New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview: Desperation Time Down South 1
08 November 2015: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) tries to avoid being tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) after catching a pass during the NFL game between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

When the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kickoff down south, desperation will be at an all-time high for Big Blue.

Since the New York Football Giants lost that late moment thriller to the Philadelphia Eagles, everybody has scoured the world for odds on a 0-3 team making the tournament — the NFL Playoffs.

Don’t even attempt to investigate the same odds for a 0-4 club. It’s just not worth it.

If the Jints fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, that’s exactly the scenario that’ll unfold before our very eyes.

Forget the current record. Forget Philly. Forget Detroit. Forget Dallas. When a team finds themselves in this scenario, only the next opponent, quarter, or even play is the only matter of importance.

Having said that, it’s absolute “must-win” scenario for the Football Giants in Week 4 of the NFL season.

Injuries

To be fair, the pathetic 0-3 record cannot be blamed on injuries one bit. This club hasn’t been injured much at all and heading into Tampa, nobody is listed as out.

Olivier Vernon, Brett Jones, Orleans Darkwa and Jonathan Casillas are the only listed as questionable.

The home team is much more compromised on the injury report. After playing the first two weeks, big-time linebacker Lavonte Davis is listed as doubtful. Starting safety T.J. Ward is as well. Both those players missing the game may play a big role in more success for Eli Manning and the Giants offense.

Keys To a Giants Victory

Giants Defense Must Get Back to Dominant Ways

Forget the offense for a moment. Even the most positive Giants observers knew the offensive line was a serious issue coming into the season. What made prognosticators feel great about the New York Giants in 2017 was their dominant defense.

Steve Spagnuolo’s unit currently ranks 17th in the NFL in total defense per game (334.3 yards allowed per contest). In terms of points, New York’s 23.3 points surrendered per game ranks 22nd.

It’s been a long fall for the very same unit that dominated so many games a season ago.

Forget matchups. This unit must get back to its dominating ways. Jonathan Casillas needs to play, as does Olivier Vernon. Eli Apple has to either figure out how to defend the long ball now or be replaced immediately.

New York ranks dead last in rushing defense in the league. How is this possible with Damon Harrison on the field?

This team is a defensive squad and it needs to start on Sunday in Tampa.

Don’t Force the Run, Pass Early and Often

Last in the NFL are the New England Patriots in the category of pass defense. Second to last are these Bucs. The Bucs also rank fourth against the rush.

We already know the Giants cannot run the ball. Why force it?

Honestly, every time the Giants run for one or fewer yards, they waste an opportunity to gain a chunk of yards through the air. Sure, Eli should take chances when it looks like the D is showcasing a light box, but don’t force it to a degree that’ll hurt scoring opportunity.

The Giants need to make sure they use that west coast system and attack with short timing stuff that’ll allow Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard to make hay after the catch.

Once the passing game stretches the D a little bit is only when the rushing game can be infused.

Final Game Predictions

This is really a tough one. Everything the Giants do offensively is usually altered based on its own offensive line rather than the opposing defense’s actions. Therefore, they become limited in what they can do and extremely one-dimensional.

At the same time, Tampa isn’t an offensive juggernaut and Jameis Winston isn’t an elite NFL QB.

Give me the Giants defense with Casillas and Vernon to bounce back and dominate this one. Manning and the offense will do just enough to secure the team’s first victory of the season.

New York Giants 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13

 NEXT: 5 Keys to Victory for Giants Against Bucs 

CHECK OUT the New York Giants Team Center: News, Stats, Standings


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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Former strong safety, point guard, and 400-meter hustler. Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip, and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared by major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com