The Tampa Bay Buccaneers eye their second straight win as they face the Giants and Daniel Jones in his NFL debut in Week 3.
For the majority of the past decade, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants have been at or near the bottom of their respective divisions, the NFC South and NFC East. However, both teams are in interesting transition periods in the 2019 season, which makes their Week 3 matchup all the more intriguing.
While fans are left to wonder how far the Buccaneers’s ship will sail under new head coach Bruce Arians, the Giants will give rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who New York was heavily criticized for taking with the sixth overall pick, his first career start.
Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will look to make life for the rookie hard as Tampa Bay also looks to secure their second straight win of the 2019 season. With that in mind, let’s get into five bold predictions for the Bucs Sunday’s matchup.
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5. Evans finally arrives in 2019 season
Despite the emergence of wide receiver Chris Godwin, who has lived up to all the hype thus far, fans can’t help but ask: where is Mike Evans? The Buccaneers No. 1 wide receiver since entering the NFL in 2014, Evans has gotten off to a notably slow start. In his first two games, Evans has combined for just 89 yards and zero touchdowns. Evans simply has not looked like himself through two weeks, be it because of stomach illness or simply not hauling in his targets.
However, if there is a game for Evans to return to his former self, it’s against these Giants. New York’s secondary has given up five touchdowns to opposing wide receiver through two weeks, meaning that Evans is primed for by far his best game yet in 2019.
4. Barrett will continue his strong play
Shaquil Barrett had a strong showing in Week 2 against the Panthers, giving Cam Newton no room to work, sacking him three times. Barrett has also accounted for all four of the Buccaneers’ sacks in 2019. Despite facing a Giants offensive line that has performed relatively well, allowing only two sacks in two games, Barrett has the ability to win and get to Jones.
3. Jameis gets more involved in offense
Last week, against the Panthers, Jameis Winston seemed almost hesitant to throw the ball so to avoid interceptions. However, seeing how vulnerable the Giants’ secondary has been over the past two weeks, it makes sense for Winston to take more shots down the field. By Arians’ design, that’s what the quarterback will do, looking for big plays from Evans, Godwin and the other pass-catchers.
2. No turnovers in Week 3
Winston not turning over the ball? It seems almost unheard of. The Giants defense has yet to force a turnover through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, though. And if Winston is as conservative as he was in Week 2 — even if he takes a few more calculated shots down the field — that streak could very well continue.
1. Defense spoils Danny Dimes’ debut
Daniel Jones is prepared to take over for Eli Manning in New York. Unfortunately for Giants fans, the Buccaneers defense will be there to spoil the party. Arguably last year’s worst defensive unit in the league, things have suddenly been looking up for Tampa under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Over the past two weeks, the team has displayed an ability to get to the quarterback (albeit with largely just Barrett and no one else) and make plays (one Interception, one touchdown and two fumble recoveries). Although Jones showed promise in the preseason, this will not be the case in his professional debut.