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Giants Offense Nearing Full Strength Ahead of Critical Game vs. Bucs

The Giants offense is getting healthier at just the right time as New York looks to push for a postseason berth starting Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Twenty-seven points. Twenty-one first downs. Four hundred eighty-five yards, 8.1 yards per play. And 402 net yards passing.

Those are the kind of numbers the New York Giants offense has been capable of producing this season, having done so in a stunning Week 4 upset of the new Orleans Saints. And those numbers have come when the Giants offense has been close to full strength.

"Yeah, certainly that was a game where we were most healthy, and our guys played really well in a tough environment against a good team," said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Those are also the kind of numbers the Giants are likely going to need Monday night when they visit the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, losers of their last two games by a combined 65-46.

With the Giants fresh off their bye--only wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quad) has been declared out of the game due to injury--the notion of the Giants getting the better of Tom Brady and the Bucs' third-ranked offensive (406.4 yards/game) isn't as crazy as it sounds.

“When we had all of us at almost full strength, I feel like we played pretty well, but it’s any given Sunday,” said receiver Kenny Golladay, who in that game against the Saints had his best showing thus far as a Giant, catching six balls for 116 yards. “We’ve just got to keep going out there each game and producing."

The Giants will be squaring off against an increasingly angry Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that needs to right its own ship in defense of its world championship title on Monday. But don't expect the Giants to lay down and be the perfect guests when they visit Raymond James Stadium.

The Giants have been on the rise of late. They averaged 19 points per game in their first six games, going 1-5 over that span while missing playmakers such as Golladay, Barkley, and rookie Kadarius Toney and going through seemingly a new offensive line combination every week.

In their last three games before their Week 10 bye, the Giants have averaged 21.6 points per game, going 2-1 over that span. Over that period, they've stabilized the offensive line personnel, and they've gradually added back the lost firepower they were missing earlier in the year.

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No one is probably happier about the Giants offense being closer to full strength than Garrett, whose play-calling has come under fire.

"It’s fun to get them all back and hopefully we’ll get more and more healthy as a group as we go forward," he said this week. "I think when we do, I think those combinations of guys give us a good chance to have some success on offense."

As a potential bonus, the Giants could be getting back left tackle Andrew Thomas from injured reserve.

Thomas went through the week of practice after his21-day window to return from IR was opened, and Judge expressed some cautious optimism about having Thomas back.

"Football starts upfront," said Garrett. "We’ve had some guys, different combinations of guys playing and it’s our job to try to create an environment where they can have some success."

Having more stability on offense should work wonders for quarterback Daniel Jones. Outside of an abysmal showing against the Rams, Jones has thrown eight touchdowns and two interceptions in seven starts and has had a quarterback rating of 90 or better in those games despite being short-handed most of the way.

"I would say our focus right now as an offense is continuing to improve,” said head coach Joe Judge. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement over the last month and we’ve got to keep on that track right now going forward.”


 

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