By: Frank Hyden
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New York Giants 25-23 last night to improve to 6-2 while the Giants fall to 1-7. To say it was a lackluster game by a team I’m seeing many call “one of the best in the NFC” is an understatement. The Giants are better than their record indicates, but they’re not good. They make too many mistakes and Daniel Jones at quarterback is always a roller coaster. He’ll make good plays but then he’ll make bone-headed decisions that leave you scratching your head. I was exchanging tweets with a friend of mine, @Sporticuslive, and he said that the Bucs play to their competition. That they’re as good as whoever they play. And he’s right, he’s totally right. The Giants are a team they should have beaten the shit out of. Hell, they just whooped the ass of the Las Vegas Raiders, and before that, the Green Bay Packers. Both of those teams are better than the Giants.
Tom Brady looked rough early, and he still had some not-so-good throws later in the game but he largely cleaned it up. He wasn’t great, he wasn’t sharp, but he made the plays when he had to. My biggest frustration with the offense was the continued use of the run game long after it was apparent that it wasn’t working. Yet they kept running the ball right up the middle. Hell, on the drive in which they finally took the lead, they would run it up the middle on first AND second down, then finally throw it on third. I thought I was watching the 2017 Chicago Bears with Dowell Loggains calling the plays for a while there. Luckily for them, they have more than enough talent on offense to be able to get away with that against an average team. Which brings me to my second biggest frustration with the offense.
You have Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski, two of the best at their positions. Gronk might not be who he once was but he’s still pretty damn good. You might want to involve those guys more in the offense. They both had touchdown catches. Imagine if you were focusing more on feeding them the ball. We’ve seen it in other games.
I don’t want to keep ranting but the defense didn’t play all that great either. There were multiple coverage breakdowns that should have ended in touchdowns or big plays but luckily for them, the Giants just couldn’t make the plays. Special teams played fairly well so that’s something. The officials also picked up a Pass Interference flag on the two-point conversion play that would have tied the game. That call was controversial to say the least. They originally called Pass Interference and I thought they would go with that because of the way they favor the offenses but the refs huddled and picked it up.
In the end, Tampa Bay should be thankful they got the win. They didn’t play all that great and got lucky in the end. They play the New Orleans Saints Sunday night in a huge game for the division. Watch them beat the hell out of the Saints after barely winning here. Maybe that’ll happen, maybe not, I won’t be surprised either way.
-San Francisco 49ers Tight End George Kittle has a broken bone in his foot and is out 8 weeks. That likely means for the rest of the season because there’s only 8 games left but it’s hard to say for sure. Jimmy Garrapollo is also injured, with a high ankle sprain and gone for 6 weeks or so. Even more injuries for the 49ers, the team can’t catch a break there.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank