Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Giants

November 3rd, 2020

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We’re on to New Orleans.

That should have been the mantra for Bruce Arians after Monday night’s forgettable performance at the Meadowlands.

The only positive the Bucs can take out of that slop is they managed to walk out with a win on the road, remaining atop the NFC South. They played better in the second half — in large part because the opening 30 minutes were absolutely unacceptable.

It’s not a stretch to suggest some of Tampa Bay’s minds were already on the Saints, despite all the pleadings from the coaching staff to take the Giants seriously. Those pleas fell on deaf ear holes as New York rolled up 15 first downs in the first half.

The Giants were well prepared for Todd Bowles and his exotic blitzes and a slapdash offensive line opened up big holes for Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris, two journeymen who will never be confused with Derrick Henry.

“They hit us in the mouth in the first half,” acknowledged Lavonte David.

The Bucs looked wobbly, but they never went down. Perhaps a better opponent would have put them away, but the Giants are 1-7 for a reason. Tom Brady likes to say that if you’re not on your game, you’re in trouble against any NFL team.

The difference is this Buc team has the talent and fortitude to overcome a lethargic effort. The Bucs will have to play a better game against the Saints Sunday night — and they will.

Here’s how the Bucs forged their first 6-2 getaway since the 2002 championship season:

* Brady completed 70 percent of his pass attempts, but he wasn’t particularly sharp, especially in the opening half. Coming off a brilliant game in Las Vegas, he misfired on some easy throws to his backs and appeared jittery at times. Still, when it counted, he got the job done.

* The Buc fans I sat with at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Clearwater couldn’t believe how Tampa Bay was pushed around at the start. Those of you watching at home had to be similarly stunned as the NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense showed little of its trademark physicality. On the other side, Daniel Jones had too much time to consider his options until Bowles made critical second-half adjustments.

* It was a mixed bag for the secondary. Carlton Davis played a strong game, posting his fourth pick of the season and coming close to grabbing a few more. Antoine Winfield Jr. came up with the big 2-point stop at the end with a well-timed breakup, but Jamel Dean won’t like the tape. Dean tied for the team lead with seven tackles, but he was shaky in coverage. Only some inaccurate downfield throws by Jones saved Dean from a brutal evening.

* Ryan Succop makes his kicks. That is all.

* Ndamukong Suh struggled a bit against the run, but he provided some big-time pressure up the middle with a sack and five of Tampa Bay’s 10 quarterback hits. By the end of the night, Jones was feeling No. 93 on every drop back.

* Ronald Jones has worked hard to improve as a receiver out of the backfield. Keep working, RJ … you ain’t there.

* On some key downs, Jones was allowed to escape the pocket and showcase his mobility. That’s not supposed to happen and it almost cost the Bucs a game. Let Jones try and beat you from the pocket, let Drew Brees try and scramble. That’s defense 101.

* Give the Giants their due. They are playing hard for Joe Judge, while still learning how to close out games. Despite the wide disparity in talent, New York was one completion away from forcing overtime.

* Chris Godwin was sorely missed as a prime-time target. His precise route running and strong hands make him a dependable option, particularly on third down, where the Bucs were only 4-for-12.

* The Bucs are in strong shape at the halfway mark. They pace the NFC in point differential at plus-82 and five of their final eight games are at home, where they are 3-0. If Tampa Bay can cover those swing passes to Alvin Kamara, not an easy task, the Bucs should take charge of a division they haven’t won since Devin White was in grade school.

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26 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Giants”

  1. Coburn Says:

    Yeah that last part with Kamara scares the heck outta me. Haven’t done well defending backs in the passing game

  2. Bucamania Says:

    The front 7 got manhandled by the Giants last night. Didn’t see that coming. Definitely missed VV that game. On offense, Godwin’s absence was noticeable. Brady was a little off but the Bucs WRs were not getting much separation. Overall, an uninspiring effort on MNF. Lucky to get out of there with a win but they’re 6-2. On to the Saints.

