For all Bucs fans, this game against the Giants is eerily similar to the movie Groundhog Day as the same things keep happening over and over with the Bucs defense and the kicking game.
Buccaneer fans have seen this movie play out numerous times over the last few years. A defensive breakdown with the game on line as the opposing team drives down the field to take the lead. Offense executes the two minute drill to get the team in position to win the game with a field goal. Field goal is missed and the Bucs loose.
We all thought that movie would quit playing with the new coaching staff and the some of the new players the Bucs brought to town.
But It’s quite obvious the Bucs are still struggling at learning how to win and close games out consistently.
The Bucs were giving up 254 years a game passing before Daniel Jones shredded the Bucs secondary for 336 years in his first NFL start. Jones passed for two touchdowns and ran for two in the Giants 32-31 win.
Bruce Arians admitted that this was the worst game the Giants secondary has played all season. “Our back end probably had their worst game of the year and it was a simple a plan as it could be.”
After his big game against Carolina, Vernon Hargreaves just disappeared this game making just one tackle.
It looked as if the Bucs defensive game was to stop Saquon Barkley which they did, but had no answer on how to stop Evan Engrams and the rookie Daniel Jones.
Barkley found no room at all against the Bucs defense as he 37 total yards and averaged just 1.8 yards a carry before leaving the game with an ankle sprain.
This is also the first game this season where it looked as if defensive coordinator Todd Bowles made no adjustments at halftime or throughout the game to stop Evan Engram or get consistent pressure on Daniel Jones.
This defensive collapse in the second half caused one of the best games by a Buccaneer receiver to go under the radar as
Mike Evans had his first big game in 2019 with eight catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Evans had all three touchdown catches and 146 receiving yards in the first half.
Vincent Jackson holds the all time Bucs receiving record in a game with 216 yards in a game against the Saints in 2012.
Another great individual performance by linebacker Shaq Barrett is not being talked about much today. Barrett had four more sacks in the game against the Giants giving him eight on the season.
Barrett’s eight sacks in the first three games of the season ties an NFL record set by mark Gastineau of the NY Jets in 1984 when he had eights sacks over the first three games of the season.
The kicking woes returned yesterday and that groan you heard coming from Raymond James Stadium late Sunday afternoon was the result of Matt Gay missing the first extra point of the game. Gay would go on to to have his next extra point blocked, and would miss a 34 yard field goal as time expired to give the Giants the 32-31 win over the Buccaneers.
Arians remains very confidant in Matt Gay saying that Gay is going nowhere.
Third down defense was another Achilles heel for the Bucs. Through their first two games the Bucs held opponents to 7/26 on third downs which is a 27 percent conversion rate. Against the Giants the bucs allowed 6/13 to be converted.
In the red zone the Bucs continue to struggle offensively. The Bucs are 2/12 on the season inside the red zone. We saw this too much last year, poor offensive play inside the 20 and it cost the Bucs dearly. The same things seems to be happening again this year.
The Bucs are now 1-2 with a lot to work on as they now embark on their 2019 world tour which will take them to LA, Seattle, London, Nashville, and New Orleans over the next six weeks. The Bucs will not play another game in Tampa until November 10th when they take on the Arizona Cardinals.