The Buccaneers are set to take on the New York football Giants on Monday Night Football this week, if all goes according to plan. It will be the Bucs' second appearance in primetime this season and sets them up for a revenge game of sorts after last season's loss. It was rookie Daniel Jones' first start back in 2019 and he went off for 336 yards and two touchdowns in the Giants' narrow victory. This season, Jones has taken his lumps with five passing touchdowns and seven interceptions through seven games. The Giants are averaging the second-least yards per game this season and they're coming in with a 1-6 record.
The Buccaneers, by contrast, are 5-2 for the first time since 2010. Quarterback Tom Brady is coming off winning NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. The defense is letting up the third-least yards per game overall and ranks in the top five in nearly every major defensive category. For all intents and purposes, this should be a favorable matchup for the Bucs.
But anything goes on any given Sunday – especially on Monday night, right?
Check out exactly where and when to listen to the primetime matchup, along with some key facts below.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2) vs. New York Giants (1-6)
All-time record: New York leads the all-time series 16-7
Road record: 1-8
1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans vs. Giants CB James Bradberry
They meet again. Evans and Bradberry, who played his first four seasons with the Panthers before joining the Giants this year, have a mutually respectful rivalry that has spanned seven games beginning in 2016. Bradberry, who at 6-1 and 212 pounds is a better match for Evans' size than most NFL cornerbacks, had a reputation during those four years as one of the more successful defenders against the Bucs' star receiver, but the numbers show a pretty even battle with big days for both. Bradberry did get 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 last October. 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. The Giants are likely to use Bradberry to shadow Evans on Monday night, particularly with the news that Chris Godwin will be unavailable due to a finger injury.
2. Giants T Andrew Thomas vs. Buccaneers OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
Giants Head Coach Joe Judge benched Thomas at the beginning of the team's Week Six game against Washington, but that was for being late to a meeting, not Thomas's performance. Still, the fourth-overall pick in the 2020 draft – and the first of a run of four blue-chip offensive tackles that ended with the Bucs' selection of Tristan Wirfs at number 13 – has gotten off to something of a rough start. Asked to step in immediately at left tackle, Thomas has struggled in several outings, and Pro Football Focus credited him with allowing 28 pressures, four sacks and three quarterback hits through the Giants' first three games. Of course, this is a difficult season for any rookie to transition directly to an NFL starting job, particularly one as difficult as left tackle, and Thomas still possesses the quick feet, athleticism and technical excellence that made him such a high draft pick. He'll be dealing with a former Giant who missed the Bucs' game against New York last season but definitely enjoyed his 2018 return to the Meadowlands. Pierre-Paul racked up seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and two QB hits in that first game against the team that traded him to Tampa earlier in that offseason. Pierre-Paul most often rushes the quarterback from the right side of the Bucs' defense, which pits him against the opponent's left tackle. The veteran defender, who has 85.0 career sacks, saw his sack streak end last week in Las Vegas but remains the team leader with 5.5 QB takedowns. Pierre-Paul also has seven QB hits and has matched his single-season career high with three forced fumbles. If Thomas can't slow down Pierre-Paul it could be a long afternoon for Daniel Jones.
3. Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette vs. Giants LB Blake Martinez
Fournette returned to the lineup on Sunday in Las Vegas after missing all but one snap of the previous three games, and he made an immediate difference in the Buccaneers' offense. Though Ronald Jones got the start in the backfield as usual, the two backs had nearly identical carry totals (13 for Jones, 11 for Fournette) and Fournette got eight targets in the passing game to two for Jones. Overall, Fournette contributed 97 yards from scrimmage, and afterward Head Coach Bruce Arians revealed that the former Jaguar has now taken over as the team's "nickel" back, which means he'll be on the field for most third downs. On the season, Fournette is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and he's shown good hands in the passing game and the ability to get upfield quickly after the catch. Martinez is the Giants' top weapon against the run; in fact, his 73 tackles ranks second among all NFL players and 44 of those have come on running plays. Martinez is the quarterback of the Giants' defense, taking over that role from Alec Ogletree, who was released in the offseason. He played his first four seasons in Green Bay and for the last four years has been an absolute tackling machine, with 516 stops since the start of 2017, or more than nine per game. As a free agent, he was coveted for his tackling abilities but was seen by some as below average in coverage. That could be the part of this matchup that favors Fournette if the Bucs get him in man-to-man coverage with Martinez.
4. Giants WR Golden Tate vs. Buccaneers CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
Like most teams, the Giants run more plays out of three-receiver sets than any other personnel package, in their case about 58% of the time. The team recently got Sterling Shepard back from injured reserve and can now run out their desired three-receiver set of Shepard, Tate and Darius Slayton. In those instances, Tate will usually be in the slot, as he has taken 80% of his snaps from that location so far this season. That's nothing new for Tate, as he has taken at least 69% of his snaps out of the slot in every season since 2017, and he's been a high-volume performer in that role. In 2017, his last full season as a Lion, Tate caught 92 passes for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns. He was traded to Philadelphia during the 2018 season and then signed with the Giants last year. Injuries limited him to 11 games but he still had 49 receptions and six touchdowns and averaged 13.6 yards per grab, his highest mark since 2013. Murphy-Bunting is the Buccaneers' nickel corner when they go to that sub package and he has recorded 23 tackles and one quarterback hit. His production in the first half of this season hasn't been as high as it was during his very promising rookie campaign but he is still helping the Buccaneers field the league's ninth-best passing defense. Murphy-Bunting has the quick feet and hips to be able to excel in the middle of the field and stay with slot receivers on complicated routes in traffic.
Uniform Combination: Red jersey, pewter pants
Watch on TV:
Monday, November 2, 2020
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Television Network: ESPN, MOR-TV
Broadcast Crew: (ESPN) Steve Levy (play by play), Brian Griese & Louis Riddick (color), Lisa Salters (reporter)
Watch on Mobile
The stream is available through Yahoo Sports, the Buccaneers Official App and online at Buccaneers.com.
*Please check local listings to confirm availability. Geographic and device restrictions apply. Local & primetime games only. Data charges may apply.
- TAMPA BAY/SARASOTA…………...WXTB 97.9 FM Bucs Flagship Station
Broadcast Crew: Gene Deckerhoff (play by play), Dave Moore (color), T.J. Rives (sideline)
- SPANISH RADIO..............................WTMP 96,1 Caliente … 101.9 and 1470AM
Broadcast Crew: Carlos Bohorquez (play by play), Martin Gramatica (color)
*In-market fans can listen through the Bucs Official App
- BROOKSVILLE ………………………….WWJB 1450 AM/103.9
- DAYTONA BEACH……………………..WRKO 93.1 FM
- FT MEYERS/NAPLES …………….. WWNC 99.3 FM
- GAINESVILLE/OCALA ……………… WRUF 850 AM/ 98.1 FM
- HOMOSASSA SPRING……………….WXCV 95.3 FM
- LAKELAND ……………………………….WLKF 1430 AM
- MELBOURNE ……………………………WICX 1060 AM
- ORLANDO…………………………………WYGM 740 AM/ 96.9 FM
- PORT ST. LUCIE…………………………WPSL 1590 AM
- PANAMA CITY…………………………..WGSX 104.3 FM
- PENSACOLA……………………………..WBSR 1450AM/101.1 FM
- SEBRING……………………………………WWTK AM 730 AM
- TALLAHASSEE…………………………...WTSM 97.9 FM
- Sirius/XM Channel 88
On the Bucs Official App*
- Download here
*Access restricted to Tampa area
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