By Kyra Hallett
The New York Giants had a disappointing Week 1, losing to the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night, 24-17, but hopes to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday run high. The Giants will have 10 days off, which gives them time to regroup and rest, but it could also get them out of a routine.
In the season opener against the Cowboys, the Giants did not look like themselves, particularly their wide receivers. They were out of sync and not making plays.
How the Giants will handle the Bucs
For the Giants to be successful against the Bucs, they must focus on Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. Even Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, “We need more pressure on the quarterback.” Giants quarterback Eli Manning said that for his team to be successful, they need to know their assignments and execute them. The Giants must also make better plays and better decisions during the game. “We must play our game,” said Manning.
Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson has hurt the Giants in the past, so he is a key player the Giants must stop. Giants running back David Wilson should have more touches this week. New York’s offensive and defensive lines are especially strong, so that should be a huge advantage for the Giants.
Mike Sullivan faces his old team
Giants former quarterback coach Mike Sullivan, is now the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, but if Manning is worried about Sullivan knowing too much about the Giants’ offense, he isn’t letting on to that fact. Manning said, “[Mike] won’t know what plays we’re making at what time so we’ll just play our game.” Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks feels Sullivan is running the same offense at Tampa Bay, but will add a few things. The Giants’ defense has been practicing against their offense in hopes to get a leg up, but Nicks isn’t worried. “We will play our game,” Nicks said.
How the Bucs will handle the Giants
The Giants have huge special team guys and a great defense with an impressive front four. Sullivan said, “[The Bucs] are not trying to trick, just have to make sure to have everything in order.” Against the Giants, the Bucs must use their wide receivers and tight ends more, and prevent sacks and turnovers. Josh Freeman said ball security is huge along with getting ahead early. Both Freeman and Sullivan agree that they do not want to get into second or third and long against the Giants. “Four yards or more is a great first down,” said Freeman. The Bucs defense also must put pressure on Manning.
The Buccaneers and Giants have met 17 times with the Giants leading 11-6. Since 2003, the Giants are 3-1 in the series. The last time these two teams met, September 27, 2009, the Giants shut out the Bucs, 24-0 at Raymond James Stadium.
Coach Greg Schiano said his team will have to deal with the noise. It is a crazy atmosphere that is amped-up and the wind can be crazy. Momentum is a big part of the game.
Defensive end, Adewale Ojomo, (hamstring) did not practice.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back), center David Baas (hip), cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot), and linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) were limited at practice.
Tackle James Brewer (back) and running back Da’Rel Scott (knee) were full participants in practice.For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Buccaneers news, see CBS Sports Tampa Bay.
Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.