The Bucs snapped their two-game losing streak to improve to 7-3 with a convincing 30-10 win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Tampa Bay has scored at least 30 points in every home game this year and is an undefeated 5-0 at Raymond James Stadium this season. The Bucs are also a perfect 4-0 in prime time games this year.
Here were the most impressive Buccaneers in the win against the Giants:
QB Tom Brady
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Brady started the game red hot, completing 5-of-5 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He used more play-action in this game than in previous games. Brady’s first-half interception wasn’t his fault, as for the second week in a row he had a perfectly thrown pass bounce off a receiver’s hands. This time it was Mike Evans’ fault. Brady’s second touchdown pass went to Evans, who became the Bucs’ all-time career leading TD leader with 72 regular season scores. Brady got the team fired up with a 10-yard run for a first down in the first half. He finished completing 30-of-46 passes for 307 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
WR Mike Evans
Evans had a big second-half touchdown last year in Tampa Bay’s 25-23 win at New York on Monday Night Football. He victimized James Bradberry IV again for another big second-half score on Monday Night Football – this one to give Tampa Bay a 24-10 lead in the third quarter. That touchdown atoned for his bobbled pass that was intercepted in the first quarter. Evans led the Bucs with six catches for 73 yards and a TD that made him Tampa Bay’s all-time leading career touchdown producer. The eight-year veteran also had his first career carry on a 10-yard end around.
WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Godwin opened the Bucs’ scoring with a 13-yard touchdown catch on the team’s opening drive in addition to a 7-yard end around. He had five catches for 47 yards in the first quarter and would have had another big catch-and-run score if not for a questionable holding call on right tackle Tristan Wirfs. Godwin finished the game with six catches for 65 yards and a TD.
TE Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski came back with a vengeance as he returned to the starting lineup after playing just six snaps at New Orleans three weeks ago. The future Hall of Famer led the Bucs with 57 yards on five catches at halftime, including a big, 35-yarder. Gronkowski finished the game with six catches for 71 yards.
DB Mike Edwards
Edwards is a difference-maker and has taken over for Ross Cockrell in the nickel defensive back role. He recorded his third interception of the season when he picked off Daniel Jones on ball that was deflected by Devin White. Edwards now leads the Bucs with three interceptions. He finished the game with a pair of tackles.
ILB Devin White
Bucs ILB Devin White – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
White didn’t have the monster game he had last week at Washington with 18 tackles and two sacks, but he did have two key pressures. One on fourth-and-1 that pressure led to an incompletion, and another one in the second half that led to an interception by defensive tackle Steve McLendon. White also deflected a pass in the fourth quarter that was intercepted by Mike Edwards. White finished with a team-high eight tackles.
DT Steve McLendon
McLendon has been a healthy scratch the last few games, but was active on Monday night due to Vita Vea’s knee injury. McLendon snared a third-quarter interception on an errant throw from Daniel Jones. That was the first career interception from the 13-year veteran. In the post-game press conference McLendon said he dropped a potential interception seven years ago. The 35-year old defensive tackle became the oldest player in the NFL to record his first interception. “I’m like fine wine – I get better with time,” McLendon said.
CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting & Jamel Dean
Murphy-Bunting had some rust in his game, but did a good job of shaking it off as the evening progressed. Because he hadn’t played since Week 1, Murphy-Bunting was tested early and often by Daniel Jones. He responded well for the most part in coverage and was flagged just once for pass interference. The Bucs missed Murphy-Bunting’s tackling and physicality. The cornerback notched seven tackles and also forced a fumble in his return to action.
Dean was solid in coverage outside of one pass interference penalty and finished with five tackles. He was excellent in run support. Both Dean and Murphy-Bunting didn’t allow a single Giants receiver to post more than 40 yards receiving.
LG Aaron Stinnie
Stinnie came in to replace the injured Ali Marpet, who strained his oblique in the first quarter and missed the rest of the game. He didn’t miss a beat and played well in pass protection and in the run game. Stinnie held his own against Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams, drawing the toughest assignment in the trenches.
K Ryan Succop
Bucs K Ryan Succop – Photo by: USA Today
Succop made of all his kicks for the fourth time this season. His 12 points against the Giants were the second-most he’s scored this season behind his 13 versus the Dolphins. Succop was 3-of-3 on field attempts and 3-of-3 on extra points. He connected on field goals from 25, 40 and 30 yards on Monday night.
RB Ronald Jones II
Jones saw the most action he’s seen in weeks, rushing for 33 yards on eight carries. He also scored his second touchdown of the season on a 6-yard run in the second quarter to give the Bucs a 17-10 lead at halftime.
OLBs Anthony Nelson & Cam Gill
Once the Bucs had built a 30-10 lead it was time to tee off on Daniel Jones. The Bucs emptied their bench and both reserve outside linebackers – Anthony Nelson and Cam Gill recorded a sack late in the fourth quarter. For Gill, it was his first full sack of his career. For Nelson, it was his second sack of the season.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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