The New York Giants made a drastic change this week, electing to bench veteran quarterback Eli Manning in favor of rookie quarterback and sixth-overall pick Daniel Jones. It's in response to the Giants going 0-2 to start their season and a fresh, young signal caller is their chosen remedy ahead of their matchup with the Buccaneers here in Tampa.
-According to staff writer Dan Salomone, there will be three keys to the game for New York:
- Rallying around Daniel Jones
"The Giants announced Tuesday that the sixth overall pick in this year's draft will take over for Eli Manning, the only player ever to suit up 16 seasons with the franchise. Tampa Bay doesn't care about any of that. Led by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the blitz-happy Buccaneers will look to rattle the Duke graduate Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium."
- Knowing the situation
"There is a difference between third-and-three and third-and-eight, defensive coordinator James Bettcher said during his Thursday press conference. It sounds simple because football is simple. The best teams are the ones who understand situations in the heat of the moment and, more importantly, execute them."
- "Change up the windows"
"As a coordinator, you change up the windows when you have the opportunity to," said James Bettcher, who in Arizona served under current Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, in addition to Bowles. "In some situations, call for tighter coverage than other situations. We need to help ourselves be in better third downs. We need to help ourselves be in better second downs by playing better on first down. That's something that we talked about coming out of the game, and coming out of the first week as well. I think that's what leads to being able to put those guys in some calls that might help them a little bit."
-Senior writer/editor Michael Eisen lays out the game plan when the Giants come to town. He lists Tampa Bay's biggest strength as a 'rejuvenated defense' under Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles. The biggest offensive key for the Bucs, according to Eisen, is quarterback Jameis Winston.
"Tampa Bay's success – or lack thereof – often reflects quarterback Jameis Winston's performance," Eisen writes. "In the opener against San Francisco, two of his three interceptions were returned for touchdowns and the Bucs lost – by two touchdowns. In Thursday night's game at Carolina, Winston completed 16 of 25 passes, did not throw a pick, and the Bucs won a division road game."
In Eisen's words, the Giants will need to find a way to run the ball against the Bucs' stout run defense that only allowed 37 rushing yards to Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey last week, as well.