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#1 2019-05-20 07:32:35

Always Here
Registered: 2010-10-12
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Crazy as it may sound,

EAST RUTHERFORD 2019 Mike Edwards Jersey , N.J. (AP) — Crazy as it may sound, the New York Giants are starting to believe they have a chance to make a run at the playoffs.It's amazing what a couple of wins can do for a team after a 1-7 start.Saquon Barkley ran for a career-high 142 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Giants held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 on Sunday to win consecutive games for the first time since December 2016."I think there is some excitement going around," said Eli Manning , who hit 17 of 18 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. "It is good. It is a good feeling to have in the locker room and you see some growth. You see the improvement."What the Giants (3-7) are doing is making plays and finishing. The running game has picked up and it's opened up the passing game, and the defense is forcing turnovers. The group intercepted four passes in sending the Bucs (3-7) to their fourth straight loss with linebacker Alec Ogletree returning one 15 yards for a touchdown."I just know that we're playing better and I just love to see these guys in here after the game with smiles on their faces," said receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. "We just put it all together, so it's always a lot more fun when you win."Playing in the NFC East also helps increase the belief the Giants are not dead.Washington, which fell to Houston and lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season to a broken leg, leads the division with a 6-4 record. No other team has a winning record."We've got a long way to go, there are a lot of things we've got to get better at, but if we can just keep battling and fighting, who knows?" coach Pat Shurmur said. "That would be a fun thing for everybody to write about."The Giants never trailed as Manning found a wide-open Barkley on a 6-yard TD pass on the opening series, and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft scored from 5 yards out on the second possession to give New York the lead for good."We're finishing games and we're finishing drives, and that's what we weren't doing in the first half of the season," Barkley said of his first winning streak as a pro.Tampa Bay made things interesting after Jameis Winston replaced a turnover-plagued Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter and led four touchdown drives. The last score came on a 41-yard pass to Mike Evans with 2:22 to play and got the Bucs within 38-35.The Bucs got the ball back at their 20 with 23 seconds to play, but B.W. Webb intercepted Winston's long throw down the sideline to ice the win.After Tampa Bay got within 31-28, Manning, whose only incompletion came on a short pass to Barkley late in the second quarter DaQuan Jones Jersey , connected with tight end Evan Engram on a 54-yard pass and run on the second play after the kickoff, and Barkley capped the drive with a 2-yard run with 3:52 to play.The Winston-to-Evans TD pass closed the gap to three points again."It hurts me when I have to see my team lose a game because I turned the ball over," Winston said. "And I'm sure it hurts Fitz. And I'm sure it hurts anyone that has a hand in what they believe led the other team to winning. That's our main focus. We have to find a way to win."Fitzpatrick scored on a fourth-down 1-yard run for the Tampa Bay, which squandered a chance to score on its opening possession when Fitzpatrick was stopped on a quarterback sneak inside the Giants' 5.Evans recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter to start the comeback, Peyton Barber tallied from 5 yards out and Adam Humphrie s and Evans caught TD passes in the fourth quarter to get the Bucs within three points twice.Winston finished 12 of 16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Barber rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries. Evans had six catches for 120 yards. Fitzpatrick was 13 of 21 for 167 and the three interceptions.INJURIESBuccaneers TE O.J. Howard left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Giants DL Kerry Wynn left the game in the second half with a concussion.WELCOME SACKJason Pierre-Paul, the Giants' 2010 first-round draft pick, returned to face his old team for the first time since being traded in the spring. He had 1½ of the Bucs' four sacks. He helped Manning up after the first sack."I just said to him: 'Get up, stop falling,' but no, I was just helping him up because that used to be my old teammate and I'm not trying to hurt him, I'm just trying to play football and have good sportsmanship," Pierre-Paul said.Kareem Martin had the Giants' first and only sack in the last three games.UP NEXTBuccaneers: Host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.Giants: Travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Sunday. BOOM! Fire the cannons!The Bucs beat their arch rival in the Carolina Panthers this past Sunday and man, was it sweet. Not only did they win, but they led for the entire game after building a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Tampa