Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Giants 32, Buccaneers 31

The Bucs fall behind a second-half rally from rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and the Giants.


The New York Giants won the toss to start the game and elected to defer. It's just as well, Head Coach Bruce Arians likes getting the first possession. It worked out well this time as the Bucs put together a 5:41 drive that went down the field for a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans. It was the first time the Bucs scored on their opening possession since Week 14 of last season against the Saints at home. Kicker Matt Gay missed the extra point, but the Bucs still took a 6-0 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.

The Giants would get as far as the Bucs 18-yard line before they were stopped short. It was a drive in which New York running back Saquon Barkley was rendered ineffective, getting just two yards on four carries. Still, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones moved the ball down the field through the air, aided by a circus-like one-handed catch by tight end Evan Engram. It wouldn't be enough to get into the end zone though and the Giants settled for a 36-yard field goal attempt which was good, cutting the Bucs' lead to 6-3 with 4:07 left in the first quarter.

The Bucs' next drive was jolted by a short pass to running back Ronald Jones from Winston. Jones took the ball 41 yards down the field to set Tampa Bay up in enemy territory. Another big completion, this time to tight end O.J. Howard set up first-and-goal for the Buccaneers. They'd again punch it on a pass to Evans. Gay unfortunately missed his second extra point of the day after it was blocked to leave the score 12-3 in favor of the Bucs just before the expiration of the first quarter.

New York was helped on their next drive by a pass interference call on the Bucs on third down. After a near-sack on the next third-down, Jones was able to evade the pressure and fire off a 19-yard pass to Barkley. It set up a first-and-goal for the Giants and on second-and-7, Jones took a designed run straight into the end zone.

The first play of the Bucs' next possession was a 55-yard bomb to Evans from Winston, placing them just outside the red zone. Unfortunately, an untimely sack of Winston would force Tampa Bay to settle for a field goal. Kicker Matt Gay got back on track as he connected on a 47-yard attempt to put the Bucs up 15-10 with 7:35 left in the second quarter.

New York went three-and-out on their ensuing possession. A false start penalty backed them up to third-and-15 when rookie safety Mike Edwards nearly picked off the pass over the middle. Either way, it was broken up and forced the Giants to punt.

The Bucs' next drive was helped along by a pass interference penalty that initially went uncalled. Coach Arians challenged the no-call and won for the second time this season, gifting the Bucs 29 yards. Then, a long pass to tight end O.J. Howard set up the Bucs up inside the red zone. They unfortunately wouldn't be able to get into the end zone again but Gay was good from 27 yards to put the Bucs up 18-10 with about four minutes to go in the half.

The Giants would suffer a blow on their next drive. Barkley went down hard after a swing pass to the outside and got up limping. He was announce as having an ankle injury and his status for the game was questionable. New York would come up empty after outside linebacker Carl Nassib recovered a fumble after fellow outside linebacker Shaq Barrett got a strip-sack of Jones. The Bucs took over at the Giants' 41-yard line.

The Bucs wasted no time and just three plays later, Winston found Evans again in the end zone on a 20-yard pass to give Evans three touchdowns on the day, a career-high. The Bucs increased their lead to 25-10 with 1:26 to go before halftime.

New York couldn't do anything on their next drive, giving the ball right back to the Bucs with just over 30 seconds to play.

The Giants answered quickly on their first possession of the half. The first play was a catch and run by tight end Evan Engram to the house, or 75 yards. New York went for two points following the play and got it, cutting the Bucs' lead to 28-18 early in the third.

Conversely, the Bucs came up empty on their next drive, with Bradley Pinion punting from midfield. It was the first punt of the game for the Bucs.

New York capitalized again on their next drive behind another big play. Jones connected with wide receiver Darius Slayton for 46 yards that set the Giants up with a first and goal. Jones was able to punch it in on a seven-yard pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard, cutting the Bucs' lead to just three points, 28-25, with 8:14 to go in the third quarter.

The Giants got another sack on Winston during the Bucs' next drive on third down, forcing Tampa Bay to punt again. This time, the Bucs' defense returned the favor, forcing the Giants to punt after a big sack by outside linebacker Carl Nassib. It was the first sack by a player other than Shaq Barrett this season.

The Bucs came up empty after a sack and false start penalty put them in a 22-yard hole near midfield they could not overcome.

However, Shaq Barrett returned the favor twice over as he recorded back-to-back sacks on the Giants' next drive, giving him his second consecutive three-sack game. With those sacks, he passed Warren Sapp for most sacks by a player through three games in team history.

After the New York punt, the Bucs got past midfield before Winston was picked off by linebacker Ryan Connelly, who returned it to the Giants' 39-yard line. But Shaq Barrett wasn't done yet, forcing a fumble on a strip sack on the second play of the New York drive to give the Bucs' offense another shot and giving him four sacks on the stat sheet.

The Bucs' drive ended with a 23-yard field goal by Matt Gay to extend their lead, 31-25, with 6:00 even to play in the game.

Tampa Bay's defense came up with a stop on New York's next possession, forcing them to punt from their own 30-yard line. The Bucs would trade back a punt of their own though, putting the ball back in the Giants' possession with 3:16 to go.

The Giants got downfield in a hurry thanks to a 36-yard pass to Shepard from Jones. New York had a fresh set of downs at the 12-yard line. They went for it on fourth-down-and-five, and as the play broke down, Jones had room to run and took the ball in himself for the seven-yard touchdown, putting the Giants up 32-31 with 1:16 left in the game.

The Bucs got down the field in a hurry behind two big passes to Chris Godwin and a 44-yard pass to Mike Evans. It set up a 32-yard field goal attempt for Gay, which was no good, costing the Bucs the game.

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