After a much-needed victory in Carolina, the Bucs had an extra three days off and will host the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon. New York has lost both of their games so far, against the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. For the Giants, this might be the start of a new era, as rookie Daniel Jones will make the first start of his career. He will replace Eli Manning, whose lengthy tenure in the NFL (or at least with the Giants) seems to be coming to an end.
Key To The Game: Contain Saquon Barkley
The most dangerous player on the New York Giants is easily Saquon Barkley. Without a doubt, the second-year running back out of Penn State is the real deal. So far this season, he has rushed for 227 yards on only 29 attempts. Beyond that, he is always a threat in the passing game, as he has added seven receptions for 47 yards.
Keeping Barkley in check will be crucial for the Buccaneers to be able to come away with a victory on Sunday. The Bucs found a way to completely eliminate Christian McCaffrey last week, which is quite an accomplishment. Barkley, however, is a whole different animal. Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers defense will have their hands full finding a way to get this difficult task done. Furthermore, Ndamukong Suh will have to be on top of his game for the Bucs get Barkley uncomfortable.
Getting In The Rookie Quarterback’s Head
Daniel Jones played terrific in the preseason. Finishing it with a passer rating of 137 is nothing short of sensational. Yet, it was just the preseason and does not necessarily mean much. He will try to prove that his preseason performances were not a fluke. The Buccaneers should not underestimate the former Duke. If Tampa Bay does find a way to keep Barkley in check, it should be a long Sunday for the rookie, especially if the Bucs can generate pressure on the passer like they did against Carolina.
Don’t Give The Ball Away
Jameis Winston played a solid game in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers and he needs to continue exactly where he left off. Tampa Bay’s quarterback needs to regain his confidence. The New York Giants could be just what the doctor ordered for the former Seminole. New York’s passing defense is currently ranked 29th in the NFL. Winston needs to take advantage of this.
Fortunately, Mike Evans should be fully healthy after having flu-like symptoms to start the season. Consequently, look for Winston to throw for multiple touchdowns for the first time this season. Undoubtedly, O.J. Howard has been one of Tampa Bay’s biggest disappointments of the season so far. However, the upcoming game should be a great opportunity for him to finally get on track. How good it would feel to see both Evans and Howard catch a touchdown Sunday. Keeping both players happy and highly motivated is definitely crucial for the Buccaneers’ success in the long run.
All in all, the Buccaneers should get away with a win against the Giants. Look for Barkley to have a great game and a score, but it will not be enough for New York. Winston throws for 300 yards, two scores, and an interception. Tampa Bay’s defense plays solid. Bucs win!