The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants will share the Monday Night Football spotlight for a November contest for the second year in a row, and if recent history is any guide the national audience is in for a very good show.
The Buccaneers were 5-2 heading into the Week Eight Monday-nighter last year and on their way to an eventual Super Bowl title. The Giants came into the game with a 1-6 record and were considered double-digit underdogs, yet it took a last-second pass break-up of a two-point try by Antoine Winfield for the Bucs to escape the Meadowlands with a 25-23 win. Tampa Bay and New York were meeting for the fourth straight season, and each of those four games was decided by three points or fewer.
"Every time it seems like we play the Giants it's always a good game," said safety Jordan Whitehead. "We know they're going to give us their best shot and we're coming off two losses, so this week preparation has to be very key, very tuned-in. I think it's going to be a good test for us."
The Buccaneers are battling not only the Giants but a two-game malaise of penalties, turnovers and stretches of low-energy play, the result being a two-game losing streak that has bumped them a bit off the pace in a top-heavy NFC. The 2020 Bucs never lost more than two games in a row on their way to the title and their leader on the field, Tom Brady, hasn't lost three in a row since 2002. To say the intensity level at Buccaneers headquarters was a bit high this week would be an understatement.
Yet the Buccaneers know their goals are all still within reach, and they are working to replicate the blazing hot finish they produced in 2020 after their bye week. They just don't expect it to come easily. Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett said that same sort of strong finish is coming for the 2021 Buccaneers, but not without maximum effort.
"There's no doubt in my mind, but we've got to put the work in," said Barrett. "It's not just going to happen just because we did it last year. It's a different team, different circumstances, different everything this year. So we've got to put that work in. We know everything we want is still in front of us but it's just not going to be given to us."
The Bucs will indeed have to put the work in to get a winning streak going this Monday. There's a similar disparity in the two teams' records – the Bucs are 6-3 and in first in the NFC South, the Giants are 3-6 and four games out in the NFC East – but it is New York that comes into the matchup with some momentum. The Giants won two of three before their Week 10 bye and only lost to the defending AFC Champion Chiefs by a field goal. New York is also expecting to get back several key players from their injured list, including dynamic running back Saquon Barkley.
Barkley's presence would provide a boost to a Giants offense that has an impressive array of weapons when everyone is healthy. It might also take some pressure off third-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who is putting up about 230 passing yards per game and has also run for 258 yards but has had some trouble getting his team into the end zone. Jones has only thrown five interceptions, but he also has recorded just eight touchdown passes and the Giants have had the league's worst red zone offense.
New York's defense is led by the powerful front-line duo of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. Williams is tied with rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari for the team lead with 5.5 sacks while Lawrence is a hard-to-move monster in the middle in the mold of the Bucs' Vita Vea.
The Giants dropped to 1-7 last year, it's first season with Joe Judge at the helm, after their MNF loss to the Buccaneers. However, they then ripped off four straight wins and stayed in the playoff hunt because nobody in the NFC East could get to .500. With Dallas well out front that formula won't work again in 2021 but the Giants' playoff hopes are still very much alive with eight games to play. New York is just 1.5 games out of the last Wild Card spot and another hot streak like the one noted above would probably put them in the thick of the race.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, want to get back to the level of play that helped them produce the first 6-1 start to a season in franchise history. They have slipped 1.5 games behind the Packers and Cardinals for the best record in the NFC but do still have a one-game hold on first place in the NFC South. They, too, had a hot streak in 2020, but it came at the end of the season and didn't end until they had the Lombardi Trophy. There is more time to string together wins this year, but also a lot of strong conference contenders to overcome. Either the Buccaneers or Giants are going to come out of Monday night's game with some much-needed momentum. Chances are we won't know which team that is until very late in the evening.
GAME AND BROADCAST DETAILS
New York Giants (3-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
Monday, November 22, 8:15 p.m. ET
Raymond James Stadium (capacity: 65,618)
TV Broadcast Team: Steve Levy (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst), Louis Riddick (analyst), Lisa Salters (reporter)
Radio: 98Rock (WXTB, 97.9 FM), Flagship Station
Radio Broadcast Team: Gene Deckerhoff (play-by-play), Dave Moore (analyst), T.J. Rives (reporter)
ALL-TIME HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES
The Buccaneers and Giants are preparing to play for the fifth straight season – an extremely unusual run for two teams in different divisions – and they've done nothing but produce one nail-biter after another. Each team has beaten the other twice over the past two seasons and the combined margin of victory of those four games is, incredibly, just eight points.