Bay made enough plays for the remainder of the game to finish with a 24-17 victory. Not only did it snap a three-game losing streak, but it was one of Jameis Winston's best performances against a team that usually gets the best of him. That will surely help in this week's grades, won't it?OffenseLet's go ahead and talk about Winston. Coming into this last week, Winston was 2-4 against Carolina. His stats during those six games reflect the poor record. He completed an average of 62% of his passes for 268 yards, but held a TD:INT mark of 5/9. The Bucs gave up an average of three sacks per game and were outscored by an average of 24-17. How ironic is that they won 24-17?But anyway, Winston had another turnover-free game and made great decisions with the ball for the second week in a row. He was great from the pocket once again Lee Roy Selmon Jersey , taking sacks when needed and running any chance he had. It's evident that he is using his legs more this year and it's been more than effective. To put it into full context, he only carried the ball 33 times last season. This year, he already has 36 carries through just five and a half games. This does nothing but help as the season goes on. It will force defenses to hesitate on sending extra blitzers and it will keep Winston from making those deadly mistakes he has been known for over his career. Outside of the offensive line, who gave up four sacks on the day, the rest of the offense played pretty well. Adam Humphries recorded his fifth touchdown in as many games and the team finished just five yards shy of another 100-yard performance. They went 6/13 on third down and were 66% in goal-to-go situations. There were still issues with penalties (9/69) and the Bucs finished with only 18 first downs. After scoring on four of their first seven possessions, they punted the ball away four times in the fourth quarter. And there was also the Peyton Barber "fumble", but everyone with a set of eyes knows that was a BS call. Overall Grade: 2.75 (C+)DefenseHot damn. Now that was Tampa Bay football. Four turnovers. Four sacks. A huge fourth down stop in the fourth quarter. Is this 2002?In all seriousness, while the defense did give up a ton of yards (444), they also made a ton of impact plays that changed the outcome of this game. Christian McCaffrey ran wild, but that was to be expected. That's not an excuse, that's just reality. But considering how many players this team had out due to injury, it's quite remarkable how effective the unit was against Cam Newton and co. The Bucs were down Vernon Hargreaves, Brent Grimes, Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, and Chris Conte in the secondary coming into the game before Justin Evans reaggravated his toe injury and had to leave the game. Andrew Adams and Javien Elliott - a free agent and a practice squad player earlier in the season - picked Newton off a combined four times between the two. Mike Minter came in with a big sack on the first drive of the game. He was signed just three weeks ago. Tampa Bay held Carolina to just 3/8 on third down and as aforementioned, stopped them on a crucial 4th-and-9 late in the fourth quarter. The team still had trouble with big plays, allowing five plays of 20+ yards. They also disappeared in the third quarter, giving up 10 points and 148 yards on 19 plays. Considering what they were up against Ronald Jones Jersey , it was a remarkable effort and one that should be treated as such. Final Grade: 3.5 (B+)Special TeamsI used to dread giving out this grade. Now, it's one of my favorite topics to write about. It only took the latter part of the decade, but Tampa Bay has finally found a kicker. Cairo Santos was perfect again, knocking down all of his extra points and the lone field goal attempt. He still had some trouble getting the ball into the end zone on kickoffs (3/5), but the Bucs' unit covered the two returns well, allowing an average of 17.5 yards per return. Anger finished with a net of 40 yards on six punts. In all, it was another good day for the unit. Final Grade: 4.0 (A) CoachingThis was easily defensive coordinator Mark Duffner's best game of the season. The fact that the Bucs were able to come up with so many plays using so few players was remarkable and he deserves every bit of credit he can get. The offense, while it could've done more, did enough. A lot of what they were or weren't able to do had to with injuries as well. But overall, Todd Monken and Dirk Koetter had a very effective game plan, taking advantage of the Panthers in the short-to-intermediate game.It's also encouraging to see the players still playing despite what this season has been so far. The staff deserves some praise for that. Final Grade: 3.5 (B+) Overall Grade: 3.43 (B+)Considering the circumstances, it would be very fair to call this the biggest win of the season. A bad record, a plethora of injuries, turmoil, and a quarterback carousel is a deadly combination in the NFL. Teams can - and usually - mail it in after going through all of that for this long in a season. But that wasn't the case Sunday and now the Bucs still have life in the playoff race. Overall Grade For The Season: 2.15 (C)


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