The Bucs limp back home to take on the winless Giants. Will Tampa Bay return to their winning ways or will the G-men send their season spinning out of control?
Records: Tampa Bay 1-1, NY Giants 0-3
Game Time/Network: 4:05 pm EST, FOX, Kenny Albert, Ronde and Tiki Barber.
Spread: Tampa Bay -3
Series: NY Giants lead the all-time series 13-6
Tampa Bay – Offense (14th overall, 27th rushing, 9th passing, 15th in scoring), Defense (30th overall, 4th vs. the run, 31st vs. the pass, 12th in scoring)
NY Giants – Offense (21st overall, 32nd rushing, 8th passing, 31st in scoring), Defense (16th overall, 32nd vs. the run, 6th vs. the pass, 22nd in scoring)
Bucs Player to Watch
Jameis Winston enters his third season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback. Winston has had a solid career for Tampa Bay but now everyone is expecting him to make that next jump to the elite quarterback his team drafted him to be. The one thing holding him back is his penchant for turning the football over. It will be crucial for the Bucs fortunes in this game for Jameis to curtail his urges to never give up on a play and throw passes up for grabs.
If Winston can protect the football, the Bucs should be able to help him on the ground against the Giants, who rank last in the league in run defense and open up play action downfield for Mike Evans and Giant-killer Desean Jackson.
Giants Player to Watch
Odell Beckham, Jr., the human highlight reel, has gotten a ton of publicity thanks to playing in the media capital of the world, New York, but has recently had some controversy surrounding him. Is he a selfish player? Does he care more about statistics than winning? He’s struggled to find his place this season, fourth in receptions on his team and averaging just 57.5 yards a game while dealing with an ankle injury he suffered in pre-season.
Beckham, Jr. finally got in the end zone against Philadelphia and promptly got an unsportsmanlike penalty for his “dog peeing” celebration. However, Beckham, Jr. pulled in 9 receptions and 2 touchdowns in the loss to the rival Eagles so he is still one of the most dangerous and dynamic receivers in the league.
When the Bucs Have the Ball
Tampa Bay had a decent day running the football in their season opener but had to abandon the run early as they quickly fell behind the Vikings last week. The Bucs will need to establish the running game against the league’s worst run defense, take the pressure off of Jameis, and help their banged-up defense by keeping them off the field.
When the Giants Have the Ball
Eli Manning, given time, is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. When he’s not given time, he can be a little turnover prone and isn’t as effective. The problem is the Bucs haven’t been able to rush the passer very well this season. On the flip-side, the Giants haven’t protected Manning all that well, surrendering 8 sacks on the season.
Weird Facts That Might Be Only Interesting To Me
- Eli Manning is 4-0 lifetime vs. Tampa Bay, throwing for 1,038 yds, 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions with an 85.4 QB Rating
- Jameis Winston has 11 TDs and 3 interceptions, a 94.1 QB rating and a 5-2 record in his last 7 home starts.
- The Giants have won the last four meetings with Tampa Bay.
- In 16 career games against the Giants, Bucs WR Desean Jackson has 63 receptions, 1051 yds, and 6 touchdowns. Jackson has more touchdowns against the Giants than any other opponent he’s faced.
- In his past six games at home, Bucs WR Mike Evans has 520 yds and 6 touchdowns.