Overall, New York leads the all-time series, 15-8, though they've only barely outscored the Bucs in those 23 games, 450-420. That's an average difference of just 1.7 points per contest. The matchup is historically a lot closer when the Giants have to make the trip down to Florida, as New York just took a 7-6 lead in those games in 2019. Strangely, even though they have never been division mates, the Bucs and Giants have thrice played a pair of games together in the same season – 1978, 1979 and 1984. The first one was a Giants sweep but the other two ended in splits. Tampa Bay's best run in the series unsurprisingly came during its Super Bowl era, as they beat the Giants three out of four times from 1997-2003. However, four years later it was the Giants who came to Raymond James Stadium for a 2007 Wild Card game and rudely ended the Bucs' postseason trip before it could get started.
Tampa Bay won the most recent matchup, and like this year's game it was a Monday Night Football affair. The Giants were heavy underdogs against the 5-2 Buccaneers but rushed out to an early 14-3 lead, taking a 14-6 edge into halftime. The Buccaneers rallied in the second half on Tom Brady touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans and had an eight-point lead with four minutes to play. Daniel Jones led an impressive 70-yard drive that ended in his 19-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, but Bucs rookie safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. alertly broke up a pass at the goal line on the ensuing two-point conversion attempt and the Bucs escaped with a 25-23 win.
New York won the last game in Tampa, a 32-31 decision in 2019 that turned on a missed 34-yard field goal by Matt Gay at the end of regulation. Daniel Jones made his first career start and was impressive, with 336 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and he also ran in the game-winning score from seven yards out with 1:16 remaining in regulation. The Giants won a 38-35 shootout at the Meadowlands in 2018, in which the Bucs rallied from 17 points down but couldn't get an onside kick after Jameis Winston's 41-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans. The Buccaneers got their first taste of Saquon Barkley, who rank for 142 yards and two scores in that contest. In 2017, Tampa Bay won by a familiar 25-23 score when Jameis Winston threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns – one each to Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate – and Nick Folk kicked a 34-yard field goal to make it 25-23 as time expired.
- Buccaneers outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul spent his first eight seasons with the Giants after they made him the 15th-overall pick in the 2010 draft. Pierre-Paul recorded 85.0 sacks as a Giant and helped the franchise win Super Bowl XLVI after the 2011 season. The Buccaneers acquired Pierre-Paul, who played his college football at nearby USF, in a 2018 offseason trade.
- Giants quarterback Mike Glennon began his NFL career as a third-round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 2013. He played in 21 games with 18 starts for Tampa Bay, finishing with a 5-13 record, 4,100 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
- New York Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, a former NFL quarterback, finished his playing career with the Giants and then, briefly, the Buccaneers. Garrett was with the Giants from 2000-03, though he last appeared in a game in 2000. He then signed with Tampa Bay during the 2004 offseason and went to training camp with the team before being released at the end of the preseason. He returned to the Bucs' roster briefly at midseason but did not get into a game. Garrett ended the 2004 campaign on the Miami Dolphins' roster.
- Buccaneers CB Ross Cockrell played for New York in 2017, appearing in 16 games with nine starts and recording 50 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defensed.
- Amos Jones, who is the Giants' assistant coach-special projects and situations, was the Buccaneers' assistant special teams coach in 2019.
- Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams played his first two NFL seasons with the Giants after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Connecticut. Adams played in 30 games with 17 starts over the 2016-17 seasons in New York.
SENIOR COACHING STAFFS
- Head Coach Bruce Arians
- Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin
- Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles
- Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich
- Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong
- Head Coach Joe Judge
- Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett
- Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham
- Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
KEY 2021 ROSTER ADDITIONS
- S Andrew Adams (FA)
- RB Giovani Bernard(FA)
- LB K.J. Britt (fifth-round draft pick)
- WR Jaelon Darden(fourth-round draft pick)
- CB Pierre Desir (FA)
- CB Dee Delaney (FA)
- OL Robert Hainsey (third-round draft pick)
- CB Richard Sherman(FA)
- QB Kyle Trask (second-round draft pick)
- OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (first-round draft pick)
- RB Gary Brightwell (6th-round draft pick)
- RB Devontae Booker (UFA)
- CB Keion Crossen (T-HOU)
- QB Mike Glennon (UFA)
- WR Kenny Golladay (UFA)
- CB Adoree' Jackson (FA)
- OLB Azeez Ojulari (2nd-round draft pick)
- LB Reggie Ragland (UFA)
- CB Aaron Robinson (3rd-round draft pick)
- WR John Ross (UFA)
- TE Kyle Rudolph (FA)
- DT Danny Shelton (FA)
- WR Kadarius Toney (1st-round draft pick)
ADDITIONAL 2021 CHANGES OF NOTE
- While "keeping the band" together on the field for a run at another championship, the Buccaneers also managed to keep their coaching staff almost entirely intact for 2021. The lone departure was Offensive Assistant Antwaan Randle El, who left to coach the receivers on Dan Campbell's staff in Detroit. There were two additions to Arians' staff: Offensive Assistant A.Q. Shipley and Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Thaddeus Lewis.
