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Giants vs. Bucs: Five plays, or situations, that changed Monday’s game

Giants come up short, and they earned this loss

New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The New York Giants were embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. The final score was 30-10 as the Giants’ offense continued to show its ineptitude. The only touchdown by the Giants was a trick play reception by left tackle Andrew Thomas. Adoree’ Jackson’s interception provided the Giants offense the football on the 5-yard line, allowing them to score from close range.

The Buccaneers’ defense was allowing 23.6 points to opposing offenses entering the game. It’s not certain, but it’s fair to speculate the Giants would have only scored three points if not for a catchable pass that Mike Evans tipped in the air for Jackson to intercept.

New York finished the game with a measly 215 yards of total offense. Tampa Bay possessed the football for more than 35 minutes, and the Bucs had 28 first downs while the Giants only had 15. The offense has been unimaginative all season.

One has to question the lack of usage for the $72-million man Kenny Golladay. The Giants offense has several skilled playmakers, yet they can’t do enough to play football competitively. It’s a sad and unfortunate state. Here are several plays that led to yet another disappointing outcome on prime time television.

Play 1: Tampa Bay’s opening drive

The Buccaneers drove the football right down the field against Patrick Graham and the Giants defense. In less than four minutes, Tom Brady went eight plays, 73 yards, as the drive concluded with this screen pass to Chris Godwin.

Tampa Bay’s opening script was very quick with many runs (end arounds, jet-sweeps, etc.) to the outside. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was taking advantage of the Giants’ two-high safety looks. Once the Giants started playing more middle of the field closed then Brady started taking shots.

New York’s defense did little to slow Brady over the middle of the field. The zones were being picked apart, and there was no pressure on Brady. However, it was the opening drive when I realized this night would be very long.

Here, Godwin motions to the running strength where the tight end is on the boundary. Brady fakes the play action. Cameron Brate (84) chips the end man on the line of scrimmage and then climbs to locate the defensive back as Godwin catches the screen. This puts Julian Love (20), the safety, in a position to make an open-field tackle, but he’s too aggressive and overplays to the outside, giving Godwin the easy alley into the end zone. Not the best play for Love here.

Play(s) 2: The Buccaneers third-down conversions

Tampa Bay was 6 of 13 on third-down conversions, but these two were the most gut-wrenching. The third-and-4 run by Brady was palm to face moment for Giants’ fans. Not only did the 44-year-old Brady scramble for a first on third down, but he made a legit football move to force a missed Tae Crowder (48) tackle. And on his slide, just to rub salt in the wounds, he upends Xavier McKinney.

The third-and-11 was a one-score game after the Giants offense did nothing with the opening second-half possession. New York sends four and the seas part for Mr. Brady, who just steps into the pocket and finds Mike Evans (13) downfield for the first down on the comeback route. There were several more third-down conversions where the Giants looked helpless, but these two stood out.

Play 3: Fourth-and-1

I will not complain about this uber-conservative coaching staff entertaining a fourth-and-1 situation. What I do find head-scratching is the play call. This is a play I’ve personally seen several times on film from the Giants. Align in 13 personnel, overload one side of the line with tight ends, and then run play action towards that side.

Linebacker Devin White (45) also saw this play on film, and he quickly diagnosed it while getting after Daniel Jones (8) in the backfield. The movement of the play cuts the field in half, and it’s on Jones to locate the leaking defenders through the lateral flow. However, the Buccaneers are all over the play, and it goes incomplete. The Giants don’t have more imaginative and discreet play calls to employ in fourth-andshort situations? This is just a bit redundant.

Play(s) 4: Touchdowns for the Buccaneers

Here are the other two touchdowns for the Buccaneers; a touchdown scamper by Ronald Jones II and the second-half touchdown to Mike Evans, who just boxed James Bradberry away from the ball in the end zone. The Evans touchdown could have been included in the Play(s) 2 section since it was third down as well. On Jones’ touchdown run, Tae Crowder, Xavier McKinney, and Adoree’ Jackson can’t get outside of the double Y set to contain Jones, resulting in an easy touchdown run for the backup running back.

Play(s) 5: Big man TD and an INT for Adoree

There aren’t a lot of positives to take away from this game. It was nice to see Andrew Thomas score a touchdown near the goal line. Anytime a big man scores is exciting in my book. The Jackson interception was a huge momentum-swinging type of play, but it was Jackson being in the right place at the right time. The Jackson interception set up the Thomas touchdown, the only touchdown scored by the Giants in the game.