Buccaneers game day is approaching, and it’s time for the PewterReport.com staff to offer up its weekly game predictions. Let us know what you think in the article comments section and add your prediction, too.
WHEN: Monday, November 2, 2020 KICKOFF: 8:15 p.m. ET WHERE: MetLife Stadium TV: ESPN PLAY-BY-PLAY: Steve Levy ANALYSTS: Brian Griese & Louis Riddick SIDELINE: Lisa Salters RADIO: 98ROCK 97.9 FM PLAY-BY-PLAY: Gene Deckerhoff ANALYST: Dave Moore SIDLINE: T.J. Rives Spanish Radio: 96.1 FM PLAY-BY-PLAY: Carlos Bohorquez ANALYST: Martin Gramatica
Scott Reynolds: Bucs Cruise To 6-2 On Monday Night Football
The Bucs will win their third game in a row and improve to 6-2 at the halfway point of the season, but it won’t be a big huge blowout like the previous two weeks have been. Tampa Bay beat Green Bay 38-10, and trounced Las Vegas 45-20, and for the first time in franchise history, the Bucs had back-to-back wins by 25 points or more. On paper, that should happen again as the Giants are a hapless 1-6 team and struggle to score points, but there is something “sticky” about New York.
They find a way to keep it close, as the team has only lost one game by a blowout margin – a 36-9 defeat to San Francisco. The Giants lost by 10 to the Steelers, 26-16, and by eight to the Rams, 17-9. I think the Bucs cover the spread, but without Chris Godwin, who broke a finger in last Sunday’s win, and with Mike Evans being blanketed by James Bradberry, who has covered him better than any cornerback in his career, dating back to Bradberry’s time in Carolina, I believe the Bucs won’t score more than 30 points.
Still, Tampa Bay has too much talent, and Tom Brady is hot right now. I do think the Bucs might struggle to run the ball against the Giants interior defensive line and middle linebacker Blake Martinez, who is featured in one of my 4 Match-ups To Watch this week in my SR’s Fab 5 column. And for more Bucs vs. Giants preview analysis, check out my Rewind-Fast Forward section of this week’s SR’s Fab 5, too. In the end, Tampa Bay’s pass rush is too much and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul has three sacks in his return to New York against rookie right tackle Andrew Thomas, who has given up 37 pressures and six sacks in seven games.
In previous seasons a game like this would give me indigestion and worry. Not this time. The Buccaneers are clearly the better team and have favorable matchups all over the field and are on a roll. There won’t be a crowd to contend with which benefits the Buccaneers as well as they go on the road and try and snag their sixth win of this season.
The Giants aren’t a very good football team right now and their 1-6 record is evidence of that. Their offensive line is shaky and rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas isn’t in the same realm as Bucs rookie tackle Tristan Wirfs. This bodes well for outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul who is seeking to make a statement against his former team. Tampa Bay’s defense is playing with terrific confidence and linebacker Devin White will thrive in the spotlight of the national stage on Monday Nigh Football.
What more needs to be said about Tom Brady and the offense? Even without Chris Godwin in the lineup, Tampa Bay still has more than enough firepower to put up a ton of points against the Giants defense and keep the bus rolling with another double-digit win in front of the nation. It might take a while to pull away, but just like in Vegas last week, the Bucs will win by at least two touchdowns when the final gun sounds.
As I discussed on the podcast this past week, the next step for the Bucs as an organization is stacking wins week-after-week, a process that can’t fall prey to trap games. The Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL, despite a defense that has played well enough to be better than 1-6.
The Bucs offense may get off to a slow start on Monday night, especially if establishing the run is a priority. The Giants have the seventh-ranked run defense in the NFL, and their interior is stacked with quality talent. A pass first approach would behoove the Bucs offense greatly, but with Chris Godwin out of the lineup and Mike Evans dealing with career nemesis James Bradberry, Tampa Bay has their work cut out for them here as well.
But the Bucs defense needs to be and should be dominant, opposing the worst offensive line in the NFL that has allowed significant pressure on Daniel Jones all season. Jones is also extremely turnover prone, which could lead to some short fields for the Bucs offense, and perhaps even a defensive touchdown. It might be ugly to start, but the Bucs will close strong.
Matt Matera: Another Double Digit Win For The Bucs
When you look across the board at all the different aspects to this game, the Bucs have the advantage in each one. You have a two-time NFL Coach Of The Year in Bruce Arians matched up against a rookie head coach with Joe Judge. The Bucs have more weapons than the Giants do, and while their defense has kept New York in games, it doesn’t compare to the group that Tampa Bay has.
It’s a new season with new players, but I’m sure there’s a lot of guys from last year’s team that haven’t forgotten about their Week 3 loss to the Giants a season ago when they made a comeback in the second half and scored late. You know who didn’t play in that game, though? Jason Pierre-Paul, and he’s out to wreak havoc in his second game against his former team. Daniel Jones was able to scramble often last year, but that won’t happen again this time around. Devin White didn’t play in that game last year either, and he’ll be the one tracking him down.
Tom Brady is no stranger to playing at MetLife having faced the Jets regularly each season. He’s sizzling hot at the moment, but will be without Chris Godwin for this contest. The offense just runs differently when he’s out there and it won’t be easy to replace him. With that said, the Bucs have plenty to give them the edge in this one. I suspect they’ll get back to the ground game with Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette while they look to get Mike Evans involved in early on passing downs. The Bucs will win big again.
Taylor Jenkins: Tampa Bay Dominates The Little Giants
While it’s New York that carries the Giants moniker heading into their Monday Night Football match-up against the Bucs’ in Week 8, they’ll be the massive underdogs in this David vs Goliath showdown.
When looking at Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings – or Defense-adjusted Value Over Replacement, a metric that ranks a team’s offense and defense on a play-by-play basis compared to the NFL average – the Giants enter Week 8 as the 29th-ranked team in the NFL, with the Bucs sitting first in the league. Not only do the Bucs carry the top DVOA in the league, with the No. 1 defensive DVOA and the No. 6 offensive DVOA, Tampa Bay’s DVOA of 45% is the 10th-highest through the first seven weeks of a season since 1985.
The Giants are 1-6 and currently sit 29th in the NFL in scoring offense at 17.4 points per game and 14th in scoring defense, allowing 24.9 points per game to their opponents. While the Bucs’ defense is arguably the best in the league right now, just two weeks removed from holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to a 10-point, two-interception performance, Tom Brady is coming off of an NFC Offensive Player of the Month Award. Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones has thrown just five touchdowns all season compared to seven interceptions while Brady has scored five total touchdowns in two separate games this season. Call it a trap game if you want, but there’s zero reason the Bucs shouldn’t cruise to an easy victory on Monday. Jenkins’ Score Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Giants 13 Jenkins’ Season Record: 5-2
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