Despite the return of major offensive weapons, the Giants fell short in Tampa on Monday night
The Bucs, who had lost two straight contests entering Monday night’s matchup, wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard. Tom Brady led the Bucs down the field in an eight-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin at 11:09 in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
When the Giants offense took the field, it featured some of the team’s major offensive weapons who have been missing in recent weeks: Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and perhaps most importantly, Saquon Barkley – who made his first start since injuring his ankle in Week 5. Before tonight’s game, the three had only been on the field together for 14 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season.
With these players back on the field, the Giants drove down to the Tampa Bay 19-yard line to set up a 37-yard field goal by Graham Gano at 4:09 to make it 7-3. In his first run back since his injury, Barkley ran the ball up the middle for two yards before being stopped.
The Buccaneers tacked on a field goal on their second possession of the game to increase their lead to 10-3 at 11:20 in the second quarter. The drive was 18 plays, 79 yards and ate 7:48 minutes of clock. The Giants defense picked up a big stop at third-and-seven when strong coverage in the secondary held the Bucs to a field goal.
With 10 minutes left to play in the second quarter, Brady’s pass intended for Mike Evans was tipped and intercepted by Adoree’ Jackson to give the Giants the ball at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line. The Giants took advantage of the takeaway when Jones completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Thomas at 9:19 to tie the score at 10. The touchdown was Thomas’ first of his career and the interception was Brady’s fifth in the last three games.
The celebration by Thomas and the rest of the Giants offensive lineman after the catch was almost as good as the catch itself.
— NFL (@NFL) November 23, 2021
The Bucs re-took a 17-10 lead when Ronald Jones II rushed for a six-yard touchdown run with 5:12 left in the second quarter to complete an eight-play, 71-yard scoring drive.
The Giants caught a break at the end of the first half when a holding penalty on Bucs offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs negated a potential touchdown by Chris Godwin to keep it a one-score game heading into the locker room.
The Bucs added to their lead when Brady connected with Godwin for a five-yard touchdown at 7:35 in the third quarter to make it 24-10. Brady and the Bucs were quickly back on the field when, on the Giants’ following possession, Jones’ pass was intercepted by defensive tackle Steve McLendon, of all people.
Trailing 27-10 with 10:09 left in the fourth quarter, Jones threw his second interception of the game. His pass for Darius Slayton was tipped and picked up by Bucs safety Mike Edwards to give Tampa Bay back the ball. The Bucs took advantage of the turnover by driving down the field to set up a 30-yard kick by Ryan Succop at 7:48, giving Tampa Bay a 20-point advantage.
Bucs backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert entered the game in with less than seven minutes left to play in the game and the Bucs would hold for the 30-10 victory.
- Daniel Jones was 23 of 38 with 167 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
- Saquon Barkley had six rushing attempts for 25 yards.
- Kadarius Toney recorded seven receptions for 40 yards.
- Adoree’ Jackson hauled in his first interception since 2018.
- Xavier McKinney led the defense with seven tackles.
Halftime score and stats
The Giants trailed at the half, 17-10. Jones was 10 of 15 for 81 yards with one touchdown. Brady was 20 of 29 for 198 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Giants had eight first downs and the Bucs had 19. The Giants recorded 117 yards in the half while the Buccaneers recorded 273 yards. Each team forced a turnover in the half.
The Bucs controlled the time of possession battle as they held the ball for 18:42 while the Giants had possession for 11:18.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph was ruled out of the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay was deemed questionable to return in the fourth quarter with a quad contusion.
WR Sterling Shepard
FB Cullen Gillaspia
DB Nate Ebner
LB Oshane Ximines
LB Lorenzo Carter
OL Wes Martin
TE Kaden Smith
The Giants will return home to MetLife Stadium this Sunday when they host the surging Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FOX.