Despite pulling within two points with less than a minute to play in the game, the New York Giants fell, 25-23, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
New York drops to 1-7 on the season and Tampa Bay improves to 6-2.
With 33 seconds left in the game, Jones threw a 19-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Golden Tate to make it 25-23. The Giants went for two, but were unable to convert. A defensive pass interference penalty was called on Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield, but the referees ultimately picked the flag up, ending the Giants’ chances.
Head coach Joe Judge said after the game that throwing the flag was the “right call.” He said that he was not sure why the referees picked it up.
Down 3-0 at the start of the game, the Giants caught a break when Blake Martinez tackled Ronald Jones II and forced him to fumble at the Tampa Bay 12-yard line with 5:02 left in the first quarter. On third-and-seven, Jones completed a pass to Dion Lewis in the left corner of the end zone to give the Giants a 7-3 advantage.
The Giants added to their lead with an efficient 10-play, 77-yard scoring drive in the second quarter in which they did not face one third down. Jones set up a touchdown with a 12-yard pass to Evan Engram down the sideline. On the next play, Wayne Gallman ran into the end zone for a two-yard score.
Tampa Bay’s Ryan Succop converted a 40-yard field goal to close out the first half. The Giants took a 14-6 lead into the locker room.
After taking advantage of Jones’ first interception of the night and converting a field goal, the Bucs re-took the lead when Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a three-yard touchdown up the middle at 6:05 in the third quarter. Tampa Bay elected to go for two but was unable to convert, making it 15-14.
After dropping a catch last week that would have allowed New York to maintain possession of the ball and run out the clock against the Philadelphia Eagles, Evan Engram converted a similar diving play at 2:26 in the third quarter for 30 yards.
Engram’s catch helped set up a 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano and the Giants took a 17-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bucs would score one more touchdown following a second Jones interception and tack on an additional field goal in the fourth quarter.
Despite the two interceptions in the game that led to 10 Tampa Bay points, Judge expressed his support for Jones.
“Daniel’s our quarterback,” Judge said. “Clearly put.”
Trailing 25-17, the Giants got the ball back with 3:41 to play in the game and no timeouts remaining. On fourth-and-five, Daniel Jones scrambled in the pocket and managed to find Darius Slayton down the sideline for a 12-yard gain to keep the drive alive.
On the Tampa Bay 49-yard line and with 1:25 to play, the Giants were faced with fourth-and-16. Jones completed a 20-yard pass to Sterling Shepard to, once again, convert the first down.
The final-drive efforts proved not to be enough though as New York fell just short, 25-23, in the game’s final minute.
The Giants led, 14-6, at the half.
The Bucs ran 35 first-half plays to 34 for the Giants, and Tampa Bay held the ball for 15:26 to 14:34 for the Giants. The Giants had 170 offensive first-half yards while the Bucs finished with 167.
The Bucs got the ball back with 1:40 left in the first half. Tom Brady was able to convert two first downs as he prepared to drive the Bucs down the field. But a key play by Darnay Holmes on second-and-10 kept Leonard Fournette in bounds, forcing Tampa Bay to call a timeout. The Bucs fell a half-yard short of the first down and settled for a field goal.
Jones was 11 of 17 for 100 yards and one touchdown in the first half. Brady was 16 of 24 for 132 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Jones finished the game 25 of 41 with 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Shepard recorded a team-high eight receptions for 74 yards.
Engram finished with five catches for 61 yards.
Gallman had 12 rushing attempts for 44 yards and one touchdown.
WOW LEWIS— New York Giants (@Giants) November 3, 2020
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♂️BRADBERRY ♂️— New York Giants (@Giants) November 3, 2020
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ROOKIE O-LINE LEADS THE WAY— New York Giants (@Giants) November 3, 2020
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OKAY THEN, @eazyengram— New York Giants (@Giants) November 3, 2020
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The Giants will take on the Washington Football Team in a key division matchup next Sunday, Nov. 8 at FedExField. The game is at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on FOX.