Buccaneers vs. Giants: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants runs off of the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys by the score of 24-17 during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Giants were a big disappointment in Week 1, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a nice surprise. We'll see which trend is more sustainable when the two teams clash in Week 2.

It's hard to imagine the defending champions opening this season 0-2, especially with the opportunity to rectify last week's loss at home. But the Bucs look like a young, confident team that intends to vie for a playoff spot this season, and they won't be intimidated.

Will the Giants get their passing game going and rediscover the offense that never showed up against the Dallas Cowboys? Or will the Bucs play sturdy defense and control the clock with a strong running game?

This is one of the more intriguing games on the Week 2 slate. Let's take a closer look at how this one will play out.

Where: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

When: Sunday, September 16 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: FOX

Listen: Sirius 85 and 135; Westwood One; NFL Audio Pass

Spread: Tampa Bay Bucs (+7), according to Bet Online.

I'm going to take the seven points with the Bucs in this one. While I think the Giants will win outright, I expect the Bucs to keep things close. They have the look of a surprise playoff contender this season, while the Giants looked lackluster in the loss to Dallas. New York will win, but it won't be pretty.

Over/Under: 44, according to Bet Online.

I would go with the under in this one. I have a feeling that both defenses will play well. The Bucs looked strong defensively (namely in the secondary) against the Carolina Panthers, but I think that the Giants pass rush will disrupt Josh Freeman all game long.

Bucs Injuries (via ESPN)

WR Arrelious Benn, Knee, Probable 

RB LeGarrette Blount, Stinger, Probable

Giants Injuries (via ESPN)

DT Chris Canty, Knee, Out

CB Terrell Thomas, Knee, Injured Reserve

WR Hakeem Nicks, Foot, Questionable

CB Prince Amukamara, Ankle, Questionable

CB Michael Coe, Questionable 

Bucs Fantasy Impact

Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson should start. Mike Williams is a decent flex in deep leagues. I wouldn't trust Josh Freeman or the Bucs defense, however.

Giants Fantasy Impact

If you have them, you pretty much have to start Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and even Martellus Bennett, unless you have a stud tight end. If you're feeling brave, the Giants defense could turn out to be a nice sleeper play. 

Keys to Bucs Win

Offensively, the Bucs have to be able to run the ball and control the clock. A huge key for them will be staying out of 3rd-and-long situations, a death sentence for quarterbacks against the Giants' excellent pass rush. 

Defensively, they need to pressure Manning and keep him off-balance. As good as he is, Manning isn't immune to turning the ball over. If the Bucs can win the turnover battle, they'll be that much more likely to win the game.

Keys to Giants Win

For one, players like Victor Cruz need to catch the ball. That certainly didn't help their cause in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys. For another, the offensive line needs to protect Manning. The Giants aren't going to have a very formidable offense again if Manning doesn't have enough time to throw.

Defensively, the team needs to stay in Freeman's face from the snap to the final whistle. The Bucs will try to establish the run early and look to build off that with play action, so the play of the front seven for the Giants will be key. And they can't allow Jackson to beat them deep—they must make the Bucs grind for every point they get.


This will be a good game, though it probably won't be the most exciting Week 2 affair. The defenses will steal the show here, though Manning will do what he does best and lead the Giants to a late win. New York will steal it in the end, 20-17.

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