QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
It’s always ideal coming back home after a defeat, whether that comes on the road or even at home in the previous week. Whether it was the crowd, the atmosphere or just being in the place you call home, whatever it was, it helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the New York Giants 25-23.
The game started with some heavy rain right at the kick off. Because of this, both the Bucs and the Giants offenses were conservative, running the ball early and often, but to not much success. That was until the Bucs second drive of the game which featured a big 36-yard run from Jacquizz Rodgers – his best run of the season. That run got the Bucs into the end zone where wide receiver Mike Evans found himself in one-on-one coverage, which ended in six points.
Following the Bucs putting some points on the board, the Giants offense, now no longer operating in the rain, came alive. On a drive that started off with a big Paul Perkins run and was followed up by first down catches from Evan Engram and Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants found themselves in Tampa Bay territory for the first time. However, when they crossed the middle line, the Buccaneers defense came alive and stopped the Giants, not only on third down, but on fourth down as well for a turnover on downs.
The Bucs capitalized off the momentum from their defense on the next drive with a 12-yard run from Rodgers, followed by a 59-yard O.J. Howard touchdown. The touchdown from Howard came off a play action design that looked a lot like the broken play he was hidden on for big scores during the Clemson-Alabama National Championship games.
After a missed point after attempt from Folk, the Giants took over down 13-0. After a series of punts between both Tampa Bay and New York, the Giants took good field position and turned it into three points to get on the board for the first time in the contest.
Instead of steeping up to the Giants first points of the day, the Buccaneers offense went cold and had to punt. The Giants, however, continued their momentum into their next drive where they went 63-yards in seven plays to score a touchdown on the feet – yes, feet – of Eli Manning.
But, before the half, the Bucs would not be denied, and though the team was spotted the ball at the half yard line and came up empty in terms of a touchdown, they did add three points to their lead and went into the half up 16-10.
The Bucs took the ball to open up the half and started things off at a good pace. Two back-to-back five yard runs by Rodgers gave way to a DeSean Jackson pass for another first down. A few more run plays from Rodgers got Tampa Bay into field goal range, but the field goal was missed by Nick Folk.
In response, the Giants led an 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended in an easy passing touchdown near the goal line for the Giants to take their first lead of the game, 17-16.
The Giants were in control for most of the second half, including on their next drive of nine plays and 30 yards that didn’t end in points thanks to a missed field goal – a theme for this game.
However, on the Bucs’ fourth drive of the half, things started to all come together. Rodgers strung together some nice runs which got the offense in motion. Then a 38-yard pass from Winston to Humphries got the Bucs all the way to within the 10 yard line. After a play where both Evans and Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins had offsetting penalties, Winston hit Brate in the end zone to re-take the lead, 22-17.
But the drama didn’t stop there. When the Giants took over after losing the lead, a 42-yard bomb pass to Beckham once again had the Giants threatening in Buccaneer territory. After a drive-saving pass on third down to Engram, the Giants were in the red zone. With the ball on the 2-yard line, the Giants ran a bootleg rollout play action pass to a wide open Ellison to re-gain the lead for a second time. Following an unsuccessful 2-point conversion, the Giants led by only one with just over three minutes to go.
The Bucs final drive began at their own 25-yard line. After some clutch catches from Mike Evans and Cameron Brate – featuring a gutsy, picture-perfect pass from Winston – the Bucs found themselves on the 15-yard line with four seconds to go down by one.
It was all on Folk.
And he nailed it.
Winston finished the game 22-for-38 for 332 yards with three touchdowns and most importantly no interceptions. Brate was Winston’s top receiver with 80 yards on four catches and a score. Evans was next with 67 yards on five catches and a score. Humphries had a big game with 70 yards on six catches, and O.J. Howard was next in line with 63 yards on two catches for his first score of the season. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers had his best game of the season with 83 rushing yards on 16 carries with 25 receiving yards on two catches.
On defense, Kendell Beckwith and Vernon Hargreaves led the way with nine tackles each. Gerald McCoy got himself three tackles for loss, and Robert Ayers got himself one as well. On a low note, the Bucs once again did not record a sack.
Though he was the hero in the end, kicker Nick Folk was not consistent, missing one PAT and two field goals, one from 46 yards and the other from 49.
The Bucs will take this momentum into a short week where they will host the New England Patriots on Thursday.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Yes, I’ll take it! So glad to be wrong about this game. Now it’s on to the Patriots game and Doug is back. We’ve got a chance to beat the Patriots. Go Bucs!
Me too. And to do it without our two best Defensive players.
Patriots defense is a mess. We can win this game.
Wasn’t worried at all about this one (lying). Wasn’t nervous at all (my wife had to hold my hand a few times so I could get my finger up my nose). lol. Other than Koetter calling a play to run wide at the half yard line, I enjoyed every minute of it. Just bring on those Patriots. We’re ready for prime time! Seriously, I’m relieved to get this win. Go Bucs!
