The Buccaneers will face one of the most highly scrutinized rookies in New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones as he makes his first NFL start Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This is one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the week as everyone wants to see what Daniel Jones can do in a regular season game after having a great preseason. This is also a game in which the Bucs defense has a chance to impress a national TV audience and show everyone that this is not the same old Bucs defense.
Jones had a very impressive pre-season, completing 29 of 34 passes with two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 137.2 quarterback rating.
The Giants will bring an 0-2 record to Tampa, despite being sixth in the NFL in total offense averaging 420 yards a game. The Giants’ offense is led by running back Saquon Barkley who is averaging a league-leading 7.47 yards per carry.
All week long, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians talked about how special and dangerous Barkley is and how important it is to keep him contained. “He’s hard to bring down. He doesn’t run over many people — he runs around them and runs past them. The size and the speed combination are extremely rare.”
The Bucs will hope to contain Barkley and have what Arians calls gap integrity to prevent those long runs by Barkley. This should be a fascinating matchup with this eighth-ranked Bucs defense against the sophomore running back. Last week, the Bucs shut down Carolina’s all-purpose back, Christian McCaffrey, limiting him to just 53 total yards.
The Giants’ defense is giving up 441 yards per game, and they rank 30th against the pass, giving up 321 passing yards a game. Look for wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end O.J. Howard to finally get it going against the Giants’ defense. Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins will get the honors of covering Evans while Deandre Baker will be matched up with Chris Godwin.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will create some problems for the Bucs’ defense as he is extremely mobile which is a big difference from Eli Manning; he will be more effective moving in the pocket.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard will be back against the Bucs, giving Daniel Jones another weapon. Shepard has been out since the opening week against Dallas with a concussion.
The Bucs have already ruled out four players for Sunday’s game. Rookie linebacker Devin White will miss the game as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Cornerback Jamel Dean, linebacker Davonte Bond, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert have also been ruled for Sunday’s game.
The Buccaneers’ defense will have their hands full with Saquon Barkley, but they should be able to get their first home win of the season on an afternoon that they will induct Ronde Barber into the Bucs’ Ring Of Honor.
Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Giants 14