Three weeks ago the Bucs were 6-1 and in control of their destiny despite the fact they’d suffered so many injuries, especially on the defensive side of things.
Now, after two losses and a bye week, the 6-3 Buccaneers are sitting in fourth place in the NFC Playoff race, and have just a one-game lead in the NFC South Division.
Still, the odds are pretty good Tampa Bay will make the postseason and have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title. Just like the odds are strong this weekend they’ll beat the Giants, who have proven to be a tough out, over the past few meetings.
Of course, since the state of Florida has yet to fully launch online sports betting, fans in Tampa may not get to capitalize on the fact their team come into the matchup as 11-point favorites.
There are some legal issues delaying the confirmation of an official launch date, although the state as a whole will certainly reap substantial revenue benefits, once those hurdles are cleared.
Although, taking the Bucs with the points this weekend may not be the wisest betting angle, anyway.
Historically, the Giants hold a 16-8 record against Tampa Bay. More recently, the two teams are 1-1 since the arrival of Bruce Arians, and Tom Brady won his only appearance in this series, last season.
Even in that win, the Buccaneers won by just two points, and it took a stop on a two-point conversion attempt to seal the victory. Too close for comfort by a long way.
In Arians’ first outing against New York, Tampa Bay lost, thanks in part to a missed field goal at the end of the game by kicker Matt Gay.
It seems the Daniel Jones led Giants just find a way to stay competitive against the Buccaneers, even as their own overall performances have left most expecting the team to find a new quarterback after the 2021 NFL Season.
Jones’ fourth-best career quarterback rating came against the Bucs, in that 2019 win for the Giants.
In the game, he threw for 336-yards and two touchdowns. Granted, the Tampa Bay defense was still getting their legs under them with new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, but can we really say this year’s defensive unit is fully stable themselves?
The game went much differently for Jones in 2020.
His 74.8 quarterback rating reflects that, as do the two interceptions he threw in the game.
Still, though, the Giants kept it close at the end, losing by just the two points.
Twice in the Arians era, and once in Brady’s, the New York Giants have proven to be hard outs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With the home team coming off two subpar performances, and the visitors coming off two wins in their last three games, this seems like another matchup perfectly primed for drama and late-game theatrics.
Something that the Buccaneers would like to avoid, and the Giants would love to bring to Raymond James Stadium, in Week 11.