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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At New York Giants

Buccaneers
Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Super Bowl XLVI
Quarterback
Josh Freeman got off to a solid and surprising start with the Bucs, as they defeated the Panthers on the road in the season opener. Freeman didn’t light up the scoreboard, but he completed 16-of-24 passes and did not throw an interception.
Winner Eli Manning is one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the league. While the Giants are not at a critical point in the season, they don’t want to start off by losing back-to-back games at home and Manning won’t let that happen.
Offense
The Bucs have a lot of work to do on offense, but they should have a decent running game with Doug Martin (95 yards) and LaGarette Blount. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson opens things up for the offense but the Bucs know he will see double coverage on a regular basis.
Winner The Giants have Victor Cruz to torment the Tampa Bay secondary along with Hakeem Nicks. The Giants running game did not assert itself in Week One, but Tom Coughlin wants to establish his running game and this would be a good chance to do it.
Defense
This was once the calling card of the Bucs, but it slipped dramatically last year. Head coach Greg Schiano is trying to bring back aggressive play and the Bucs held the Panthers in check. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a beast in the middle of the defensive line.
Winner The Giants have the best pass rush in football and they will establish Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck right from the start. The Giants secondary could be quite vulnerable after a poor showing against Dallas.
Special Teams
Winner Michael Koenen has a good leg and averaged 46.0 yards per punt against the Panthers, but the Bucs are very ordinary in special teams play.
Winner The Giants pride themselves on their special teams coverage and that unit was solid against the Cowboys in the opener. Steve Weatherford has one of the strongest legs in the league and averaged 50.2 yards in the first game of the season.

The Winner Is

Super Bowl XLVI
Winner Giants
4 out of 4

The Giants should not have much of a problem in this game, even if Greg Schiano has the Bucs playing much harder and more effectively this season. The Giants will be motivated to have a much better showing after losing their opener against the Cowboys and the Bucs will likely pay the price.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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