The Giants defeated Tampa Bay as coolly, methodically and nonchalantly as John Phillips commits incest. Tampa Bay was no match for Big Blue as the Buccaneers played like they were wearing eyepatches and had peg legs and hooks for hands (though that might come in handy on defense). Bucs coach Raheem Morris summed it up best: “We were beat by grown men, a team we want to be like one day. They came in here and took it to us. Out-manned us. Out-gunned us. It wasn’t even close.”
The stats back up his statement: 397 total yards for the Giants, 86 for Tampa Bay; time of possession – 43.38 minutes for the Jints, 16.22 for the Bucs; 27 first downs for the Giants, five for Tampa Bay (and they didn’t get their first one until five minutes were left in the third quarter).
The Bucs cured most of the Giants problems – at least for one day. Red zone issues? Going into the game the Giants were 0-8, but they scored a number of times with ease once they got inside the 20 yard line yesterday. Running game stalled? Big Blue piled up 226 yards rushing, with Ahmad Bradshaw leading the way with 104 yards. Brandon Jacobs gained 96 yards, but still doesn’t look like the Jacobs of last season. Maybe it’s too many two or three yard runs? And he’s not punishing the defense the way he usually does. Defense can’t stop the run? The Bucs had a total of 28 yards rushing. Poor Derrick Ward only gained two yards.
Eli Manning was 14 for 24, with two TD passes, one to Steve Smith and another to Sinorice Moss, who made a nice grab (and it was his first catch of the year). Smith had his third excellent game in a row, catching seven passes for 63 yards. Mario Manningham got into the mix, hauling in four catches for 55 yards. But the ground game led the way yesterday, just like old times.
The O line didn’t allow any sacks for the second game in a row, nor did the D record any themselves, also for the second game in a row. But the defense completely dominated the game, so they didn’t need any sacks. And Terrell Thomas picked up the Giants fifth interception of the year.
Finding any negatives in this game would just be nitpicking. Lawrence Tynes missed a field goal. Kareem McKenzie and Rich Seubert left the game with injuries. The Giants didn’t score a touchdown every time they had the ball. I had a cold and sore throat yesterday. Those are about all I could think of.
You can’t get too excited about this game because Tampa Bay is just not a very good team. But it was the first Giants shutout since October of 2005 (vs. Washington, 36-0) and first road shutout since November of 1983 (23-0 vs. Philadelphia). Big Blue is 3-0 and continues the soft part of their schedule next week when they take on Kansas City.