- The Giants are still searching for their first win of the season after falling to the Bucs on a last-second field goal. Here's what we learned.
Three takeaways from the Buccaneers' 25–23 win over the Giants on Sunday:
1. The Giants came into this game struggling mightily against opposing tight ends. Jason Witten, Eric Ebron and Zach Ertz combined to snag 20 balls for 156 yards and three touchdowns against them in their first three games. On Sunday, it was the Buccaneers’ turn to wreak havoc. Cameron Brate had two of the biggest catches of the game—a 14-yard touchdown to give the Bucs a 22–17 lead with 7:44 left and a 26-yard snag over Landon Collins to set up Nick Folk’s game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired. First-round rookie tight end O.J. Howard was left wide open on a busted coverage and scampered for a 58-yard score in the first half. Brate and Howard combined to finish with 143 yards and two touchdowns on six catches, as the Giants’ linebackers and secondary remain clueless on how to defend this position.
2. The Giants may have found a solution at least to their rushing attack woes. And no, I’m not talking about Eli Manning, who actually scored the team’s first rushing touchdown this season on a 14-yard run. New York decided to activate Wayne Gallman for the game, and the rookie tailback made an impact when Paul Perkins came out with a ribs injury. Gallman ran for 42 yards on 11 carries, and added two grabs and his first career touchdown through the air. The Clemson product showed nice burst off the edge and good patience, and was strong in pass protection—look at this beautiful block below on Eli Manning’s go-ahead touchdown toss to Rhett Ellison. Gallman has a chance to establish himself as a three-down back in New York given the rest of the backfield’s struggles.
3. The Buccaneers thought they had escaped their kicking troubles after cutting second-round bust Roberto Aguayo this preseason. Nick Folk did nothing on Sunday to quell the fears in Tampa whenever a kicker lines up to boot one. He missed three kicks—two field goals and one extra point—whereas the most single-game unsuccessful attempts from Aguayo last season was two. Folk’s game-winning kick barely snuck through the uprights, or else his rough game would have been a full-blown disaster. Folk did beat Aguayo in a preseason position battle, but the veteran shouldn’t feel safe anymore after his erratic play.