The New York Giants (4-4) will continue a road swing through the NFC South as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) in a NFC matchup Sunday afternoon. The Giants have won four straight meetings, including a 41-34 win at home on September 16, 2012; Tampa Bay covered the line in that game as a 9 point underdog.
New York dropped their second game in the last three as they were dumped 52-49 in a wild shootout against the Saints on the road last week. Tampa Bay won for the second time in three games as they stunned NFC South leading Atlanta 23-20 in overtime. The kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida is scheduled for 4:05 pm ET and will be televised on FOX. New York is currently a 2.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 48.5 points.
New York put together an offensive flurry but they allowed 10 points in the final 36 seconds to end up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. The Giants were outgained 608-416, gave up 35 first downs while recording 28 of their own and lost the time of possession battle 34:55 to 25:05 in the contest. New York forced two turnovers while committing only one in the game; they cashed in one of the takeaways as it was a pick six that gave the Giants the lead but they couldn’t hold on. Eli Manning’s six touchdown passes went for naught in the loss.
The Giants have been relying on the passing game to move the sticks as they are tied for 11th in the league with 258 yards per game and 27th in rushing offense as they average 94.5 yards per contest. New York is currently 5th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 26.9 points per game while they are 24th in scoring defense as they allow 26 points a game. Manning is 198 of 300 for 2,126 yards with 17 touchdowns and four picks while getting sacked 12 times this season. Rashad Jennings is leading the Giants on the ground as he has 81 carries for 316 yards and a score; Andre Williams (54 carries, 147 yards, TD) and Shane Vereen (35 carries, 160 yards) are in the mix as well. Odell Beckham Jr. leads the Giants with 50 receptions for 654 yards and seven scores; Rueben Randle (31 catches, 384 yards, 2 TD), tight end Larry Donnell (29 grabs, 223 yards, 2 TD) and Vereen (30 catches out of the backfield) are solid targets for Manning as well. Dwayne Harris (18 receptions, 221 yards, 3 TD) has developed into a nice third receiver as Victor Cruz continues to be sidelined after setbacks from last season’s knee injury. Josh Brown has kicked 22 of 23 extra points and 15 of 15 field goal attempts with a long of 50 yards this season.
Tampa Bay led 13-3 at the half and 20-10 entering the fourth quarter; rather than lose their cool after being taken to overtime, they came up with plays on both sides of the ball. Tampa Bay was outgained 496-290, gave up 28 first downs while recording 21 and lost the time of possession battle 39:05 to 30:11 in the contest. The Buccaneers came up big when they needed to though, especially in the turnover department: Tampa Bay forced four Atlanta turnovers while playing turnover free ball in the contest.
The Bucs have a below average offense: they are 23rd in the league in passing offense (222 yards per game), 4th in rushing offense (131.3 yards per contest) and 16th in scoring offense by averaging 23.3 points a game this season. Tampa Bay has struggled defensively as they are just 28th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 28.4 points per game. Jameis Winston is completing 58.6 percent (123 of 210) of his passes for 1,648 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven picks while getting sacked 14 times. He’s added 91 yards and two scores on the ground. Doug Martin leads the Bucs on the ground with 132 carries for 612 yards and three touchdowns while Charles Sims is next in line with 53 carries for 206 yards on the ground. Vincent Jackson is second on the team with 21 receptions for 319 yards and two touchdowns but is dealing with a knee injury; Austin Seferian-Jenkins (seven receptions, 139 yards, 2 TD), Mike Evans (24 grabs, 386 yards, TD) and Sims (19 catches, 234 yards, 2 TD) are good targets as well. The Bucs lost Louis Murphy (10 grabs, 198 yards) for the year with a torn ACL; that will put pressure on unproven commodities to try and take heat off of Evans. Connor Barth has taken over the kicking duties going forward. Barth has hit all eight extra point attempts and nine of nine field goal attempts since coming on board with a long of 47 yards.
New York is 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing more than 350 yards of offense, 4-1 ATS in their last five after an ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in their last five after rushing for less than 90 yards and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six on the road. Tampa Bay is 16-37-1 ATS in their last 54 at home, 2-5 ATS in their last seven after a straight up win and 2-7 ATS in their last nine after an ATS win.
Tampa Bay put together a solid win last week on the road but they’ve had plenty of struggles at home recently. New York is stung by the loss in their last one as they were carved up by Drew Brees and the Saints. The Giants are playing well offensively and are facing a Tampa Bay defense that allows opposing QBs to complete 71.1 percent of their passes; that’s a bad combination for Tampa Bay with the way Eli is throwing the ball. Give the points and take the Giants, who win by a touchdown or so.