- Mike Greenberg, who provided invaluable help to Jason Licht in the efforts to keep the Bucs' Super Bowl-winning roster together as the team's director of football administration, was promoted during the offseason to vice president of football administration. Greenberg is entering his 12th year with the team.
- After playing their 2020 home schedule in front of audiences ranging from empty stands to about 25% capacity, the Buccaneers will be at full capacity at Raymond James Stadium in 2021. And we do mean full capacity. The defending champions have already sold out every home game this season; the last time every game at Raymond James Stadium sold out was in 2009.
- The Buccaneers introduced new uniforms in 2020 that were heavily influenced by the look the team had during its first Super Bowl era but also included a brand new alternate set with matching pewter jerseys and pants. That gave the team four combinations last season: pewter on pewter, white on white, white on pewter and red on pewter. The Bucs will use a fifth combination in 2021, with a red jersey over white pants, which they will wear in the Sunday Night Football spotlight at home against the Saints in Week 15.
- Veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown is not a new addition to the team in 2021 but he will have a chance to make a greater impact this season. Brown joined the Buccaneers at midseason last year and played in the last eight games of the regular season, recording 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. He also appeared in three postseason contests and memorably scored a touchdown in Super Bowl LV. This time Brown will be an integral part of the offense from Day One, and he'll be moving more freely after having knee surgery in the offseason. From 2013-18, Brown averaged approximately 114 catches for 1,524 yards and 13 touchdowns per season.
- Joe Judge made a couple changes on his coaching staff after his first season at the helm. Rob Sale, formerly the offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette, was hired as the new offensive line coach, replacing Dave DeGuglielmo, who himself had replaced Marc Colombo at midseason in 2020. Freddie Kitchens and Derek Dooley swapped job titles, with Kitchens now the senior offensive assistant and Dooley now the tight ends coach. Judge also added Jeremy Pruitt as a senior defensive assistant.
- New York lost two team captains and defensive starters to injury early in the season. Starting middle linebacker Blake Martinez and versatile safety Jabrill Peppers both suffered torn ACLs, Martinez in Game Three and Peppers in Game Six. The Giants shuffled their linebacker lineup after losing their leading tackler, moving Tae Crowder into the middle and putting Reggie Ragland at the weakside spot. Peppers had started at several different spots and the Giants have turned to safety Julian Love and cornerback Darnay Holmes to absorb some of his snaps.
- The Giants also had to change their plans along the offensive line after starting left guard Shane Lemieux suffered a knee injury in training camp and then was placed on injured reserve after playing in just the season opener. His first replacement was Nick Gates, who slid over from the center position, opening up a spot for Billy Price on the pivot. However, Gates then suffered a devastating leg injury in Week Two, which led to the Giants first turning to Ben Bredeson and then Matt Skura at left guard. Skura has started the last six games at that spot and Price has settled in at center.
Back to Prime Time – That 2020 Monday night game at the Meadowlands was the only prime-time game the Buccaneers won during that regular season, and it didn't come easily. The Bucs also dropped a disappointing Thursday night decision in Chicago, got rolled by a five-touchdown margin against the Saints on a Sunday night in Tampa and dropped a close game to the Rams on another Monday night. Those nighttime problems didn't persist into the postseason, obviously, and the Bucs have set out to prove the rest were just flukes in 2021. The story has been different so far this season. Tampa Bay kicked off the entire NFL season with a Week One Thursday night shootout win over Dallas, then snuck away with a win in the emotional return of Tom Brady to New England on a Sunday night. Another Thursday night trip to Philadelphia resulted in a victory, as well. The Buccaneers have five prime-time games scheduled in 2021 – late-season flexes make a couple more possible – and they still have a chance to go undefeated under the lights. In this particular case, the Monday Night Football stage gives the Buccaneers a chance to show the rest of the league that they are the team that got off to a 6-1 start was dropping 35 points a game with ease, not the one that has performed sloppily in two straight losses.
