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2018 Bucs’ Opponent in Question: New York Giants

How’d they do in 2017?

The Giants had a tumultuous year that included firing both their head coach and general manager 10 games into the season. After going 11-5 in 2016, the Giants found themselves without a win in the first five games last year. Their star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went down with an ankle injury following the Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Giants went 2-5 in their next seven and after benching veteran quarterback Eli Manning in Week 13 against the Oakland Raiders resulting in a loss, the Giants decided to relieve Ben McAdoo of coaching duties mid-season, with offensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo taking the reins until the end of the year. New York cleaned house by getting rid of General Manager Jerry Reese as well. The conclusion of the regular season saw the Giants introduce former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach and Dave Gettleman as general manager.

Because of the team’s 3-13 performance, they were awarded the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and chose running back Saquon Barkley out of Penn State at that spot. Barkley was touted as the number one overall prospect in the draft and should make New York’s offense instantly better. In free agency, the Giants shored up the offensive line with guard Nate Solder from New England and Patrick Omameh from Jacksonville, presumably to help block for the rookie phenom they chose in the draft.

You’ll also recall this offseason that the Giants traded away defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Bucs in exchange for a 2018 third-round pick. The trade worked for both parties, with the Bucs evident need at pass-rush help and the Giants switching to a 3-4 defense under Shurmur. The switch was evident as the Giants put an emphasis on acquiring more linebackers to fit the scheme in both the draft and free agency. The expectations of New York are still relatively low for 2018 but they could certainly be a surprise team, especially later in the season when the Bucs face them in Week 11 in true Giants’ fashion.

Anything interesting between the two teams?

The Bucs and Giants have played one another 21 times in their series history. New York took a trip down to Tampa in 2017 during Week 4 and the Bucs squeaked out a win on a 34-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk as time expired. New York had scored with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter to give the Giants a 23-22 lead but failed on the two-point conversion, leaving the window open for the Bucs to overtake them with a field goal. The Bucs succeeded with a final score of 25-23.

Before last season, the Bucs hadn’t won a game against the Giants since 2003 on Monday Night Football as the defending Super Bowl Champions at the time.

What about off the field?

Florida is now the third-most populous state after overtaking New York sometime in 2014. What’s more is that New Yorkers could be directly responsible (in part) to that bump. According to the IRS, New York sends more people to live in Florida than any other U.S. state. It’s estimated that between New York and California, 800,000 people will move to other states in the next three years. That’s a lot of New Yorkers potentially this far south.

So… what if I want to go?

You’ll have to do the reverse commute to catch the Bucs and Giants facing off in Week 11. Hop a flight to one of the New York City area’s three major airports, Newark, LaGuardia or JFK. There are plenty of flights to choose from and weather should be cooler without being subzero on November 18 in New York.

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