Do the New York Giants have a chance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 8? Thatâ€™s quite a loaded question, considering the Giants have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and are dealing with a slew of injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
Tampa is also dealing with some issues of their own, as star receiver Chris Godwin will miss Monday nights contest with a fractured finger, leaving James Bradberry to face off against Mike Evans.
Last season, Evans torched former Giant Janoris Jenkins for 190 yards and three touchdowns, but I highly doubt Bradberry will allow him to rack up similar statistics.
Through seven weeks, Bradberry has an 80.5 overall grade, ranking as one of the best corners in the NFL and proving to be a key free-agent signing for the Giants this past off-season.
What do the New York Giants have to look forward to with Tampa?
The Buccaneers currently have the eighth-ranked defense in points allowed per game and third-ranked defense in yards allowed. Offensively, they are fifth in points per game and 16th in yards.
The Giants are outmatched at nearly every corner on both sides of the ball, so it will take a tactically perfect game for Joe Judge and his squad to keep the game relatively close. The past two weeks for Tampa have been luxurious, having posted 83 total points against the Packers and Raiders. The lowly Giants have only scored 42 points against Washington and Philadelphia.
The differentiation between the two teams is significant, and the Giants certainly have their hands full with a Tampa offense that has found their groove.
Stopping their offense will be extremely difficult, but it starts with the run game and holding up in coverage. The Giants have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, so stopping Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette will be imperative.
They will expect linebacker safety Jabrill peppers to mark Rob Gronkowski, one of Bradyâ€™s favorite targets in the passing game. If Bradberry is shadowing Mike Evans around the field, CB Darnay Holmes will be tasked with holding down Scotty Miller in the slot. Holmes missed last week’s game against Philly with an injury but is expected to return on Monday night at home against the Bucs.
Miller represents one of Tampaâ€™s best receiving options, having hauled in six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders in week seven.
The Giants will have to find ways to keep him under wraps, as Tampa has been extremely successful, scheming him open. Of course, when you have a quarterback like Brady who can throw the ball with pin-point accuracy, stellar defense isnâ€™t always enough.
In a nutshell, this game for the Giants will be their most difficult of the season, and if they can at least remain competitive for the contest, it will show their true grit and progression as a team.
I donâ€™t even want to get started with the Giantsâ€™ offensive line, which ranks near dead last in the NFL in pass blocking, and Tampa has a stellar combination of pass rushers with Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.