It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t convincing. And it wasn’t impressive. But most importantly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it wasn’t a loss.
In years gone by, that Monday Night game against the New York Giants would have been a loss. Over the past decade, when the game has been on the line, more often that not, the Bucs come up short. In fact, over the last few years the Bucs have played much better than last night. But still ended up with a loss.
Watching the Giants in this game was a microcosm of the old Bucs. During long spells they were the better team. Missed opportunities. Baffling decisions by a talented Quarterback. Impressive late game drives, but ultimately coming up short at the end of the day. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That was what the old Bucs specialised in.
Not anymore though. This new Tampa team has something different. There is a steely determination associated with this team which has been missing for the past decade. Finally, there is a winning mentality spreading through this franchise.
Whilst the Tampa Offense struggled to get out of first gear, the Defense took full advantage of two horrible choices by Giants Quarterback, Daniel Jones. Early in the second half, Danny No Dimes missed a wide open Darius Slayton for a walk-in touchdown. And instead threw straight at Bucs Cornerback, Carlton Davis, for a turnover. Then, whilst in field goal range in the 4th quarter, Jones went full Jameis Winston. Rather than throw the ball away or take a sack, he tried to force a throw which again was intercepted.
Even with a struggling Offense, limiting Tom Brady’s possessions is always a good idea. The Bucs took full advantage of their opponents generosity.
Whilst New York can point to a penalty flag which was picked up at the end of the game on the Giants two-point attempt to tie the game, the Big Blue only have themselves to blame. A game which they literally threw away pretty much sums up their season so far.
As for the Bucs, it’s a win on the road which improves their record to 6-2. The last time Tampa were 6-2 was in 2002 when they ended the season hoisting the Lombardi trophy. That season, just like this season, they lost their opening game against the Saints who they welcome this Sunday for a mouth-watering prime-time top of the NFC South clash.
This Tampa team, despite being top of the division, have yet to put four quarters together in a game. Sunday would be the ideal time to rectify that……..
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