Both Bucs, Giants trying to take hold of their seasons

by Gary Shelton on September 27, 2017 · 2 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Say this for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

They can't wait to get at the New York Giants.

On the other hand, you can say this for the Giants.

They can't wait to play the Bucs, either.

Welcome to a game that it doesn't look like either team can win. Oh, someone will lose it, all right. But so far, neither of these clubs have tossed intimidating numbers around.

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For instance, the Bucs are 30th in total defense.

And the Giants are dead last in rushing defense.

And the Bucs are 31st in pass defense.

And the Giants are 31st in points scored.

And the Bucs are 32nd in sacks.

And the Giants are last in rushing offense.

And the Bucs are coming off a crushing loss to Minnesota.

And the Giants are coming off their third straight loss, this one on a 61-yard field goal at the buzzer.

Just wondering: Can you wait for these guys to square off?

Remember, both the Giants and Bucs have proud histories of their defensive players. The Giants had Lawrence Taylor, regarded as the finest defender of them all. The Bucs had Derrick Brooks. The Giants had Harvey Martin. The Bucs had Lee Roy Selmon. The Giants had Michael Straham. The Bucs had Warren Sapp. The Giants had Andy Robustelli. The Bucs had Simeon Rice. The Giants had Emlen Tunnell. The Bucs had John Lynch. The Giants had Tiki Barber. The Bucs had Ronde Barber. And so on.

For the Bucs, of course, they are simply coming off a bad week. When you consider that Pittsburgh lost, and Oakland, and Denver, well, it happens. The Bucs were so beaten up on defense they couldn't stand up to the Vikings.

But here's the thing. Gerald McCoy is still limping. The Bucs got good news from Lavonte David – who doesn't have a high ankle sprain – but he still figures to be out for a spell. No one knows who else will play, and how healthy they will be.

The Giants? They have an awful offensive line so far. But they're 0-3, and isn't it difficult to imagine the Giants being 0-4 on the season?

Of course, for New York, Eli Manning will again be at quarterback. He hasn't played great against Tampa Bay, but he is 4-0 (5-0 counting playoffs). So far, he has a quarterback rating of 85.4 against the Bucs, which isn't frightening. But the Giants have scored 114 points in his four regular-season games against Tampa Bay.

If Brent Grimes is still out for the Bucs, that could be difficult, especially since Manning has Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard at receivers. The Bucs didn't do much to slow down the Vikings last week.

There is a history between the teams. The Giants were the Bucs' last playoff opponent in 2007, the year New York upset an unbeaten Patriots team in the Super Bowl. Manning threw for 510 yards in 2012. Greg Schiano irked Tom Coughlin by attacking the victory formation the same year. In 2009, the Bucs ran for only 28 yards against the Giants. In 1999, the Giants rushed for only 28 yards against the Bucs. Sadly, the Giants won both games. In 2006, in a game that featured winds that gusted at 40 mph, the Bucs had rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski throw it 48 times.

Now, they play again Sunday at 4:05 p...

Who are you betting on?

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