Buc Up!…with Rob Kriete – NOVEMBER 1

-The Giants and Buccaneers will meet for the fourth year in a row and the fifth time in six seasons when they kickoff on Monday Night Football in Tampa this week. The Giants lead the regular-season series, 15-7.

-While the NY Giants are 1-6, the NFC East, typically considered one of the strongest divisions in the NFL, is a litter-box this season with losing records across the division.

-The NFC South, since it’s inception in 2002, has been an under-rated, competitive division almost every season.

-With his four touchdowns through the air on Sunday, Tom Brady now has 18 passing touchdowns for the Bucs – the most through seven games in team history – while passing Drew Brees for the most passing TDs in NFL history with 559.

-Tampa Bay ILB, Devin White, was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Week after posting a career-high 3.0 sacks, 11 tackles, and a forced fumble in their win against Las Vegas.

-Scoring in the NFL is at a record high in 2020. With 5,329 total points this season, it marks the most in NFL history through seven weeks. NFL teams averaged 50.8 points per game in week 7 to help that record.

-The Bucs are still prone to the long ball in the secondary. Leo got to chat with Tampa Bay Defensive Back Coach, Kevin Ross, this week:

Leo: “Coach, you’re a South Jersey guy from Paulsboro and you’re a Philly guy from Temple. The one thing both areas have in common is extreme physicality. How do you translate those experiences that you had to your secondary that they got to be physical?”

Coach Ross: “Emphasize. You get what you emphasize. You show it from other people. You let them listen to other people. You let them watch it. You let them know why certain people are unsuccessful and you show why they are successful. Then you go from there. The one thing you know about film is that it doesn’t lie. You either are or you’re not. You have to show it. When you are physical, this is what happens. When you are not physical, this is what happens.”

-Last week, I wrote the following: Continuing their trend of assembling a veritable fantasy football quality offense, the Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown. Even though the Bucs receiver squad has experienced injures to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and new Tom Brady favorite, Scotty Miller, this move comes with risks. Tampa has not been a great place for receivers that demand the ball (i.e. Keyshawn Johnson…as we revisit the Super Bowl team). If Brown can accept a role less than being a guy consistently getting the ball, it can work. Antonio can stretch defenses and open more room for the running game at the same time. With this opportunity in Tampa, he seems to have a lot to gain if he can be a role player for the Bucs. If he passes his Covid-19 protocols, Antonio should be ready for game-action by week 9 against the Saints in Tampa.
With Chris Godwin missing Monday’s game and lingering injuries to their wideout stable, I’m starting to get excited about Brown’s impact on this team’s already-dynamic offense. We shall see next week against the Saints.

-Newly signed Giants RB, Devonta Freeman, suffered an ankle injury against the Eagles last weekend and has officially been listed as inactive for Monday night’s matchup against the Buccaneers. Freeman was signed to replaced star running back, Saquan Barkley who is out for the season. That leaves the Giants with Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis, and Elijah Penny in the backfield.

-Leo Haggerty of ItsSportsMagazine.com, who gets face time with Bruce Arians each week, asked him, “Do you feel the way the game plan and play calling to execute the game plan the past two games played out, do you feel offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and QB Tom Brady are starting to see the game the same way?” The Buc’s Head Coach replied, “I don’t think there’s any doubt. I think, probably, longer than that, that we’ve been on the same page. It’s still a collaboration every week that’s all new. Every week is new and love the fact where we’re at offensively right now. Especially with those two handling it.”

-This week’s matchup is a one the Bucs should be able to control on both sides of the ball. NY Giants QB, Daniel Jones, who won his first NFL game against Tampa Bay, has struggled to establish himself as a long-term answer under center. He has thrown 5 TDs this season against 7 picks.

-Prediction of the Week: Bucs 38
Giants 17