New York Giants' Defense Depleted, Tampa Bay Bucs Offense Defeated

Jeff ShullAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs the ball as defender Ryan Sims #98 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pursues him during the game at Raymond James Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

The New York Giants were already concerned with the transparency of the depth in the defensive secondary before last week.

With the recent news of Kenny Phillips being placed on injured reserve, questions began swarming as to whether or not the Giants would be able to withstand the depletion of the secondary.

The New York football Giants responded with its first road shutout since 1983, and the first shutout since the 2005 season.

Several words could be used to describe the inspiring performance by the big blue wrecking crew, but my favorite would have to be disciplined.

The Giants forced only one turnover and had zero sacks on the day, so why so dominant? Easy, they never miss tackles or assignments, and their gap discipline is more sound than I have ever seen.

The Bucs leading rusher was backup quarterback Josh Johnson, who scampered for a 15-yard run late in the fourth quarter, when the Giants were basically just passing time until they got on the plane back to New York.

Former New York Giant tailback Derrick Ward and Carnell Williams saw a sea of blue all game. Ward managed only two yards on five carries; I bet he wished he was on the opposite sideline. Williams managed only eight yards on two carries.

Therein lies the reason why the Bucs could not do anything. They are predicated on running the football to set up the pass, and since they could not do the former, the latter proved impossible.

Until late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs had managed only one first down and 71 of the 86 total yards gained by the Bucs came on the fourth quarter drive I mention earlier.

Of the first seven Tampa Bay drives, five of them resulted in three-and-outs, one was a one play drive in which Terrell Thomas picked off Byron Leftwich on the first play, the other was the one play they ran before halftime.

I think you get the picture now. Aside from a meaningless drive with the team up 24 points, the defense was smothering, overwhelming, and downright dominant.

As if that wasn't enough, Eli and company moved the ball with fluidity up and down the field mainly with the running game.

The dominance was also seen in the time of possession: 43:38 to 16:22. The Giants' running attack returned to its 2008 form and piled it on the Bucs with 226 yards.

Ahmad Bradshaw's performance was overbearing. He exposed the Bucs defense for what they are: poor tacklers. He ran around and through them all afternoon on the way to 104 yards on 14 carries.

Brandon Jacobs has yet to be impressive, but he played admirably with 96 yards on 26 carries and the Giants' first touchdown from the red zone this season.

For the other scores, Manning found Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss. Moss' touchdown was a fantastic throw by Eli coupled with a leaping catch by Moss.

One thing I will say about this game, if Lawrence Tynes continues to miss field goals inside 20 yards it may be time to look for other options.

Overall it was a decimating performance by the entire team. With the Chiefs and Raiders as the next two opponents, a 5-0 start looks almost certain. Go Big Blue.