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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giants Pregame Report: Hot at Home

The Buccaneers are working on their longest winning streak at Raymond James Stadium in nearly a decade but face a talented Giants team with an explosive offense on Sunday

Pictures of the Buccaneers' players arriving for their Week 4 game against the Giants.

After several seasons of sometimes surprising struggles at home, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won five straight games at Raymond James Stadium. They will go for six in a row at home Sunday when the New York Giants visit, which would equal the team's longest streak in front of the home crowd since 2008.

"I think our players understand the importance of defending your home turf and being tough to beat at home," said Head Coach Dirk Koetter. "I certainly hope that the fans will help give us that homefield advantage, that 12th man so to speak that only the fans at the home field can do. We know we've got to do our part and we hope the fans will be there with us."

To run their streak at RJS to a half-dozen, the Buccaneers will be trying to snap a four-game losing streak to the Giants, five if the 2007 playoff game is included. New York quarterback Eli Manning has had a string of prolific games against the Buccaneers, with 11 touchdown passes in five meetings. New York has surprisingly gotten off to an 0-3 start after an 11-5 season in 2016, but Koetter knows his team will have its hands full. Manning's two Super Bowl rings have definitely given the Buccaneers reason to respect their incoming opponent.

"They're a very talented football team," said the Bucs' coach. "They have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, three excellent wide receivers, a rookie tight end who's got phenomenal athleticism, a defensive front with two tremendous ends and powerful guys inside, three first-round draft picks just at corner alone, one of the best safeties in the league in Landon Collins. This is a team that's also had its share of injuries at linebacker. A very talented team, and talent in the NFL, anybody who's done it before can definitely do it again."

The Buccaneers actually opened their 2017 campaign at Raymond James Stadium, after the expected Week One game in Miami was wiped out by Hurricane Irma. It went well, as Tampa Bay defended its home turf with a 29-7 drubbing of the Chicago Bears. Since that promising start, the Bucs have seen a number of players get hurt and have absorbed their first loss of the season at Minnesota.

The Bucs played that game in Minnesota without three defensive starters – Kwon Alexander, Chris Baker and Brent Grimes – and also lost linebacker Lavonte David before the contest was over. Alexander and David are still out, but the Bucs do get Baker and Grimes back this week.

]("That's every week in the NFL," said Koetter. "You're getting guys back and you might possibly lose some other guys. Once you get into the regular season, that's the trick. You'd love to be full-strength but you rarely are."

In addition to Alexander and David, the Bucs also deactivated TE Antony Auclair, C Joe Hawley, DT Sealver Siliga, S T.J. Ward and T Leonard Wester. Ward is also out due to injury.

The Giants named the following seven players inactive: QB Davis Webb, CB Michael Hunter, RB Orleans Darkwa, LB Deontae Skinner, T Bobby Hart, TE Matt LaCosse and DE Avery Moss. Hart opened the season as the team's starting right tackle but the Giants have shuffled their line. Justin Pugh moves from left guard to right tackle, John Jerry moves from right guard to left guard and D.J. Fluker steps up to play right guard. Darkwa is the team's second-leading rusher, although the Giants have the league's least productive rushing game so far.

The Buccaneers take on the Giants on Sunday, with kickoff scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The game will be broadcast regionally by FOX and on radio through the Buccaneers Radio Network and its flagship station, 98Rock (97.9 FM).

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