New York Giants 10-7-3-12 — 32
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-3-3-6 — 18
Fourth Quarter Recap
After three successive scoring drives in the first half, the Giants defense stalled in the rainy second. They started the final quarter with possession, but were unable to move the ball and forced to punt. A long punt pushed the Buccaneers into their own territory, but Charles Sims quickly made up the difference.
Tampa was quickly in business, and wasted no time going for the tie. The touchdown came from Winston, who scrambled his way to a ten-yard touchdown. The Bucs attempted to tie the game on the conversion attempt, but Winston’s pass was too high for an outstretched Russel Shepard.
After the Giants pushed the lead to eight with a late field goal, Tampa had less than a minute to drive the length of the field. On their third play they tried to get tricky, and a lateral was ruled a fumble that they Giants returned for the game’s final touchdown.
Why does that matter?
The point total was set at 49 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The meaningless fumble return touchdown as time expired pushed the point total to 50. The last play, that didn’t affect the final score, had millions of dollars in gambling and fantasy implications.
Third Quarter Recap
Playing without their anchor Jonathan Hankins, the Giants defensive line made a statement to open the second half. On the fifth play of Tampa’s opening drive, the Giants forced a fumble in the backfield from Bucs back Charles Sims. It appeared as if the Giants defenses would rumble to the endzone, but Winston attempted to dive onto the ball, preventing the scoop and score. Manning and the Giants went three and out on the ensuing drive, but a Josh Brown field goal extended their lead.
Mike Evans has two big catches in this game, but he also has two big drops. As it started to rain in Tampa, Evans let another deep pass on the sideline slip through his hands. Another Tampa mistake stalls another Tampa drive, and Connor Barth booted a 53-yarder to close the deficit to eight.
Second Quarter Recap
After the Randle touchdown, The Giants kicked off to Tampa to close out the opening quarter. On the first play of the second, Doug Martin fumbled on a hit by Jonathan Hankins. While the Giants celebrated possession, it didn’t last long as Hankins left the game with an injury. A former second-round pick, 320 pound Hankins is the Giants anchor in the middle of the defensive line. He was ruled out with a torn pectoral muscle. While that sounds painful, Twitter doctor David Chao mad it clear that it wasn’t the worst possible outcome.
Despite the loss, the Giants offense continued to roll. They started at the Tampa 28, but still needed nine plays to reach the endzone. A short throw from Eli to Vereen put the Giants up by 11. It was their third consecutive scoring drive.
When the Giants defense retook the field, the absence of Hankins was apparent. The Giants are getting no pressure on Winston, and Tampa moved the ball 65 yards down to the Giants’ 25. But the defense held, and Connor Barth pushed his field goal right to keep the score 17-6.
On their final drive of the first half, the Giants were seemingly headed for a fourth straight score, and gambled on a fourth and two at the Bucs 35. Manning and Beckham couldn’t connect, opening the door for Tampa to score before halftime. Winston found Evans again for 25, and the Bucs took it deep into Giants territory in the final minute. Frustratingly the Bucs couldn’t finish another drive, and Connor Barth hit his third field goal of the half.
First Quarter Recap
There’s a solid amount of blue shirts in the crowd today, and Giants fans were surely expecting Eli Manning to continue to flourish after his best performance of the season last week in New Orleans.
That didn’t happen. This was the Giant’s first play from scrimmage.
The Buccaneers were handed great field position but were held to a Connor Barth field goal. The Giants responded with a 10-play drive of their own, but were also stalled and kicked a field goal. On Tampa’s next drive, Winston hit Mike Evans for 68 yards on the first play.
Fortunately for New York, Jonathan Casillas ran down Evans the 12. That hustle play paid off, as the Giants held the Bucs to another Barth field goal.
On the next drive, the Giants offense got into a rhythm. They went no-huddle on the majority of the 12-play march, which ended with Ruben Randle eight-yard touchdown catch.
The Buccaneers are on the heels of an overtime thriller, and seeking their first win streak of the season Sunday against the visiting Giants. New York was on the verge of overtime last week, but a late penalty put the Saints in field goal range, handing the Giants a wild 52-49 loss.
New York is a road favorite heading to Raymond James Stadium, where they are 4-2 in their last six games against the Bucs.
The Giants could be in for a shootout for the second week in a row. Both teams are in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. At least the Buccaneers are trending in the right direction, as they held Matt Ryan and the Falcons to just 20 points last week.
Sunday will be the last break for New York as they enter the season’s final leg. They head to Tampa 4-4, holding a half-game lead over both the Redskins and Eagles in the NFC East. But the next five weeks are the toughest of the Giants’ schedule, filled with matches against potential playoff teams like Carolina, New England, and the neighboring Jets.