TAMPA, Fla – The Giants wanted to prove something Monday night against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, and that’s exactly what they did.
By proving they’re still not ready for prime time, the Giants have been humbled by the reigning Super Bowl champions in their own building.
The Bucs have shown they are not dead yet. The Giants have shown that they are still far from being the team they want to be – and need to be – to compete at this level.
The Cowboys and Rams revealed the Giants’ flaws in blowouts last month.
The Buccaneers have done more of the same, whether they’re splitting the defense, smothering the offense, or getting back to Daniel Jones, who struggled with his second half decision en route to a pair of ugly interceptions that just turned an even uglier overall performance in Monday’s 30-10 rout.
The game was tied at 10 in the second quarter. Tampa Bay scored 20 unanswered points.
Saquon Barkley’s return had very little impact on the offense, which landed a touchdown, and it happened on some kind of gimmicky game when Jones found Andrew Thomas on a pass eligible for the tackle for the score.
The Giants’ pass race against Brady was very calm, and the inside of the offensive line – Will Hernandez in the right guard in particular – struggled powerfully.
Now the Giants (3-7) will have to regroup over a short week and face a Red Hot Eagles team for the first time this season at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Philadelphia has made the most of its chances in recent weeks, racing for a wild card spot in the NFL.
If these chasing teams, from the Eagles to Washington to Carolina to New Orleans, are considered mediocre, it begs the question: what are the Giants? They have seven games left to show us heading into an offseason that promises to bring more criticism and change if the losses continue to pile up.
Read on for the updates that brought us here:
Bucs 24, Giants 10
The Giants’ promising offensive campaign to start the second half ended with the Bucs fourth and 1 of 25. Inexplicably, the Giants took Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney off the field, brought Collin Johnson and backup tight end Chris Myarick and Bucs All-Pro linebacker Devin White blew the game up.
White used his speed to reach Daniel Jones just as he was rolling to his right. The game didn’t stand a chance and Jones’ hasty pitch bounced past Johnson.
The Bucs wasted no time in building their lead, slicing through the defense and conceding when Tom Brady knocked out Mike Evans for his second touchdown pass of the game.
Coming away with zero points on the first practice of the third quarter seemed like a big missed opportunity, and when Tampa Bay hit the ball into the end zone it was magnified.
The Giants had two big defensive saves, including one late in the second quarter to keep Tampa Bay from scoring. But, aside from a few laps played, the Bucs were strong defensively, keeping the Giants out of an attacking rhythm.
Giants wide receiver John Ross leads his team in rushing yards (16) while Saquon Barkley was limited to 10 yards on three carries. Tampa Bay totaled 273 yards and 19 first downs, with Brady completing 20 of 29 passes for 198 yards, a touchdown pass to Chris Godwin and an interception.
Daniel Jones completed 11 of 16 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown to left tackle Andrew Thomas, who introduced himself as an eligible receiver on the play. The Giants nearly took advantage of a sleight of hand from Kadarius Toney, who threw the ball nearly 50 yards towards Darius Slayton. Slayton mingled with a Tampa Bay defenseman, and as officials first threw a flag for pass interference, they picked it up and canceled the penalty.
Landing of the big man!
The Giants were intercepted by Adoree ‘Jackson on a pass from Tom Brady which bounced off Mike Evans, putting them inside the 10. That’s when Big Blue pulled off a trick as Andrew Thomas has said he’s eligible for the tackle – technically a tight end on the left side – and no one has covered it. Daniel Jones threw a pass in the direction of Thomas, who made a leaping grab for the score.
Thomas managed a 2-point conversion last season as a rookie.
Well, it was surgical and quick. Tom Brady took advantage of the Giants’ defense with a creative script to open the game, and the first possession ended with a touchdown pass to Chris Godwin.
The Giants have to adjust to the way Brady attacked them with a lot of bad management.
Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas are making their respective returns after being sidelined last month as the Giants look to upset the Buccaneers on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Barkley has not played since suffering a sprained left ankle in Week 5 against the Cowboys, while Thomas was sidelined the following week after his left leg was wrapped against the Rams.
The Giants (3-6) haven’t been full offensively since their loss to the Saints in New Orleans, and they won’t have Sterling Shepard (quad) against the Buccaneers.
Daniel Jones and the offense, in addition to welcoming Barkley and Thomas to the roster, should have Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney at full strength. The latter two were not on the injury report this week.
Thomas has been designated to return to training this week and the Giants officially activated their left injured reserve tackle ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline Monday.
The defending Super Bowl Buccaneers champion (6-3) has lost two games in a row and Tom Brady has lost three games in a row only once in his career as a starting QB.
In addition to Thomas’ transfer, the Giants also signed outside linebacker Trent Harris into the active roster. Tight end Chris Myarick and defensive back Steven Parker were game day elevations of the practice squad, and returns specialist Pharoh Cooper was added to the squad roster as a replacing COVID.
Safety Logan Ryan remains on the COVID / reserve roster and he will not play on Monday.
Tom Brady has 18 wins on Monday Night Football and hasn’t had a three-game losing streak since 2002. Daniel Jones hasn’t won a prime time game in seven tries, and the Giants have lost nine in a row under the projectors.
This is what the Giants are up against. Two keys: how Xavier McKinney and Julian Love will play together safely at the back without Logan Ryan, and Andrew Thomas’ presence on the left tackle – likely against Bucs star rusher Shaq Barrett – will allow the Giants offense to operate differently and attack a secondary Tampa Bay suspect?
If the Giants are successful in doing both of these things, they could be in this game and have a chance to steal one in the end.
Giants: WR Sterling Shepard, FB Cullen Gilaspia, S Nate Ebner, OLB Oshane Ximines, OLB Lorenzo Carter, G Wes Martin, TE Kaden Smith
Buccaneers: DT Vita Vea, WR Antonio Brown, DB Andrew Adams, OL Nick Leverett, LS Carson Tinker and QB Kyle Trask
Art Stapleton is the Giants’ Beat Writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Giants analytics, news, deals and more, please sign up today and sign up for our NFC Est newsletter.