Cleaning Up Their Act – Speaking of that sloppy play, it was the source of much disappointment at team headquarters this week. The same turnovers and penalties that contributed mightily to a loss in dreaded New Orleans were still on display at Washington after the Bucs came back from their bye week. The Buccaneers' six penalties against Washington didn't represent their highest total of the season but several of those infractions were damaging and easily avoided. Meanwhile, two first quarter Tom Brady interceptions – one of which was more like an airborne fumble by rookie Jaelon Darden – put the Bucs in a big hole early and they couldn't quite climb out. The commonly-heard cry of the past few weeks is, 'The Bucs have to stop beating the Bucs,' and that will indeed be key to getting the team back on track. The Buccaneers certainly don't lack for confidence, but they are also learning that they reach the same levels they did last year without being at the top of their game, and without eliminating the self-inflicted wounds. The Buccaneers had a similar problem early in 2020 but eventually became the NFL's least penalized team down the stretch. They would like to begin a similar turnaround on Monday night.
Is Barkley Back? – It appears as if fourth-year running back Saquon Barkley, who is one of the league's most exciting talents when healthy, will be back in the lineup Monday after missing four games with an ankle injury. Barkley has modest numbers so far this year, but in the last game he played before getting hurt – an impressive 27-21 win over New Orleans – he ran for 52 yards and a touchdown and added another 74 yards and a score in the passing game. The Buccaneers, who have to face the Saints' Alvin Kamara twice a year, know how hard it is to contain a back who is equally dangerous in or out of the backfield. Barkley ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns in his first game against the Buccaneers in 2018 but had just 10 yards on eight carries at Tampa in Week Three of the 2019 season before sustaining a knee injury that would knock him out for three games. The return of Barkley, who can win with power up the middle but also pull off some eye-popping combination of cuts, would add a significant dimension to the Giants' offense Monday night, and perhaps an emotional lift for the team as well. New York is also hoping to get leading receiver Sterling Shepard, left tackle Anthony Thomas and outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter back from injury.
Who's On the Corner? – As a team, the Buccaneers' roster isn't significantly more banged-up than a lot of other clubs in the NFL. As a position group, however, Tampa Bay's cornerbacks have undoubtedly been one of the most snake-bit units in the league. On Sunday in Landover, the Buccaneers were set to start Richard Sherman across from Jamel Dean because Week One starting corners Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting were still on injured reserve. However, Sherman sustained a calf injury in pregame warmups and had to be replaced by Dee Delaney. Later in the game, Delaney was sidelined by a concussion, after which the Bucs turned to Pierre Desir. They also spent a good part of the game playing safety Mike Edwards in the slot, though that seemed to be a preconceived plan. So who will start at the three cornerback spots (including the slot) for the Bucs on Monday night? Jamel Dean and Ross Cockrell are still healthy and the Bucs could once again look for new ways to get Edwards on the field. In addition, Murphy-Bunting, who has been practicing with the team since early last week, could be activated from injured reserve in time to join the mix. Bruce Arians said that Sherman wouldn't be back in action anytime soon, and as far as Delaney's availability it's rarely helpful to speculate about concussions. With Shepard possibly returning, Kenny Golladay recently back in action and rookie Kadarius Toney emerging as a playmaker, the Giants have the weapons to stress even a healthy and well-oiled secondary. The Bucs may be putting theirs together on the fly.
Evans on the Verge of History – Wide receiver Mike Evans has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games and the Bucs' chances of winning Monday night will surely rise if he makes it four in a row. Scoring in service of a victory is obviously Evans' main goal, but if he does find the end zone Monday night it will be a very big moment in Buccaneers franchise history. Evans is currently tied with fan favorite Mike Alstott for the most touchdowns in team history (71), so one more would give him the record and cement his place as the most productive offensive player in team history. Evans already holds Buccaneer records for catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and owns a number of single-season marks as well. Only former running back James Wilder has more yards from scrimmage than Evans (9,449-8872) and that record might not last for the remainder of the season, either. But the touchdown mark is special, in part because it has been held for so long by another one of the franchise's most beloved players, and it would be particularly exciting for Evans to break the record in front of the home crowd. Worth noting: Evans has played five previous Monday Night Football game and he's scored in all five of them.
