Two disappointing teams will do battle in the Meadowlands of New Jersey Sunday, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field against the New York Giants.
New York comes off their second victory of the season, a 27-23 win over the 2-7 Niners who fielded an undrafted rookie quarterback and still made Eli Manning engineer a late scoring drive to pull out the victory.
Manning’s supporters are calling it vindication and proof their hero still has something in the tank. But a 19-31 passing day for only 188 yards doesn’t exactly scream “comeback!” even if it includes three touchdown passes.
New York’s veteran passer still missed a fair share of open receivers, although to be fair, he also suffered a couple of more drops. But even his last-gasp scoring drive needed a pair of bad third-down penalties to keep going.
Meanwhile, another veteran passer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has been deemed a better choice than the Buccaneers’ alleged franchise quarterback, Jameis Winston. But after surprising everyone with two victories to open the season, Fitzpatrick hasn’t provided more than some last-quarter “almost” moments since the team benched Winston.
Turnovers and a nonexistent rushing game continue to plague the Buccaneers who need every bit of offense they can find to keep up with the point totals their defense allows.
Injuries and notes:
Any plans to see what third-string quarterback Shaun Wilson can do in a regular-season start were snuffed by a late-game shoulder injury that landed him on the injured reserve Tuesday.
Center Evan Smith (hip) joins him. Running back Ronald Jones (hamstring) is questionable, as is linebacker Lavonte David (strained MCL).
Tampa list ten other players as questionable, but none are expected to miss the Giants game.
New York listed no one on their injury report after Monday’s game.
Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter isn’t doing anything to make anyone think he will be the Buccaneers’ coach in 2019. In a disastrous season that was supposed to confirm the future of Winston and Koetter, the only remaining question is whether the team lets Koetter finish out the year.
Giant fans are left to wonder if Pat Shurmur can come back from an awful rookie campaign the way legendary coach Bill Parcells did in the 1980s. There were a few more moderate-distance passes in the game plan Monday, but overall, a maddeningly-conservative offense didn’t look much different from before the bye week.
How to watch the Giants-Buccaneers game
Fox Sports will provide the live stream feed of this game to Fubo TV viewers in the Tampa Bay and New York markets.
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Who will win the Giants-Buccaneers game?
Nothing New York did against the 49ers Monday makes us think they will run the table and climb back into the playoff picture. But at least the Giants seem to have direction, even if it is currently leading them over some very rough terrain.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is making sure his receivers have fun and compile statistics, but the team appears rudderless at this point. The Giants will take advantage of enough mistakes to push themselves further back in the 2019 draft board.
Final score: Giants 26, Buccaneers 24