New York Giants Saquon Barkley
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Giants made big plays when it mattered most and key performances helped them pick up their first home win of the season.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—For the first time this season, the New York Giants gave the fans at MetLife Stadium something to cheer about. They picked up their first home victory of the season, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35.

In the victory, the Giants also reached the 30-point plateau for the second time since the 2015 season finale.

The victory was a total team effort as players on offense, defense, and special teams stepped up when it mattered most to get the victory.

Here are the players that deserved game balls.

Saquon Barkley

Barkley had the best game of his young career against the Buccaneers as he scored a career-high three touchdowns. Barkley carried the ball 27 times for a season-high 142 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also had two receptions for 10 yards and his first reception was a six-yard touchdown grab on the Giants first possession of the game.

After a performance like this, Barkley is well on his way to becoming the Offensive Rookie Of The Year.

Eli Manning

Nobody was under more scrutiny in the first half of the season than Eli Manning. But after back-to-back solid games, Manning critics have to be silent and admit that the 37-year-old quarterback still has enough left in the tank to win games when his line gives him time.

Manning completed 17 out of 18 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. The one incompletion was a pass that Barkley almost caught while running down the left sideline.

Manning and the rest of the offense have been considerably better after the bye week. After the game, he spoke about the momentum of winning two games in a row.

“I think there is some excitement going around. It is good. It is a good feeling to have in the locker room and you see some growth. You see the improvement. You see guys getting familiar with their spots and what they are doing. We never had a lot of screw ups, but it is just guys executing. The execution has been better and we are putting ourselves in better positions most of the time. We are not having the negative plays on first and second down. Still had some sacks on first and second down that hurt us a bit and pushed us back, but overall just executed better and put ourselves in better positions.”

Michael Thomas

Thomas excelled on defense and on special teams on Sunday. With the Giants up 14-7 with 30 seconds remaining in the first half and the Buccaneers on the Giants 30-yard line, he intercepted a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass at the 13-yard line that was intended for O.J. Howard.

He also recovered the Buccaneers onside kick attempt with 2:22 remaining in the game and tossed in five tackles for good measure.

Alec Ogletree

Ogletree had one of the Giants four interceptions on the afternoon, and he made the most of it, returning it 15 yards for the touchdown to give the Giants a 21-7 lead in the third quarter. He also added nine tackles, seven of which were solo tackles.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.