1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans vs. Giants CB James Bradberry
Bradberry left the NFC South in 2020 but that doesn't mean he and Evans have been able to escape their annual battles. And they have been some very entertaining battles between two Pro Bowl players who have mutual respect for the other's game. Bradberry, at 6-1 and 212 pounds, is also a lot better at matching up with the big and physical Evans than a lot of other NFL cornerbacks he comes across. During his time with the Panthers, Bradberry was often used to shadow Evans around the field when Carolina and Tampa Bay squared off, and there were victories for both men over the course of seven games. Bradberry got the best of Evans in 2018, allowing him just five catches for 64 yards in the two games combined, but Evans also had a 100-yard game against the Panthers in 2017 and a nine-catch, 96-yard outing in 2019. While Evans did only score one touchdown in those seven games, he averaged approximately five catches for 65 yards across the rivalry. For his part, Bradberry snared three interceptions and had seven passes defensed in those seven contests. When the Buccaneers played the Giants last year, Evans led the team with five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown on seven targets while Bradberry turned in three tackles and a pass defensed.
2. The Giants' Offensive Backfield vs. ILB Devin White
Will White's most important assignment on Monday night be containing running back Saquon Barkley or putting pressure on quarterback Daniel Jones? Yes. White has played well throughout 2021 but his performance in Week 10 at Washington was reminiscent of the big-play machine he turned into during the playoffs last year. White finished that contest at Washington with 18 tackles and 2.0 sacks, and while those were his first two sacks of the year that obscures how good he has been at getting into the backfield in 2021. In fact, even after he had 9.0 sacks in 2020, his pressure rate of 26.8% in 2021 is the best of his career so far. When the Buccaneers bring an extra blitzer, or devise a non-blitz pass-rush scheme that involves front-line players dropping into coverage, it is frequently White who joins the party on the way to the quarterback. But he is also a key part of Tampa Bay's second-ranked run defense, one that held Antonio Gibson and Washington to 2.8 yards per carry last week. White was simply all over the field, and the Bucs hope he will be the sort of dervish against the Giants because the duo of Barkley and Jones provides a heap of challenges. Barkley's combination of power, speed and creative moves is among the best in the NFL and he's also a natural pass-catcher. And while Jones hasn't yet joined the NFL's elite ranks of quarterbacks he's thrown for a lot of yards in two games against the Bucs and is always a threat to run. That's a lot of assignments for the defender at the center of the Bucs' defense.
3. Buccaneers T Donovan Smith vs. Giants DL Leonard Williams
The Giants tend to play their two star down linemen, Williams and Dexter Lawrence on the same sides rather than having them switch depending upon how the offense sets up its strong and weak sides. In Williams' case, he has been on the right side of the Giants' line more often, which makes him an issue for everyone from Smith at left tackle to Ali Marpet at left guard and Ryan Jensen at center. The Giants rush Williams both on the interior and on the outside, and this year he's actually been far more successful coming off the edge. His pressure rate on inside rushes is 5.7% but it jumps up to 13.8% when he's coming off the corner. As such, the most important matchup up front for Tampa Bay this week will probably be Smith on Williams. The impact Williams has made for New York's defense goes far beyond the 5.5 sacks he has recorded, which is tied for the team lead, or his 10 quarterback hits. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Williams leads all the NFL's defensive linemen in tackles that result in a play having negative "expected points added," or EPA. Williams has made such plays 33 times this season, or close to four per game. That's having a big impact. However, Smith is also having a very strong season as the anchor for an offensive line that leads the NFL in lowest sacks allowed per pass attempt. According to Bruce Arians, Smith should receive Pro Bowl consideration for his play in 2021. How much he can slow down Williams will play a big part in how much time Tom Brady has to operate on Monday night.
