Week 2: New York Giants Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- QuarterbackEli Manning is one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the league. While the Giants are not at a critical point in the season, they don’t want to start off by losing back-to-back games at home and Manning won’t let that happen.Josh Freeman got off to a solid and surprising start with the Bucs, as they defeated the Panthers on the road in the season opener. Freeman didn’t light up the scoreboard, but he completed 16-of-24 passes and did not throw an interception.
- OffenseThe Giants have Victor Cruz to torment the Tampa Bay secondary along with Hakeem Nicks. The Giants running game did not assert itself in Week One, but Tom Coughlin wants to establish his running game and this would be a good chance to do it.The Bucs have a lot of work to do on offense, but they should have a decent running game with Doug Martin (95 yards) and LaGarette Blount. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson opens things up for the offense but the Bucs know he will see double coverage on a regular basis.
- DefenseThe Giants have the best pass rush in football and they will establish Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck right from the start. The Giants secondary could be quite vulnerable after a poor showing against Dallas.This was once the calling card of the Bucs, but it slipped dramatically last year. Head coach Greg Schiano is trying to bring back aggressive play and the Bucs held the Panthers in check. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a beast in the middle of the defensive line.
- Special TeamsThe Giants pride themselves on their special teams coverage and that unit was solid against the Cowboys in the opener. Steve Weatherford has one of the strongest legs in the league and averaged 50.2 yards in the first game of the season.Michael Koenen has a good leg and averaged 46.0 yards per punt against the Panthers, but the Bucs are very ordinary in special teams play.
The Giants should not have much of a problem in this game, even if Greg Schiano has the Bucs playing much harder and more effectively this season. The Giants will be motivated to have a much better showing after losing their opener against the Cowboys and the Bucs will likely pay the price.