The Tampa Bay Bucs travel north to take on the struggling New York Giants. This is a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions which is part of the reason for the big spread here. We’ll take a closer look at this matchup to see which side has more value in this spot.
Bucs Finding Their Groove in NFC South
Remember when Tom Brady forgot how many downs were left to go in the game against the Chicago Bears where the world was making fun of him? That loss seems like a long time ago considering what we’ve seen from the Bucs since then. First of all, Tom Brady looks like a legit MVP candidate just a few weeks removed from that lost to Chicago. He’s been helped in part by finally having all of his weapons available to him but it’s more than that.
Casual fans forget how much chemistry plays a part in professional sports. It was never going to be easy for Tom Brady to walk away from the Patriots where he spent 20 years and look comfortable right away. Not only is the personnel very different, so is the football philosophy. Tampa head coach Bruce Arians wants downfield passes while Brady has played in an offense that barely throws past the line of scrimmage on most plays. With no training camp or preseason games, the first four weeks of the season served as a sort of pre-season for Brady as he familiarized himself with this team and its overall game plan.
He also had a ton of guys dealing with injury issues. He lost tight end, OJ Howard, for the season, Mike Evans has had some issues staying healthy and Chris Godwin finally came back from his nagging injuries as well. Finally, Rob Gronkowski finally looked like his old self. In the same vein as Brady, it was always going to be rough for Gronk after taking a year off the football to come back and be in game shape. He along with his quarterback look like they are finally back on the same page. The final piece to the Bucs puzzle has been this defense. In some ways, what the defense has managed to do has almost been more impressive than the offense. We expected the offense to make a splash with so many big names, at present, the defense has a bunch of guys making names for themselves as well.
Giants Have Some Serious Questions Moving Forward
The New York football Giants have been bad for a while now and this season is no different. Once they lost their best player who is probably the best running back in the league, Saquon Barkley, many felt like their season was effectively over. That might have been harsh in a past first league but the Giants are so devoid of talent, it was actually a reasonable assumption to make. Now the Giants have a new question to answer; do they move on from Daniel Jones?
That’s a tough one because he isn’t a bad quarterback, he just might not be a franchise one. Jones is one of the more difficult quarterbacks to evaluate because he does look really good for stretches. The problem with him is as soon as you start to believe that he could be the real deal, he does something to remind you that maybe he isn’t. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones is the 15th ranked quarterback in the league which is actually good. Obviously every team wants a top ten QB but considering that he is only in his second year and that in college he did not play for a big time program (Duke football is nowhere close to the same level as the basketball program) he has done really well. When you add the fact that he plays behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, Jones could have a ton more upside if given a chance.
Having said all of that, the Giants should still draft a quarterback. Just ask the Washington Redskins if they regret not drafting another quarterback this offseason so they can see what Dwayne Haskins is about. The reason not drafting another quarterback is illogical is because young QB’s will always have a decent amount of trade value. If the Giants draft another QB and Jones turns out to be the guy, then they have a great insurance policy that they can use as a trade piece. If Jones doesn’t work out, other teams will take a chance on a young guy that’s shown flashes, which Jones has. All in all, the only value this season has left for the Giants is whether or not any of their young guys, starting with Jones will be part of the foundation of this team moving forward.
Tampa Bay Should Cover this Spread Easily
There’s no such thing as a lock in the NFL but we can say with some level of certainty that the Tampa Bay Bucs should be double-digit favorites against this Giants team which they are. Bookmaker has the Bucs as favorites to win the match. While laying double digits on the road is not something anyone should do on a regular basis, it’s hard to take points with the Giants considering what we’ve seen from both teams this season.
The Bucs score for fun while there is nothing about the way the Giants play that can be described as fun If you are a Giants fan, it’s not all bad news as the Bucs have some injury concerns heading into this game. Defensive back Carlton Davis might be out after leaving the game against Oakland on Sunday with a chest injury. It also appears that Chris Godwin could miss this game with a broken finger. The Bucs will still win this game but if you like the Giants, then maybe wait until later this week as the money seems to continue to come in on Tampa which means a better price will be available closer to game time. If you like the Bucs, the time to get on them is now.