded 22 sacks, the least of any team. They needed help up
front, and traded a third round draft pick to the Giants for Jason Pierre-Paul.
He hasn't disappointed them, and has 8 sacks on the year. Two other linemen added
this year are Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, signed fresh off the Super Bowl champion
Eagles. Tackle Gerald McCoy has been to the Pro Bowl six consecutive times, and
he has 3 sacks. Overall the Buccaneers have not been effective with blitzes, as
the secondary, trying to cover man to man, has come up short trying to cover wide
Eli Manning had thrown eight touchdown
passes in eight games. Last Monday he added three more. The Giants produced three
touchdowns and two field goals from the red zone, going into that game 31st in
the NFL in red zone efficiency. What has changed? As they say, you have to protect
your quarterback. The addition of Jamon Brown at right guard has seemed to make
a difference. Manning dropped back for 32 pass attempts, and took just one sack
after being sacked seven times in the game before that.
For the Giants, the
offensive line has to continue to make strides so they can have a more balanced
attack. They currently rank next to last, averaging just 80 yards per game. Last
week the Giants gave Saquon Barkley more carries than he's had all season. Barkley
ran the ball 20 times for 67 yards to go with his 4 catches for 33 yards. If the
offensive line can do their job on Sunday, especially against Jason
Pierre-Paul, it will open up a lot of opportunities for Manning to take advantage
of in this game.
defense knows they will have their hands full dealing with the Tampa Bay passing
game. They also know that what the Bucs fail at mostly, is consistency. They saw
that last week when Tampa Bay lost to Washington after totaling 501 yards of offense,
and converting on 60 percent of their third downs. The Buccaneers made some big
plays, but turnovers did them in, and they finished with only 3 points. Even with
that low number added in, they average about 26 points a game.
It would help
if the Giants had a better pass rush to take some pressure off their secondary,
but Jason Pierre-Paul plays for the other team now. The Giants did not register
a sack for the second game in a row, and have failed to get one in a game three
times this season. Olivier Vernon had missed the first five games with a high
ankle sprain, but has registered just one sack in the four he's played. Sacks
or not, it will be important to bring pressure. You can't afford to give Ryan
Fitzpatrick more time to look over his extremely talented group of receivers.
last time these two teams met was in game four of last season at Tampa Bay. Ronde
and Tiki Barber, who played their careers for the Bucs and Giants, were broadcasting
the game. Eli Manning threw for two touchdowns, and ran 14 yards for another (not
a misprint). The Giants took a one point lead late in the fourth quarter. Tampa
Bay's kicker, Nick Folk, who had missed on two field goals and an extra point,
kicked a 34-yard field goal just as time expired to give the Buccaneers a 25-23
What craziness can we expect to see on Sunday? It already starts off
with Jason Pierre-Paul being on Tampa's side
of the ball chasing after Manning. Who thought you'd ever see that? A healthy
Jameis Winston, who beat the Giants last time, is on the bench, and his backup
Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting. Enough spoiler events for now. Just hope that the
Bucs defense plays as poorly as advertised, and that the Giants offense keeps
it going so they can notch another win.
Sunday at 1:00pm Cowboys (4-5)
at Falcons (4-5)
Sunday at 1:00pm Bucs (3-6) at Giants (2-7)
Sunday at 1:00pm
Texans (6-3) at Redskins (6-3)
Sunday at 4:25pm Eagles (4-5) at Saints (8-1)
The Giant are the only NFC East team favored to win in these games (not a misprint).
Eli Manning is 5-1 against the Bucs.
are currently 34-34 in regular-season home games in MetLife Stadium.
Saquon Barkley has had 100 yards or more from scrimmage in eight of his first
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