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The Buccaneers are back in primetime since their Week 6 win over the Eagles as they head into their first Monday Night Football matchup of the season with the Giants.

Tampa Bay received a good scare last year on MNF against New York and it's suffice to say Bruce Arians and Co. don't want to go through another scare like that, again. 

If the Bucs want to avoid another scare -as well as a three-game losing streak- then they need to find a way to win the following matchups on Monday night. 

3. OLB Shaquil Barrett vs. RT Nate Solder/LTs Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart

Shaquil Barrett mainly plays on the defensive left, but he's seen a dramatic uptick in snaps on the defensive right since Week 5 due to all of the injuries Jason Pierre-Paul is going through.  

Either way, the Bucs need Barrett to keep producing this week. And he should be able to do just that against a Giants offensive line that has had major issues in pass protection this year. Nate Solder has been awful this year and Matt Peart has not developed in the fashion this coaching staff envisioned/anticipated. 

There's a chance Andrew Thomas could return for this game, but he's coming off knee and ankle injuries, so it's fair to wonder how much he would play and how effective he'll be. Joe Judge said Thursday that he has no issue rotating offensive linemen and he even expects "all three to play".

The Bucs defense sacked Taylor Heinicke five times last week and they have another shot to be productive against the Giants offensive line this week. That all starts with Barrett.

2. WR Mike Evans vs. CB James Bradberry

The Mike Evans-Marshon Lattimore rivalry is well-known, but Evans also hasn't been his usual self against James Bradberry when the two faced off.

These two went at it seven times when Bradberry played in Carolina and as you can see below, the results aren't what we are typically used to seeing when Evans is receiving 10 targets per game:

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Mike Evans' Production When James Bradberry Was On The Field In Carolina

Pro Football Reference

Targets Per GameReceptions Per GameReceiving Yards Per GameYards Per ReceptionReceiving Touchdowns Per Game






Bradberry held Evans to under 100 receiving yards in 6 of 7 contests from 2017-2019. Last year with the Giants, he held Evans to three receptions on 42 yards and a touchdown on four targets while shadowing him for 51.3% of snaps, per Pro Football Focus' Shadow Coverage Matrix. Last year's score was the first touchdown Bradberry has allowed to Evans since 2017. Bradberry didn't play in the first meeting between the Bucs and Panthers in 2016. 

Sure, these numbers can be considered "solid" at at the end of the day, but one can argue that Evans' volume of targets will eventually lead to some kind of production. 

Bradberry has played pretty well so far this year. Per PFF, he's the 10th-highest graded corner among players with at least 324 coverage snaps and he has the third-highest forced incompletion percentage to go along with three interceptions this year. He has allowed five touchdown passes, however, so he is beatable. 

Evans is having a good year, as well, and is probably the healthiest he's been since Arians arrived in 2019. This matchup should be a fun one to watch, as always.

1. G Ali Marpet/LT Donovan Smith vs. DL Leonard Williams

The Ali Marpet-Jonathan Allen matchup was featured in last week's Matchups to Watch and we saw how much that impacted the game. Marpet surprisingly did not play well and it really had an impact on the game. Tom Brady was hit early and often and it had an effect on how he played during the loss to Washington.

Well, the Bucs have to defend another player similar to Allen this week in Leonard Williams. And like Allen, Williams plays mostly on the right side of the defensive line. Giants defensive coordinator usually lines him up as a defensive tackle, but will also put him on the end of the line as a 5-tech, which means Donovan Smith will be called up on to defend him at times, as well.

Per PFF, Williams' 32 total pressures place him seventh among interior defensive linemen with at least 229 pass rush snaps on the year. He already has 5.5 sacks, so he's taking opposing quarterbacks down.

The Bucs have to do a better job of protecting Brady this week and that starts with neutralizing Williams. If they can do that, then they should win this game.

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