Tampa Bay (1-1) heads back home after a hard-fought road win against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.
The Bucs will host the New York Giants (0-2) in yet another NFC matchup. The Giants made headlines earlier this week when head coach Pat Shurmur benched Eli Manning for Daniel Jones, the sixth-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Regardless of the circumstances, the Bucs will look to move to 2-1 at home before hitting the road for the next five games.
- All-time series record: New York leads the all-time series with a 15-7 record. The Giants won the most recent matchup, a 38-35 shootout in MetLife Stadium.
- Playoff history: The Bucs lost their only postseason matchup with the Giants (24-14) in 2007.
- Longest win streak: The Giants have won four in a row twice, with the most recent run happening from 2006-2015.
- Largest victory: A 31-3 in 1979 helped the Bucs get to the postseason and is still the largest margin of victory to this day.
- 2019 offensive and defensive rankings: Tampa Bay sits 26th in total offense (22nd pass, 15th run) and eighth in total defense (15th pass, t-6th run). The Giants are sixth in total offense (8th run, 11th pass) and 28th in total defense (30th pass, 18th run).
What To Watch For
- A return to offense?: Tampa Bay’s offense should be able to take advantage of a pretty bad Giants’ defense.
- Devin White’s absence: Will Kevin Minter play like he did against Carolina and how much will Deone Bucannon be involved?
- Improvement: This is a game where the Bucs should be able to flex some muscle and get better at what they want to do.
- Pass protection: The Giants are an active front, so it will be important that the pass protection is on point.
- Slow down Saquon: You can’t stop him, but you can limit his opportunities. This will be crucial on Sunday.
- Honorary Mention: How will Jones impact the game?
QB Jameis Winston: If the game plan allows, Winston should have a big day.
TE O.J. Howard: This feels like a good spot for a bounce-back game from Howard.
WR Mike Evans: Evans should be on the receiving end of some big passes this week.
DT Vita Vea: He was crucial to last week’s success against Christian McCaffrey and he will be needed again in order to slow down Saquon Barkley.
LB Lavonte David: David’s been great so far, but he will need to be even better with White out.
S Jordan Whitehead: This kid has improved so much and continues to be a tone-setter on defense. He’ll be flying around again on Sunday.
New York Giants
QB Daniel Jones: Can the rookie get his first win in the NFL?
RB Saquon Barkley: If you don’t know, that’s your own damn fault.
TE Evan Engram: One of the more athletic tight ends in the league, Engram looks to have a Greg Olsen-type impact this week.
DL Dexter Lawrence: Lawrence has looked good so far and has a lot of potential in this system.
LB Markus Golden: Giants’ defensive coordinator James Betcher moves this guy all over the defense.
LB Alec Ogletree: He’s on the backend of his career, but he can still make plays when he’s called upon.
- Lavonte David has 21.5 career sacks. He just needs 5.0 more sacks to pass Broderick Thomas for the most sacks by a linebacker in franchise history.
- Dating back to last season, Chris Godwin has caught a touchdown in each of the past three contests. With a touchdown reception against the Giants, Godwin will tie the franchise record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception, which he also matched last season.
- Shaquil Barrett recorded 3.0 sacks at Carolina. With three or more sacks against the Giants, he will be the first player in franchise history to post consecutive games with at least three sacks.
*Stats provided by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Communications Department
Look, I realize that “there are no easy wins” in the NFL, but the Bucs should win this game in an impressive manner with the talent on paper, the extra time, and the staff that they have.
It’s not unreasonable to expect a solid performance from top-down on both sides of the ball. The Giants do have Barkley, but the Bucs showed last week that they can take away your best player. If Jones is forced to make plays, then it could be a long day for the Giant offense.
The New York defense isn’t very impressive, either. Tampa Bay matches up well in both and can certainly exploit the weaknesses of their opponent. This should be a good game for the offense.
But the Bucs’ history with rookie quarterbacks is not a good one and like Bruce Arians said earlier in the week, Barkley is not of this world. However, as long as Tampa Bay doesn’t self-destruct and can avoid the dumb penalties, the team will head to LA with a 2-1 record.