The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got back on track on Monday night, snapping a two-game skid and manhandling the New York Giants en route to a 30-10 victory, the Bucs' fifth home win of the year, maintaining an undefeated record at Raymond James Stadium in 2021.
It wasn't a perfect showing, but it was much improved compared to the Bucs' recent losses to the New Orleans Saints and Washington Football Team. Tampa Bay managed to clean up on penalties and turnovers, for the most part, while its defense had one of its best performances to date this season.
You can find AllBucs' takeaways from the matchup below.
Dominance at home continues
Through five games in Tampa this season, the Buccaneers own a 5-0 record and a point differential of +108. Their 20-point victory over New York on Monday served as the team's fourth 20+ point win at home on the year.
Simply put, good luck pulling off a win, or even a respectable loss, if you step foot in Raymond James Stadium in 2021. Only the Dallas Cowboys have put up an admirable effort, losing by two points in the season-opener.
Obviously, Tampa Bay would like to play similarly on the road, especially down the stretch and into the playoffs if they have to. The Bucs have yet to do so, owning a 2-3 away record this year and a road point differential of -21. However, the Buccaneers' clear comfort in front of a home crowd could be a major factor if Tampa Bay is able to clinch home-field advantage.
Rob Gronkowski was active in return to play
Unlike his previous return to the gridiron, Rob Gronkowski made his presence felt against the Giants on Monday following the recovery from his ribs/back injury. Gronkowski finished tied with Mike Evans for the team lead in receptions with six across eight targets, and was two yards behind Evans with 71, which ranked second among Bucs' pass catchers.
Gronkowski noticeably didn't play as fast as he was at the beginning of the season, and it could take him some time to fully shake off the rust as a route-runner and threat with the ball in his hands. However, he made an impressive grab on a crossing route and continues to bounce off of tacklers like it is nobody's business.
Situational defense gets cleaned up
After a disastrous Week 10 showing vs. Washington, Tampa Bay's defense got back on track against the Giants, particularly within situational football.
In addition to creating three turnovers and limiting the Giants to 10 points, 15 first downs and four yards per play, the Bucs were also nearly perfect with conversion defense, allowing New York to convert just 1-of-9 times on third down and 1-of-3 times on fourth.
Notably, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh produced a 3rd and 2 quarterback hit that led to a throwaway, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. ripped a pass out of receiver Kadarius Toney's hands to prevent a 3rd and 5 conversion, and defensive lineman Anthony Nelson tallied an 11-yard sack on a late-game 3rd and 5, three big conversion-down plays that outside linebackers coach Larry Foote said he hoped to see more often when speaking with media this past week.
The only problem that carried over into Monday night's matchup with the defense was costly penalties, although they didn't make as big of an impact on the result as the Bucs' last two games. An offsides penalty on Jason Pierre-Paul, a pass interference call on Sean Murphy-Bunting, and a PI on Jamel Dean resulted in first downs for the Giants throughout the night, but those drive-extending penalties led to just three points for New York in total.
Ali Marpet added to Bucs' long list of injuries
It seems as though a key Buccaneers contributor gets hurt every week, and Monday night was no different. On the Bucs' second drive of the game, starting left guard Ali Marpet went down with an oblique injury and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Aaron Stinnie filled in at left guard from that point on and played a part in Tampa Bay keeping quarterback Tom Brady's jersey clean for the entirety of the matchup (aside from his sweet third-down scramble for a conversion!). Stinnie has valuable experience filling in for a starter, taking over for three playoff starts earlier this year when right guard Alex Cappa suffered an ankle injury.
Head coach Bruce Arians said in his post-game press conference that he is unaware of the severity of Marpet's injury. However, considering Marpet's swift sidelining for the remainder of the contest on Monday, it's safe to assume that his status will be in question in Week 12 if not longer.
New York needs a new quarterback
To some, it's been obvious a while, perhaps since the day he was drafted. Three years later and it should be obvious for everyone: Daniel Jones is not the quarterback that the New York Giants have been looking for to replace Eli Manning.
He's just not any good.
Jones finished his night having completed 23-of-38 passes for 167 yards (resulting in a miserable 4.4 yards per attempt) with one touchdown and two interceptions. There were overthrows, underthrows, and - simply put - awful decisions made with the ball that contributed to the Giants' seventh loss of the year, perhaps none as bad as Jones' first interception, which was hauled in by defensive lineman Steve McLendon.
Although, in fairness, Jones' second pick was pretty bad too, off of the hands of Devin White on a throw well behind a receiver and into the breadbasket of Mike Edwards.
Jones' 64 turnovers since 2019 (37 games) leads the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. A pace he's kept up throughout this season and last, Jones has appeared in more games this year (10) than he's thrown touchdowns (9).
This upcoming NFL Draft doesn't include a great class of quarterbacks, but the Giants need to do their homework on the prospects anyway because Jones just isn't a franchise signal-caller.
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