We are now counting down the hours until the kickoff of Monday Night Football, at which time the 1-6 New York Giants will try not to embarrass themselves on national TV against the 5-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s turn to Gil Arcia of SB Nation’s Bucs Nation to learn more about the Tom Brady bunch in our weekly ‘5 questions’ segment.
Gil: In my opinion, no. There are new pieces that were added this past offseason that still have not actually come together. Sure, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been getting into a groove as of late, but offensively there are a lot of inconsistencies and some miscues that have not been ironed out. Just reaching the playoffs would be a nice accomplishment.
Valentine’s View: I don’t often comment on the answers from an opposing team’s blogger, but I have to comment on this one. In my view, the season is obviously a failure for the Buccaneers if they don’t win a Super Bowl. You don’t sign a 43-year-old Tom Brady because “reaching the playoffs would be a nice accomplishment.” You sign a 43-year-old version of the guy who might be the best quarterback of all time to win you a Super Bowl this year or next, which is pretty much the window the Bucs have with Brady.
Ed: What are your feelings about the signing of Antonio Brown?
Gil: I am very curious to see how this plays out. His incentives point to being very involved in the passing game during the rest of the season so I have to wonder where his mind goes if he doesn’t get his targets, his receptions, his touchdowns, etc. I’m even more curious what this does for the psyche of guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller who have already built trust with Brady. Fortunately, there are also team-based incentives so he has to be a team guy as well as Bruce Arians who already laid some rules down. So we’ll see.
Ed: Jason Pierre-Paul is continuing to play at a high level. Are you at all surprised? Considering all that he has been through how is he still managing to be so productive?
Gil: I am not surprised at all that Pierre-Paul is playing at the level he is. He has benefitted from Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme along with playing next to guys like Ndamukong Suh, Shaq Barrett, and linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David. Bowles schemes the defensive front seven so that nearly all 11 on that side of the ball feed of each other. With Pierre-Paul being the player he is, he takes advantage of the opportunities and makes the most of them.
Ed: Is there a single Giants’ player you would like to take and put into Tampa Bay’s lineup? Who is it and why?
Gil: It’s hard to plug someone else into the lineup right now with the way the Buccaneers are playing. But for the fun in answering, I’ll just say defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. Can’t have enough big guys up front trying to disrupt opposing offenses.
Ed: On paper, this looks like a mismatch and an easy victory for the Buccaneers. Do you see any way the Giants can win the game?
Gil: No, and it’s just not on paper. Film from both teams is night and day. I have Tampa Bay beating New York 33-16. But who knows, any given Sunday, err, Monday, right?