Gameday Tampa BaySeptember 16th, 2012
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
TV: Locally, WTVT-TV Channel 13, DirecTV Channel 707.
Radio: Buccaneers Radio Network (in Tampa WFUS-FM, 103.5 and WDAE-AM, 620); SiriusXM Channel 135.
Weather: Per AccuWeather.com, good football weather. The Bucs and Giants will play under sunny skies with a kickoff temperature expected to be 70. The temperature will gradually climb to 73 with mild breezes.
Odds: Per Sportsbook.com, Bucs +7.
Outlook: If Joe comes across here as a bit arrogant, let Joe apologize up front.
Joe always reads and hears Bucs fans talk about how either national media types (insert the dreaded four-letter acronym here) don’t give the Bucs any attention or that the Bucs are — gasp! — not respected.
Well, you want the Bucs to get attention? You want the Bucs to get respect? It’s quite simple: go into the living room of the defending Super Bowl champions located in the media capital of the western hemisphere and you punch them in the mouth.
The ultimate signature game for the Bucs and first-year coach Greg Schiano could come this afternoon when the Bucs face the defending world champs, the New York Giants.
Talk about rocking the NFL if this happens… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This isn’t the stinking Panthers here (who, by the way, the Bucs coughed up 303 yards in the air against). We’re talking the Giants, Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ahmad Bradshaw.
Beating the Panthers is one thing. Stopping the Giants in their house, after a season-opening loss is quite another.
The Bucs are dinged up on the right side of the offensive line. Obviously, Davin Joseph is gone and Jeremy Trueblood is hobbled with a bum ankle. So now you are possibly looking at Ted Larsen and Demar Dotson going up against the best defensive line in the NFL?
Grab a hold of your beers (or better yet, Rachel Watson).
Joe firmly believes this will come down to Josh Freeman vs. Eli Manning. The Giants’ rush attack does not scare Joe and the Giants soft spot is their secondary. If Freeman can somehow avoid Justin Tuck, et al, and complete some deep passes, Joe’s thinks the Bucs have a shot. The Bucs matching the Giants’ defensive line pressure with their own against a less-than-mobile Manning will be critical.