Giants at Buccaneers score: Tampa Bay rolls over New York in a rout; Tom Brady throws for over 300 yards
Tom Brady and the Bucs are 7-3 on the season
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have moved to 7-3 on the season and remain perfect at Raymond James Stadium after handling the New York Giants, 30-10. The defending champs got off to a quick start in this "Monday Night Football" head-to-head as it took just under four minutes for them to drive 73 yards down the field to capture the lead in the game's opening possession. As former Giants quarterback Eli Manning noted during the alternate ESPN broadcast alongside his brother Peyton Manning: "That was a little too easy."
The two clubs would trade field goals and an Adoree' Jackson interception did lead to a Giants touchdown to knot the game at 10, but that's as close as New York would come to gaining the lead or winning this contest. The Bucs quickly answered that score as Ronald Jones capped off a 71-yard drive with a rushing touchdown to retake the lead before the break.
In the second half, the wheels began to really fall off for the Giants. A failed fourth-down attempt just outside the red zone gave the ball back to the Bucs, who would proceed to go on a 10-play touchdown drive that extended their lead to double digits and effectively leave New York in the dust. Following that score, Tampa Bay's defense started to create turnovers, picking off Daniel Jones twice as they pressed forward toward the win.
Tom Brady finished Monday completing 30 of his 46 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He spread the ball around rather evenly with four Bucs pass-catchers hauling in six receptions on the day. Mike Evans lead that unit with 73 yards receiving and a touchdown, while Rob Gronkowski made his return to action after missing time to a rib injury and finished with 71 yards receiving. Meanwhile, Jones finished with 167 yards while completing 23 of his 38 throws to go along with a touchdown and two picks.
For a more in-depth look at how this game unfolded, check out our takeaways below.
Why the Buccaneers won
Tampa Bay came into this game extremely hot. The Bucs cruised 73 yards down the field on the opening drive where they didn't face a single third-down situation. They eased their way down the field and the drive culminated with a 13-yard touchdown reception by Chris Godwin. Tom Brady began the game completing all nine of his passes in the first quarter for 80 yards and a touchdown. The Buccaneers offense had a number of chunk plays throughout the contest and finished with 5.3 yards per play average that was largely bogged down in garbage time. They also had 402 yards of total offense while holding New York to just 215.
As a whole, the Buccaneers simply didn't make any drastic mistakes that allowed the Giants to truly stay in this game. Tom Brady did have an interception that ultimately led to a New York touchdown that tied the game at 10 in the first half, but that was effectively their only blemish on the night. As Tampa Bay played a relatively clean game, that allowed them to take advantage of a number of mistakes made by the Giants. In the second half, the defense was able to make two fourth-down stops and force two interceptions. They scored points on three of those ensuing possessions and the other was followed up with the Bucs running out the clock en route to the win.
Why the Giants lost
It was a frustrating evening for the Giants offense as they struggled to get any consistent rhythm going. New York entered this game with 32% of their points coming off field goals. That reared its ugly head right out of the gate in this matchup as a 13-play drive that lasted nearly seven minutes resulted in just three points when there were plenty of opportunities to find the end zone. On that drive alone, Daniel Jones missed an open Kadarius Toney for what would have been a touchdown (third-and-6 from the Tampa Bay 20) as he targeted Darius Slayton over the middle instead, which was eventually called for defensive pass interference. On the very next play following the penalty, Jones also had Kenny Golladay open over the middle of the field for a walk-in score, but the quarterback went in another direction.
It was poor decision-making from Jones and the entire offense that plagued New York throughout the contest. In the second half, the third-year signal-caller had a puzzling interception as he tried to throw to the other side of the field while rolling out to his right that further sent the Giants in a downward spiral.
The Giants were able to take advantage of a short field following an Adoree' Jackson interception off Brady in the first half, but that was essentially all the damage this offense would do. Following that touchdown, the Giants would have three punts, a fumble, two picks and two failed fourth-down conversions to end the game.
With New York down a touchdown, the club drove 50 yards down the field on the opening possession of the second half and went as far as the Tampa Bay 25 yard line. It was at that point where Joe Judge elected to keep his offense on the field during a fourth-and-1 situation to continue the drive in hopes of evening the score. Jones faked the handoff to Saquon Barkley, but the Buccaneers immediately sniffed out the play action, applied pressure and the quarterback threw an incompletion.
After that turnover on downs, Tampa Bay would proceed to go on a 10-play drive that traveled 74 yards and ended with a five-yard touchdown by Mike Evans to extend their lead by double digits.
New York also didn't do themselves any favors on that possession defensively. Earlier in the drive, the Giants allowed Evans and Brady to connect for a 17-yard gain on a third-and-11 to move the chains. Had they forced the three-and-out there, Tampa would have been forced to punt it away deep inside their own territory. Later on, a Julian Love holding penalty also gave the Bucs a fresh set of down inside the red zone instead of forcing a third-and-6 attempt.
It was after those miscues and that score where Tampa ran away with the win.
Play of the game
Following an Adoree' Jackson interception off Tom Brady that gave the Giants the offense the football at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line, Daniel Jones was able to loft a second-and-goal throw to the left side of the field where tackle Andrew Thomas was able to high-point the ball and bring down the touchdown.
Thomas is the first Giants offensive lineman to record a receiving touchdown since Carl Fennema in 1948.
From here, the Buccaneers will begin a two-game road trip, starting with an excursion to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Meanwhile, the Giants will try to pick up the pieces as they head back to MetLife Stadium and await the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants will fall to 3-7, tying them with the Bears (whose first-round pick the Giants own due to the Justin Fields trade) and Seahawks (whose first-round pick is going to the Jets thanks to the Jamal Adams trade) for the second-worst record in the NFC behind only the Lions.
So, the Bucs will move to 7-3 and by virtue of owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys, gain control of the No. 3 seed in the NFC.
This is brutally ugly stuff for the Giants.
When Blaine Gabbert gets on the field against you, you know it's bad. Key'Shawn Vaughn, Jaelon Darden, Tyler Johnson, and Breshad Perriman on the field as well.
Punting in this spot is hilarious. You're down by 20 and it's fourth-and-5. Go for it! Who cares if you miss? Losing by less does nothing for you.
INJURY UPDATE: WR Kadarius Toney (quad contusion) is questionable to return.— Dan Salomone (@Dan_Salomone) November 23, 2021
Let's see if the Giants can put together a gar-bage time drive here. They've gotten basically nothing all day. Their only TD drive came when they were set up inside the 10-yard line after a pick.
Rough night for Daniel Jones continues. Less than 5 yards per attempt and now two pretty ugly interceptions on passes that didn't have much of a chance.
Saquon still on the sideline here. Not great for the Giants, given this is his first game back.
So the Giants burned like 4 minutes off the clock, didn't get anything going, and now have to punt the ball back. Not great.
The Giants are not operating with any urgency here. They're down three scores. Have to score on every drive the rest of the way, and go quickly. But they're not doing any of that.
Why Daniel Jones needed to keep switch Ross and Toney's position to just run it right up the middle with Devontae Booker, is beyond me.
Mike Evans is actually the captain now.— Captain Fear (@CaptainFear) November 23, 2021
INJURY UPDATE: TE Kyle Rudolph has been ruled out with an ankle injury.— Dan Salomone (@Dan_Salomone) November 23, 2021
Does... Daniels Jones not know what team he is on? He literally threw that ball to Steve McLendon. He's the only player in the area.