Given Tampa’s recent struggles and jaded history against the Giants, it was fair to be worried about this game being way closer than it had any business being. It looked that way in the first half, too, as Tampa saw another tipped ball interception go against them and multiple mistakes take away key plays in the redzone.
They revved it up in the second half though, shutting New York out while scoring 20 unanswered to return to the win column.
Let’s recognize some of the best performers from the Monday night tilt...
Offensive Top Performer: WR Mike Evans
No. 13 continues to cement himself as the best offensive player in franchise history, as he scored his 72nd career touchdown to set the team record, surpassing the beloved Mike Alstott. It’s worth noting he’s 28 years old with several years left on his deal, so he’s likely going to secure his place as the record holder for a very long time.
The touchdown served as the key highlight for another strong evening, with Evans catching 6 balls for 73 yards and adding his first career carry — a 10-yard jaunt on a double end-around!
We’ll of course shout out Tom Brady as well, who rebounded from his worst outing of the season to carve up New York like an early Thanksgiving turkey. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Tom Brady was effective on passes with pre-snap motion completing 16 of 23 for 204 yards, 2 TD & INT (+8.9 pass EPA).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 23, 2021
Brady has 16 pass TD and has generated +53.0 pass EPA on shift/motion plays this season (both 2nd to only Patrick Mahomes).#NYGvsTB | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/cfctySNSaz
We also have to give love to Rob Gronkowski, who made his triumphant return from some scary back/rib issues to catch 6 passes for 71 yards. Chris Godwin was his usual dependable self with 6 catches, 65 yards, and a touchdown.
Defensive Top Performer: LB Devin White
We’ve plenty critical of White this season, but he seems to finally be hitting his stride the last couple weeks. He flat out altered this game at multiple points.
Whether it was forcing the incompletion on a key fourth down attempt, pressuring Daniel Jones into throwing an interception, or tipping pass in coverage that resulted in another pick, White did it all. He finished with 8 combined tackles, multiple pressures and a pass deflection.
Speaking of interceptions, certified big boy Steve McLendon notched the first one of his career at age 35. Not bad, old man! Per Elias, he is the second-oldest player in NFL history at the time of his first career interception. Only Trace Armstrong (37) of the Oakland Raiders was older. Mike Edwards also logged an INT and recovered a fumble as he continues to be an indispensable chesspiece in the secondary.
And rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka finally earned some notable snaps and made them count, flying all around the field and flashing several times in the backfield. He finished with just two tackles, but he got multiple pressures and clearly looked like someone who can spell the injured Jason Pierre-Paul more than he has up to this point.
Special Teams Top Performer: K Ryan Succop
Bucs fans, we must always be grateful for a reliable kicking performance. Succop made all six of his kicks (3 field goals, 3 extra points) and played a key role in distancing the score.
Succop also moved up to 8th in scoring for the Bucs all-time, passing Ring of Honor member Jimmy Giles. He also gave some critical points to my fantasy team — one would argue that as a similarly important accomplishment.