Tampa Bay, after getting some extra rest, look to stay out of Daniel Jones’ locker
The Buccaneers improved to 1-1 on the season with a Thursday night victory over the Carolina Panthers. Jameis Winston and the offense have yet to hit their stride this season. The revamped defense, now under Todd Bowles tutelage, has been the bright spot of the season thus far. Only one season ago the Buccaneers defense was either worst or near worst in almost every defensive statistic. This current Buccaneers defense is currently eighth in the NFL in total defense and 14th in point allowed per game. The defense will face big test this week in Saquon Barkley and rookie Daniel Jones at the helm of the Giants offense. Jones will bring a athletic dynamic to the offense that former starter Eli Manning was unable to.
Todd Bowles vs. Daniel Jones
While it may seem counter intuitive to think a rookie quarterback will be a greater challenge than a former two-time Super Bowl MVP, that is the reality of the situation this week. Eli Manning simply does not have the arm or the legs scare off any defense. Now that Jones is taking over the offense, the Buccaneers will be forced to cover more of the field. With the deep ball back in the Giants arsenal it will be much hard to contain Saquon Barkley. Containing Barkley is the No. 1 key to victory for the defense as he has shown he is one of the most explosive players in the NFL today. The defense will also look to keep Daniel Jones guessing and uncomfortable. Todd Bowles has historically had a lot of success against rookie quarterbacks. Hopefully that past success continues Sunday.
Will the Offense show up
While the defense has been vastly improved this season, the offense has taken a step back. This isn’t too surprising considering Jameis Winston and the offense are only two games in an entirely new system. Will fans finally see the Bruce Arians’ offense they’ve been waiting for? The Giants are currently ranked 28th in total defense and 30th in pass defense. New York is also giving up an average of 31.5 point per game. With extra time to prepare against an already bad defense, there’s a chance Winston and the offense have their best week under Arians.
Mike Evans and OJ Howard
One of the biggest surprises this season has been the absence of Mike Evans and OJ Howard on the stat sheet. While OJ Howard has made some key blocks, he hasn’t been the receiving threat he was last season. Mike Evans has been quiet compared to his usual performances, however some of that may be due to the flu he came down with in Week 1. While Evans and Howard don’t need to dominate to defeat the Giants, expect to see them have more of an impact on this game. The Giants’ secondary is one of the weaker secondary groups in the NFL with the exception of Janoris Jenkins. Evans and Howard should be more involved in the offense against a below average defense this week.
The Giants receiving core is quite depleted with four wide receivers on the injury report. While it looks like Sterling Shepard will play, guys like Cody Latimor, Bennie Fowler, and Darius Slayton could all miss Sunday’s game. Winston recently surfaced on the Buccaneers injury report however he was listed as full participation so he will most likely play Sunday. Devin White will likely miss Sunday’s game as he has not participated all week. Scotty Miller could see his first action with Breshard Perriman listed as limited.
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