In honor of the New York Giants facing off against the Buccaneers this Sunday, here are Eli Manning’s five best games against Tampa Bay.
In his 15th season in the NFL, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will be playing the Tampa Bay Bucs for the seventh time in his career this Sunday. He’s 5-1 in his career against this very organization, including performances in five regular season games and one playoff game.
Needless to say, the two-time Super Bowl MVP hasn’t disappointed.
That being said, here’s Eli’s five best games against the Buccaneers:
5. 2006 Week 8 Win at Home
With a record of 4-2, the Giants hosted the Bucs in a game played at the old Giants Stadium. A mid-season game; both organizations looking for a win to get going in the right direction.
For the majority of the game, Eli Manning and the Giants were in control. Completing 16 of his 31 passes (51.6 percent) for 154 yards, Eli protected the ball well throughout the contest.
With one touchdown pass to former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress to put Big Blue up 7-0 in the opening quarter, the Giants ended up winning 17-3.
They thus improved to 5-2 on the year. This coming in a season where they ended up 8-8 and lost to the Eagles in the Wild Card round.
4. 2009 Week 3 Shutout Win on the Road
With a hot start to the 2009 season underway, the Giants went into Tampa Bay with a 2-0 record. And right from kickoff, the winning didn’t stop there.
Eli Manning, in his sixth season at the time, showed he can be a productive quarterback that can lead his team to victory. With a performance from the two-time Super Bowl MVP as if it was a playoff game, Eli completed 58.3 percent of his throws with 161 yards and two touchdowns.
With one four-yard score to former receiver Steve Smith and one 18-yard score to former receiver Sinorice Moss, the Giants shutout the Bucs 24-0. Big Blue improved to 3-0 on the season, the third win of a five-game winning streak to begin the 2009 season. However, second-half woes that year caused the Giants to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs.
3. 2007 Wild Card Playoff Win on the Road
Up until this playoff game, Eli Manning was 0-2 on the playoffs, losing to the Panthers in 2005 and the Eagles in 2006. Thankfully, this game was a different story.
The 10-6 Giants came into Tampa Bay as the five-seed in the NFC playoff picture, facing off against the fourth-seeded Bucs. In the second quarter, Eli tossed his first touchdown pass of the game to former running back Brandon Jacobs. It tied the game at seven, and it was basically the Giants that were in control from that point forward.
Eli Eventually threw for another score in the third quarter to former Giants receiver Amani Toomer from four yards out as well. Throwing for 185 yards on 20 of 27 passes, Eli led the Giants to a 24-7 playoff win. As many know, this was the first of four consecutive playoff wins on the road, ending with the Giants defeating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
2. 2017 Week 4 loss on the Road
A very disappointing start to the season it was. The Giants were 0-3 headed into Florida for this week four matchup against the Bucs. And unfortunately, the losing continued. With a game-winning field goal from the Bucs, the Giants lost 25-23 and dropped to 0-4.
However, one bright spot during that game was how the Big Blue quarterback played. In the second quarter, Eli Manning had a very rare 14-yard scramble to the end zone, as he finished with three rushes and 22 yards on the ground.
Eventually, he tossed two touchdowns in the second half. One was to running back Wayne Gallman from four yards out in the third quarter. The second being to tight end Rhett Ellison to give the Giants a 23-22 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Although the G-Men took the loss, Eli threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns on 61.2 percent of his passes. It was a great game for Eli overall, in what was a season he would much like to forget.
1. 2012 Week 2 Shootout Win at Home
It was a game that went back and forth the entire time. With a record of 0-1, the Giants hosted the Bucs who had a record of 1-0. Although the Giants had just won Super Bowl XLVI, this was a new season with new potential success-stories.
The game wasn’t so great for Eli to start out. Although he had one touchdown pass in the second quarter to former receiver Hakeem Nicks, he also threw three interceptions before halftime. However, second-half Eli was what second-half Eli has always been.
He threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, one to former receiver Victor Cruz from 80 yards out, and one to former tight end Martellus Bennett. It was a shootout until the end, in which the Giants ended up pulling away with a 41-34 win.
Completing 31 of his 51 passes, Manning threw for a historical 510 total yards. It was the second-highest passing yard total in Giants history, behind Phil Simms who threw for 513 yards in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1985.