4. Football Team WR Kadarius Toney vs. Buccaneers S Mike Edwards
This presupposes that the Bucs' coaching staff is going to continue to get Edwards more involved, as they did in Week 10 when he was afforded 47 defensive snaps, or 64% of the total. Edwards is versatile enough to play in a number of different spots, including subbing in for Jordan Whitehead on some passing downs and covering slot receivers in the nickel. On that latter assignment, he will probably run into Toney, the Giants' electric rookie with incredible open-field moves. Toney has played 50% of his snaps in the slot this season and he's also played more snaps of late, with more than 55% usage in each of New York's last two games. Toney is especially dangerous after the catch, able to create yards out of situations where most receivers would be brought down quickly. According to Next Gen Stats, he has averaged 2.9 more yards after the catch per reception than would be expected. That's the fifth-highest average in the NFL among all players with at least 20 receptions. Toney will be an issue for all of the Bucs' defenders in the middle of the field but it may be Edwards that has to stay with him on some snaps when the Bucs call for man-to-man coverage. Given how much he has proved to be a ball hawk during his young NFL career, it's not surprising the Buccaneers are looking for ways to get him on the field as much as possible.
DNP: Did not participate in practice
LP: Limited participation in practice
FP: Full participation in practice
NL: Not listed
· QB Tom Brady (not injury related) – THURS: NL; FRI: DNP; SAT: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
· WR Antonio Brown (ankle) – THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· CB Dee Delaney (ankle/concussion) – THURS: DNP; FRI: LP; SAT: FP. Game Status: Questionable.
· WR Chris Godwin (foot) – THURS: LP; FRI: LP; SAT: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
· TE Rob Gronkowski (back/rest) – THURS: FP; FRI: FP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Questionable.
· DL Steve McLendon (not injury related) – THURS: NL; FRI: DNP; SAT: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
· DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (ankle) – THURS: NL; FRI: LP; SAT: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
· OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/hand) – THURS: FP; FRI: LP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Not listed.
· DL Ndamukong Suh (not injury related) – THURS: NL; FRI: NL; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Not listed.
· DL Vita Vea (knee) – THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Doubtful.
· RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) – THURS: LP; FRI: LP; SAT: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
· RB Devontae Booker (hip) – THURS: LP; FRI: LP; SAT: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
· LB Lorenzo Carter (illness/ankle) – THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· S Nate Ebner (knee) – THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf) – THURS: LP; FRI: LP; SAT: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
· S Logan Ryan (COVID protocols) – THURS: NL; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· WR Sterling Shepard (quad) – THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP; SAT: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· TE Kaden Smith (knee) – THURS: DNP; FRI: LP; SAT: LP. Game Status: Questionable.
Clear to partly cloudy, evening low of 51, 7% chance of rain, 64% humidity, winds out of the NNW at 11 mph.
Head referee: Craig Wrolstad (19th season, 8th as referee)
• Favorite: Buccaneers (-10.5)
• Over/Under: 49.5
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
Points Scored: K Ryan Succop, 63
Touchdowns: WR Mike Evans, 9
Passing Yards: QB Tom Brady, 2,870
Passer Rating: QB Tom Brady, 106.1
Rushing Yards: RB Leonard Fournette, 486
Receptions: WR Chris Godwin, 57
Receiving Yards: WR Chris Godwin, 717
Interceptions: CB Jamel Dean/S Mike Edwards, 2
Sacks: OLB Shaquil Barrett, 5.5
Tackles: LB Devin White, 79
Points Scored: K Graham Gano, 69
Touchdowns: RB Saquon Barkley/RB Devontae Booker, 3
Passing Yards: QB Daniel Jones, 2,059
Passer Rating: QB Daniel Jones, 87.4
Rushing Yards: RB Devontae Booker, 315
Receptions: WR Sterling Shepard, 32
Receiving Yards: WR Kadarius Toney, 352
Interceptions: S Xavier McKinney, 4
Sacks: OLB Azeez Ojulari/DL Leonard Williams, 5.5
Tackles: S Logan Ryan, 72
TEAM STAT RANKINGS
Scoring Offense: 3rd (31.0 ppg)
Total Offense: 3rd (406.4 ypg)
Passing Offense: 1st (315.6 ypg)
Rushing Offense: 27th (90.9 ypg)
First Downs Per Game: 5th (23.6)
Third-Down Pct.: 3rd (48.3%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 1st (3.13%)
Red Zone TD Pct.: 9th (65.0%)
Scoring Defense: 17th (23.6 ppg)
Total Defense: 9th (334.0 ypg)
Passing Defense: 22nd (254.2 ypg)
Rushing Defense: 2nd (79.8 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Game: t-17th (21.1)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 24th (42.7%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 18th (6.21%)
Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: t-10th (54.6%)
Turnover Margin: t-8th (+3)
Scoring Offense: 24th (19.9 ppg)
Total Offense: 21st (334.8 ypg)
Passing Offense: 16th (238.9 ypg)
Rushing Offense: 25th (95.9 ypg)
First Downs Per Game: 24th (19.8)
Third-Down Pct.: 16th (39.3%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 18th (6.23%)
Red Zone TD Pct.: 32nd (44.0%)
Scoring Defense: 19th (24.0 ppg)
Total Defense: 25th (372.4 ypg)
Passing Defense: 19th (249.9 ypg)
Rushing Defense: 22nd (122.6 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Game: 24th (22.2)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 11th (38.1%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 25th (5.59%)
Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 6th (51.4%)
Turnover Margin: t-8th (+3)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Mike Evans scored the 71st touchdown of his career at Washington in Week 10, pulling him even with Mike Alstott for the Buccaneers' franchise TD record. He can take sole possession of the record with one more score on Monday night, which would also give him 10 on the season and his fourth season with double-digit scores.
