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Buccaneers 25, Giants 23: Two Winners, Three Losers As Giants’ Season Effectively Ends

What were the bright spots in the Giants’ fourth straight loss?

New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The New York Giants are 0-4, and their season is now likely over. They might win some games from here, but they would need a miraculous, herculean, effort to make the playoffs.

An effort of which they do not appear to be capable, and their season is likely effectively over. There were a couple bright spots to be found, and more than a couple losers that need calling out.

Winner - Eli Manning’s Speed

By far the brightest moment of the game was Eli Manning’s rushing touchdown. It was the longest of his career, one of his longest runs ever, and provided a spark for the Giants’ offense and defense.

Hey, like the Manning says: You can’t teach speed.

Winner - Wayne Gallman

The other bright point of the game for the Giants. Wayne Gallman had himself a birthday to remember, getting into his first NFL action and scoring his first touchdown. Gallman’s decisive, hard, down-hill running proved to be exactly what the Giants running game needed (apart from actual blocking). The Giants saw their best offensive production with him on the field and Eli Manning under center. Despite an offensive line in flux Gallman was able to produce and force the Buccaneers to respect the Giants’ running game.

If there is any upside to the Giants’ loss it is that it revealed a few things that should stay in the offense for the remainder of the season, and Gallman running the football is one of them.

Loser - Odell Beckham’s Finger

Let me first start by saying:

  1. I will not be posting a video of the injury.

Okay, after this game nobody should ever question Odell Beckham’s toughness again. Ever.

Beckham has been dealing with an injured ankle throughout the season, which he seemed to aggravate over the course of the game. He came back in and played through it. He also dislocated his finger, in a cringe-worthy display that was (of course) shown on television.

In fact, give Fox’s apparent need to show, and re-show the injury and Beckham’s obvious pain on the sideline a big fat LOSER. Complete with a Wet Willie.

Loser - New York Giants’ Defense

The Giants’ defense was touted as, potentially, the best in the league.

They have not been. They gave up an embarrassing number of big plays to the Buccaneers, and largely failed to mount a pass rush against Jameis Winston. The Giants tackled better, at times, than they did the previous two weeks, but tackling and discipline were still obvious problems with the Giants’ defense. There is plenty of blame to go around — to all three levels of the defense — so I’m not going to call out any one player. They all need to be better.

They still have the talent to be an elite defense, but it doesn’t look like that will happen until 2018.

Loser - Giants’ Kickers

The New York Giants seem to revel in finding new and painful ways to lose football games. This time a shanked punt by Brad Wing — who was one of the best in football last year — lead to the Buccaneers’ go-ahead touchdown. The Giants got the lead back on a touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison, but failed to make the two-point conversion. At that point a 43-yard miss by first-year kicker Aldrick Rosas loomed large.

Full disclosure here - Ed didn’t want me to include Rosas in this section. But, my apologies to the young man, he is a professional kicker who was touted to have a big leg. His one job is to succeed in those situations, and is supposed to be good anywhere inside of the 50. The Giants could have been up by five points, forcing the Buccaneers to get a touchdown to win. Instead a leaky defense was forced to defend a one-point lead with one of their best players on the bench. They couldn’t do it, and both kickers deserve a share of the blame.