Koetter loves pitching the ball back three yards on the goal line. Don’t understand that at all.
We do Horse. The Pats have a terrible defense this year.
In the meantime, can someone put in a call to the grizzled creaky Dwight Feeney. My god, 1 sack in three games?
No more excuses for the defensive line.
What a gutsy win. The offense pulled it together and Jameis did his thing. While it wasn’t perfect, a W is a W. There was some dropped passes, throws behind guys, and some shoddy play calling near the goal line, but we did it. jameis led two huge scoring drives on those last two and did what needed to be done. My goodness, folk almost gave me a heart attack today. Invoking memories of Roberto today. I still question though, why in the hell does Koetter NEVER call a qb sneak?
Great game by Jameis despite the completion percentage. That was a good defense we played today.
A few observations:
1. Marpet still needs to work on those snaps, I think there was two today that Jameis made great plays on.
2. Desean, get your head out of your ass. Every time the ball misses you, we don’t need you acting like a child.
3. Its clear the most indispensable player on this defense is Grimes. That secondary is completely different with him out there.
4. Our defensive line just can’t get a sack. That’s going to kill us next Thursday.
5. Great to see the Falcons finally lose today and Julio went out with an Injury. We’re in the thick of it guys and gals!
We need to be talking about how big Winston was in this game. He played fantastic and tucked the ball and ran when he had to. The line was pretty good for the most part but our defensive line is terrible! We won’t last with no pressure against Brady
We won, I’m happy.
Hats off to Brate. He missed a couple he might have caught ( in tight windows), but WOW that catch was clutch as was the step out of bounds on a previous play. CLUTCH.
Who was it last week that said they watched Grimes all through training camp and he was basically finished? Without Grimes, we lose this game and many more. He is one hell of an athlete.
It was me. Grimes was still getting beat in this game, thank goodness the Giants dropped so many balls.
Really? from what I saw, Grimes played fantastic today. All of Odelle’s work was done against Vernon.
None of the CB’s played well. Hargreaves played the poorest, followed by McClain and then Grimes. Grimes deflected a pass early in the game, which is good. But he was getting beat on routes underneath and over the top, he just wasn’t targeted as much as the other two. For example, late in the game Manning threw a pass on the sideline that Grimes appeared to make a play on, but Odell Beckham wasn’t near Grimes because Beckham stutter-stepped and gave the impression he was running a curl or comeback and kept running on a deep route. Grimes stopped on the perceived underneath route before Manning threw the ball. Luckily the route Beckham ran fooled Manning also because he threw the ball right over Grimes head instead of at Beckham who would have had a TD. These CB’s have to stop playing soft coverage and do a better job of reading WR routes.
SO you’re guessing what was going through the head of both ELI and Odelle while knocking Grimes for one play? And then slight him for not being targeted? Maybe it’s because his guy is covered? We watched too very different games. As for the reason they played off is not on Grimes, that’s just how Mike smith wants to play them.
I’m glad to get the win. I really, really hate the Giants and they had beat us in 5 games straight. The NY fans seem to have taken over south Florida and (NY teams are on local TV instead of Bucs games) and I’m glad to stick it to them. The D-line still didn’t get pressure and the secondary still didn’t play well, but I’m glad we committed to the run game and re-discovered that we have TE’s on the team. The O-line is still leaky in pass protection. What a gutsy performance by Humphries and Brate. They would get my game balls. Go Bucs!
Hey it wasn’t pretty but a W is a W, we’re 2-0 at Home and it will be great to see what this team can do with Doug back this coming week. As much as I’d love to see Lavonte and Kwon in there, best not to rush them back and risk re-injury. That kicking performance today reminded me of the Carolina game last year when Aguayo (insert swear word) missed 2 FGs and an extra point I believe and then kicked the winning FG. I want to see far less of the former and much more of the latter. Seeing the Giants 0-4 is so sweet, but what would be sweeter is Brady and the Pats fall to 2-3. It may be a shootout. Go Bucs
Great Bucs win!
Winston played great, Grimes played great (looking at you pinkstob), Beckwith continues to impress, O-Line played great, and Jaquizz ran harder then I’ve seen since maybe MNF last year.
I think we are a few turnovers away from this thing taking off. And maybe Ward/David/Kwon is the answer to that. Those are all great playmakers.
One thing I would wish to see more is Winston to not force it to Brate/Evans (mainly on the 4th down play where he threw to brate in double coverage) and just identify who has the weakest matchup presnap. Our skill position is so deep and talented, that there will always be someone who has a huge advantage and will usually take advantage of it!
Go Bucs!! Let’s beat the champs!!!
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