The New York Giants face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. That means the return of Jason Pierre-Paul, the author of FitzMagic and former New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs cadre of impressive receivers will be at MetLife Stadium.
Let’s learn more about the Bucs from Evan Winter of Bucs Nation in this week’s ‘5 questions.’
Ed: What are your thoughts on what Jason Pierre-Paul has meant to the Bucs?
Evan: JPP has been the best player on this defense by far. As you may already know, Tampa Bay’s defense is a straight-up joke and has been for the past two seasons. Any offense – even Buffalo’s – can have success against this unit.
At one point, JPP was responsible for half of the team’s sacks and he currently owns eight of the team’s 21 total quarterback takedowns. Put it this way, Carl Nassib – a preseason waiver wire pickup – is second on the team with four sacks.
But Pierre-Paul doesn’t just effect the team on the field, he is a great leader in the locker room as well. I was shocked when they didn’t list him as a permanent captain a few weeks ago.
The Bucs haven’t had much recent luck with free agents, but they hit this one on the head.
Ed: If you were the Bucs GM would you make a straight-up Mike Evans for Odell Beckham Jr. trade? Why or why not?
Evan: No. No. And no. This is no disrespect to Beckham Jr, but Evans is a top-five receiver in the league - in my opinion. I actually wrote about this back in the summer, his contract is more team friendly as well.
Even though Evans was suspended for a game last season after his altercation with Marshon Lattimore, he has been a choir boy (I can’t say saint for obvious reasons) both on and off the field. Beckham Jr on the other hand, hasn’t done the same.
This really came to fruition earlier this year when the Giants’ downward spiral started gathering steam.
Granted, they are two different types of receivers, but there is no question they both have elite-level skills. At the end of the day, Evans has been just as productive without the issues. Let’s keep him in Tampa Bay.
3. If you could take one player off the Giants roster, excluding Beckham or Saquon Barkley, who would it be? Why?
Evan: Landon Collins. Tampa Bay’s secondary is horrific and Justin Evans hasn’t developed this year like most thought he would.
Collins is a great leader, player, and teammate. We would welcome him with open arms.
Ed: Does Dirk Koetter survive beyond this season as Bucs’ coach?
Evan: Unless some kind of miracle happens – no.
Ed: Tampa Bay started off 2-0. The Bucs have lost 6 of 7. What changed? Was the start of the season just a mirage?
Evan: You could say that it was more of a mirage, but there were also flashes of detrimental play in those two victories.
The problem right now is turnovers. There is an abundance of them on offense and they are non-existent on defense. Put two and two together and you get absolute chaos.
The Bucs are (-19) in turnover margin. They are on pace to finish with the worst mark since 1975.
It doesn’t matter how good your offense is if it can’t hold on to the damn ball. Add in the fact that you can’t create any of these opportunities on defense and you’re just begging for disaster.