Wide Right Podcast 41 Giants Cowboys Immediate Reaction
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Despite the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers going in two different directions, there are plenty of intriguing matchups to watch.

Jason Leach

Playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is becoming an annual matchup for the New York Giants. This is the fourth consecutive season these teams have played each other, and they’ll also play next season when the Giants play the NFC South.

The previous three meetings were decided by a total of six points with the Giants winning the last two games in the series. But Monday’s game isn’t expected to be close as the Bucs are a two-touchdown favorite.

Despite the apparent mismatch, there were will be several matchups and players to keep an eye on.

Will JPP and the Bucs front seven destroy the Giants’ offensive line?

Former New York Giant Jason Pierre-Paul made his intentions for Monday night known — he intends to destroy his former team. Considering the Giants will be without left guard Will Hernandez who tested positive for COVID-19, the offensive line is in for a long night. As it stands now, rookie Shane Lemieux is expected to start in place of Hernandez, but his first start will be a daunting one.

In addition to JPP, the Buccaneers have arguably the best defensive front seven that consists of Shaquil Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Devin White, and Lavonte David. Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles loves to blitz, and if the offensive line is overwhelmed, it will be a long night for Big Blue and in particular Daniel Jones.

Will the Giants be able to get to Tom Brady?

Since the Giants last played the Eagles on Oct. 22, they traded arguably their most efficient pass rusher in Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals. No franchise knows better than the Giants, that the best way to beat a Brady led team, is to pressure him.

The question is do the Giants have enough talent in the front seven to generate a pass rush against a Buccaneers offensive line that’s allowed just eight sacks all season? Kyler Fackrell and Leonard Williams will play pivotal roles if the Giants are going to be able to generate a pass rush.

Can Evan Engram have a bounce-back game?

Engram has struggled mightily this season and the game against the Eagles was the low point. He had a pass bounce off his hand that resulted in an interception, and he dropped what would have been a game-clinching pass late in the fourth quarter.

Engram has been the subject of trade rumors and if he has another performance like he did against the Eagles, the Giants may decide to part ways with their 26-year old tight end. If the Giants are going to have any hopes of making this game competitive, Engram has to play better both as a pass-catcher and blocker. 

Who will cover Scotty Miller?

While Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans may get most of the headlines coming into this matchup, it’s Scotty Miller that could cause Big Blue the most problems. Oftentimes Miller lines up in the slot which is an area that the Giants have struggled with all season.

Miller leads the Buccaneers in receiving yards with 365, and last week against the Raiders he had six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. Brady will look to him often on Monday with Chris Godwin out, so it will be imperative that the Giants find a way to shut down Miller. Whether it’s the Giants playing zone or putting Logan Ryan on him, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will have his hands full trying to stop the Brady to Miller connection.

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