The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost two games in a row for the first time since last November, and they'll have an extra day to think about it before getting back on the playing field. Tampa Bay's next contest will be on Monday Night Football, at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, against the visiting New York Giants.
This is the second year in a row that the Buccaneers and Giants will meet on Monday night. Last year, the Bucs defeated the Giants, 25-23, in Week Eight, though that game was played at MetLife Stadium. Then-rookie safety Antoine Winfield saved Tampa Bay's victory with a heady pass break-up on a two-point conversion attempt near the end of regulation.
That game was the Buccaneers' third win in a row at the time, but this year they will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak after Sunday's 29-19 loss to Washington at FedExField. That game and a 36-27 loss at New Orleans in Week Eight were sandwiched around the Buccaneers' bye week but featured some of the same problems. The Bucs had hoped to solve their penalty and turnover issues during the off week but both remained issues in Sunday's loss to the Football Team.
They will try to right the ship against a Giants team that is 3-6 but that has won two of its last three and is coming off its bye week. This will be the fifth straight year that the Buccaneers and Giants will square off – a rare streak for teams in separate divisions – and recent history suggests it will be a tight affair. Every game over the last four seasons has been decided by three points or less, and each team has won twice.
The Giants have weathered a number of injuries to stay competitive in 2021, particularly on offense. Ten different players have caught at least 10 passes for New York this season, including electric rookie receiver Kadarius Toney (28 catches for 352 yards). The Giants could get back star running back Saquon Barkley after the bye week; at the moment, Devontae Booker is the team's leading rusher and quarterback Daniel Jones is second. Jones has passed for 2,059 yards in nine games and run for another 258 but he has just eight touchdown passes against five interceptions so far. He has also been sacked 19 times.
The Giants' defense is led by end Leonard Williams, who has 5.5 sacks, the same total as impressive rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. Safety Xavier McKinney has also turned in a strong season so far, with four picks and seven passes defensed, and cornerback James Bradberry (three interceptions) continues to give New York one of the NFL's best cover men.
The 6-3 Buccaneers head into Week 11 with their one-game lead over the Saints intact, though the Carolina Panthers have also joined the party at 5-5 after their impressive win over Arizona on Sunday. Tampa Bay's goals for 2021 are still all within their reach, but they would feel a lot better about another dominant stretch run if they can get back to their winning ways next Monday night.