This was a game the Buccaneers probably should have lost.
Watching this game reminded me of the game in Chicago earlier this season when the Bucs dropped a 20-19 decision.
As the game settled in, you could see that this was a different Bucs team than we had seen in the last few weeks.
There was no passion. It looked like they were going through the motions. The Bucs front seven was getting manhandled by the Giants offensive line.
The Giants outgained the Bucs in total yards 357-344.
The Giants rushed for 101 yards. The Bucs run defense looked nothing like the number one ranking it brought into the game.
There was a lot not to like about this game.
The Bucs run defense was porous. The Bucs let Giants quarterback Daniel Jones out of the pocket too many times, and he made them pay. The defense couldn’t stop the Giants offense consistently on third and long.
But the fact that the Bucs pulled this one out is a testament to how far this team has come in the last year.
Last year and even in prior years, this would have been a game that the Bucs would have lost.
Sean Murphy Bunting had an interception in the fourth quarter that gave the ball back to the offense.
Tom Brady took the Bucs down the field and tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans gave the Bucs a 25-17 lead.
The Bucs running game was overall a disappointment. Leonard Fournette led the Bucs with 54 yards on the ground, but could not pick up one yard on a fourth and one and turned the ball over to the Giants offense with no timeouts.
Daniel Jones had one last chance against the Bucs defense and he took his team down the field and cut the Bucs lead 25-23. Overtime was looming.
Then as the Giants went for the two-point conversion, Antoine Winfield Jr. made the play of the game as he knocked the ball away from Giants receiver Dion Lewis and that sealed the Bucs 25-23 win.
Arians after the game was in no mood to apologize for winning “You never apologize for winning. We did not find energy fast enough. We got hit in the mouth. Credit Joe Judge. He had his team ready and they played their tails off. We made enough plays to win the game. We made the plays that counted.”
That they did, and the Bucs maintain their grip on first place in the NFC South with a 6-2 record with a showdown against the New Orleans Saints coming up on Sunday night.
The Bucs got just their second win in team history at the Meadowlands with the 25-23 win.
Tom Brady was sacked twice, the first game he has been sacked since the Thursday night game against the Bears.
Brady threw for two touchdowns passes and has 20 on the season to go with four interceptions.
Brady is on pace in his first year as Bucs quarterback to set a new Buccaneer record with 40 touchdown passes.
It seems as if the Bucs are good for TV ratings. The Bucs Giants game had the highest Monday night rating since the 2015 season. Over 11 million people watched the game alone in the Tampa area.
Sunday night should draw another big TV audience as it is Brady vs. Brees round 2. The Saints won the first game 34-23 in New Orleans, but this is a different Bucs team than the team the Saints saw in week one.
There was a lot to dislike in the Bucs win over the Giants. But a win is a win and now it’s back to work to get ready for the Saints on Sunday night.