- Tight end Cam Brate also scored at Washington, giving him 30 touchdowns in his career. With one more he would tie Kevin House for the third-most TD receptions and the fifth-most overall touchdowns in Buccaneers history.
- Chris Godwin has been climbing the Buccaneers' top-10 receiving charts all season and he is poised to move up on both the catch list and the yardage list on Monday night. He has 4,257 career receiving yards; with 44 more he would pass Jimmie Giles (4,300) for fifth place, and with 70 he would also pass Vincent Jackson (4,326) for fourth. Godwin, who has 301 career receptions, also needs just five catches to pass Mike Alstott (305) for fifth place and six to pass Warrick Dunn (306) for fourth place.
- If Rob Gronkowski is able to return to action in Week 11 he'll have a shot at moving up a spot on two prominent NFL charts. If he gets 71 receiving yards, he will pass Greg Olsen (8,683) for the fifth-most yards by a tight end in league history. And just one more touchdown catch would put him in a tie for 11th all time with Isaac Bruce (91).
- Both of Tampa Bay's starting outside linebackers, Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul are sitting on 31.0 sacks as a Buccaneer after Barrett got one against the Bears and Pierre-Paul got two. Those two squeezed into the booth next to Brad Culpepper, also 33.0 sacks, at the seventh spot on the franchise's all-time sack list. Either one could pass Chidi Ahanotu (34.5) for the sixth spot with two more against the Saints.
- Assuming linebacker Lavonte David opens the game on Monday night, it will be the 145th start of his career. That will tie former Pro Bowl center Tony Mayberry for the fourth most in team history and would leave him trailing only Ronde Barber (232), Derrick Brooks (221) and Paul Gruber (183).
- Head Coach Bruce Arians on if he believes the Buccaneers will play up to their potential in the season's second half: "Oh yeah, I mean we've played up to our potential, it's just the last two weeks on the road we haven't. Up until then…we're still in first place and we've got a lot of good things going on as far as number one in pass offense and sacks [allowed] and all the things we're doing offensively and defensively. But there are some things we have identified on the road that have cost us two ballgames."
- Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett on the team playing with more passion Monday than it did at Washington in Week 10: "e just have to come out with the energy because when we have the energy that we're supposed to have everyone feeds off it and it gets us going for sure. We had energy at times in the game last week, but it wasn't enough and it wasn't consistent enough. That's why we played the way we played. So, once we get our energy going and keep it going for all four quarters the plays are going to start happening. If we start making the plays we're going to be back to [creating] turnovers [and] fun football again."
- Safety Jordan Whitehead on where the Bucs stand heading into the season's second half: "I really think we will be okay. I just think we will [have] a little more preparation in practice this week. We're ready. We're there. It's the NFL, it's a week-to-week basis. Any team could win, so I just think we need to go out there from the start to the finish with that attitude that we play with."
- Outside Linebackers Coach Larry Foote on the mood in the building after last Sunday's loss: "Well, Monday it was a different meeting. I could see the focus. This morning in the meetings on the game plan, guys were a little different, and it should be that way when you lose two in a row. There's a lot of pride in my room and in this building, so hopefully those guys will respond on Monday."
- Arians on the possibility of Mike Evans breaking the team's all-time touchdown record on Monday: "It's an amazing record for a receiver. You would think a running back would have it like Mike [Alstott] did for all those years. For Mike [Evans] to do it, it shows an unbelievable level of consistency and availability. He doesn't miss many games. When you put those two together, with seven years of 1,000 yards, it's availability and consistency at a very high level."