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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 25, Giants 23

The Buccaneers get a narrow victory on Monday Night Football over the New York Giants and improve to 6-2 on the season. 


The Buccaneers started with the ball after the Giants won the toss and elected to defer. They drove down the field on a well-balanced drive that would be stopped short just inside the red zone. They settled for a 37-yard field goal by Ryan Succop and took an early 3-0 lead with 9:41 on the clock in the first quarter.

New York got to midfield on their first drive of the game after some trickiness on a double lateral pass to move them down the field. It wouldn't amount to anything as the Bucs' defense did their job and forced the punt. It gave the ball back to the Tampa Bay offense, who took over at their own 10-yard line.

Tampa Bay's next series ended in disaster as running back Ronald Jones fumbled the ball on the first carry of the drive. The Giants took over deep in Bucs' territory and after a questionable neutral zone infraction on the defense, New York was able to convert a third-and-five into a seven-yard touchdown and take a 7-3 lead with 4:10 left in the first quarter.

The Bucs came up empty on the next drive and were forced to punt. Cornerback Ross Cockrell made an excellent special teams play, helping to down the ball inside the Giants' five-yard line.

New York would get within field goal range but the Bucs' defense would come up big on third down. Six guys came and inside linebacker Devin White got through, dropping quarterback Daniel Jones for a loss of 11. Now faced with fourth and 18, the Giants punted instead, leaving the score 7-3 in the beginning of the second quarter.

The Giants would return the favor on the next drive as they delivered a third-down sack of their own on Tom Brady. It was defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the takedown and the Bucs would punt the ball right back halfway through the second quarter.

The next drive would prove fruitful for New York yet again as Jones and company drove down the field keeping it mostly on the ground the whole time. With 1:46 to go before the half, it was Wayne Gallman who punched the ball in from a yard out, making the score 14-3.

The Bucs got the ball back to try a last-minute two-minute drill before halftime. It would end with some points as the Bucs got to the Giants' 22-yard line and Succop hit a 40-yard field goal to make the score 14-6 heading into halftime.

New York opened the second half with a decent return of 44 yards, giving them good field position. It was cut short on Jones' first throw of the half as cornerback Carlton Davis nabbed his fourth interception of the season as Jones was under duress. It was the first takeaway of the game and could not have come at a more opportune moment.

The Bucs' offense took back over at their own 42 but weren't able to quite get into the end zone this time either. They settled for a 35-yard field goal despite converting a fourth down and two earlier in the series. It made the score 14-9 with 10:00 left in the third quarter.

The Giants went three-and-out for the first time all game after an overthrow by Jones to a wide-open receiver that would have likely been a touchdown, if not a very big gain. Instead, New York gets no points and the Bucs' offense was able to take back over after just 1:24 had gone by.

This time, the Buccaneer offense would not be denied. A couple big completions by both tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Mike Evans drove Tampa Bay down the field and after the Giants got called for a defensive pass interference, the Bucs had a first and goal at the three-yard line. It culminated with a touchdown from Brady to Gronkowski (on a tipped pass at that) and Tampa Bay retook the lead. It was their 21st touchdown in goal-to-go situations as they remained perfect and set an NFL record since the stat started being recorded in 2000 for most consecutive goal-to-go touchdowns. The Bucs went for two but weren't successful, leaving the score 15-14 with 6:00 left in the third.

New York would answer but this time, they'd be the ones held to a field goal. Kicker Graham Gano hit a 33-yard field goal to make the score 17-15 with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

This time, Tampa Bay would go three-and-out behind a big third-down sack again of Brady. The Bucs punted the ball away and New York would take over at their own 43-yard line after just 1:17.

The defense came up huge again as the Giants were driving and into Buccaneer territory. Jones was picked off by cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting for his first interception of the season. It came as outside linebacker Shaq Barrett was draped all over Jones, threatening to bring him down. The Bucs took back over at their own 34-yard line with 12:06 to play in the game.

Despite getting called for a holding penalty, backing the Bucs' up to first and 20 on the next drive, they converted on a pass from Brady to wide receiver Tyler Johnson. The Bucs continued down the field on a nice catch by tight end Cameron Brate to get the Bucs inside the red zone. New York was then hit with a personal foul penalty after some helmet-to-helmet contact on the tackle, setting the Bucs up with a first and goal. They turned their 22nd goal-to-go opportunity into their 22nd touchdown in such situations, extending their league record, on a beautiful pass by Brady to Evans who made the diving catch. It put the Bucs back on top, 22-17 after the good point after with 9:02 left to play in the game.

The Buccaneer defense then did their job as they got off the field, forcing another three-and-out. It gave the Bucs' offense the ball back with just under seven minutes to waste, clinging to a five-point lead. On third-and-seven, cornerback James Bradberry was flagged for a defensive pass interference after hanging all over Evans, giving the Bucs a fresh set of downs at the Giants' 29-yard line. After the Giants' defense stood up to a third-and-one situation, the Buccaneers settled for a field goal. Succop was good from 38 yards and increased the Bucs' lead to 25-17 with 3:34 to play.

Tampa Bay forced a fourth and five situation that the Giants ended up converting despite a whole lot of pressure on Jones. The Giants stayed alive even after a sack on third down caused a fourth-and-16 situation. It was after an almost-pick by inside linebacker Lavonte David, too. Somehow New York stayed alive as the clock ticked down. Second down and Jones hit Golden Tate for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The Giants then needed two to tie the game but the Bucs would deny the try thanks to some good (but heart-stopping) coverage by safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Bang bang play that gave the ball back to the Bucs as they survived and won 25-23 after an unsuccessful onsides kick by the Giants.

View photos of Tampa Bay's Week 8 matchup against New York on Monday Night Football.

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