  3. james west Says:

    hogs wallering in slop, won’t get the job done with the dirty taints, or the playoffs if they make it there

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    please start edwards…whitehead gets beat by every TE in the league….

    game plan wont be vanilla vs the saints….

    lets go win the division….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There were some spectacular individual plays last night but as a team we were inconsistent.
    JPP’s tackle……Devin White’s Sack…..SMB’s pick……Antwon’s coverage on the 2 pointer. Mike’s TD reception….

    Isn’t it nice to have a consistent kicking game.

  6. SlyPirate Says:

    Coaches were overconfident. They took the week off.

    Good to learn lessons and still get wins. You’re not good enough to relax against any team.

  7. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Think playing big prime time games in empty stadiums really has the players not as fired up as they normally would be esp for the away teams

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    The Bucs never play well in prime time for some reason.

  9. DBS Says:

    There is 1 play that sums up How bad they played. 4th and 17 for christ sake. The defense lets them pick it up. Looked just like the same defense we saw last year in this game.

  10. Anthony Says:

    Do you think Suh is playing his way into forcing another 1-year deal? I thought he was a for sure cap casualty in 2021 but now I’m not sure.

  11. Joe Says:

    Do you think Suh is playing his way into forcing another 1-year deal? I thought he was a for sure cap casualty in 2021 but now I’m not sure.

    Cap is expected to drop big time. Lot of tough decisions on who to cut will be happening in February. Wouldn’t lay cash Suh is back. Not saying he won’t be but not looking good presently.

  12. Buxzszntkt Says:

    I’ve had concerns about Dean and SMB in coverage. Yes they are aggressive and may pick off some balls, but defending passes doesn’t seem to be their forte quite yet. I hope the giants haven’t exposed this weakness. Clearly they identified Dean as the coverage to pick on this week and it was working.
    Not sure I buy the thinking about the Saints game. These are pros with a lot of great savvy vets in the room. The fourth down completions with wide open receivers surrounded by three defenders allowing large wide open throwing lanes, WTF ?
    Scary going forward ! We need to look out for mobile quarterbacks !

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    bucs are the only team that has exposed weakness against the bucs…lol…those are TOs(saints game) and penalties(bears game)….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  14. BradyBucs Says:


    Bucs need to really go “all in” trade for a Vet Corner today before the 4PM deadline.

  15. Easy Says:

    Our corners better be playing press coverage against the Saints Sunday night. Brees cant push the ball down field anymore.

  16. Elita Vita Says:

    “Ryan Succop made his kicks, that is all”.

    Considering the last many place kickers the Buccaneers have had I would restate that as:

    “Ryan Succop made his kicks, and that is a lot”.

  17. roster Says:

    Rojo bailed TB12 out on 2 of his catches, including the fumbled one. Ih he didn’t try and get and get more yards no one would be complaining.

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I love Devin White, was and am even more thrilled that we drafted him #5.

    But I thought he typified the entire team last night. He obviously made some real splash plays….he IS a playmaker. He got burnt on the TD but not for poor coverage…I thought he recovered well but it was a GREAT throw…a GREAT catch…their side can make some plays as well. If D White learns to read the receiver better once he’s lost the ball…like Winfield on the 2 point stop he might have been able to get an arm up and hope for a deflection.

    I saw more plays however where White was in far worse position than on the TD. He seemed to lack that critical edge and sharp focus. I thought that of the entire team including Brady and his guys. Perhaps New Orleans? Perhaps an off night against a team not really as horrid as the record seems?

  19. TheMechanik Says:

    I hate when fans don’t give the other team credit. The Giants played a good game. If not for a QB who made terrible decisions and missed wide open receivers, the Giants would’ve won. Btw, Daniel Jones is a Jamies Winston clone…

    On any given Sunday(or Thursday or Monday), you can lose. There are NO easy games in the NFL. The Giants are paid professionals as well, with some pride and the coaches had a good game plan. The Bucs aren’t going to beat everyone by 20 points…

    Good teams find a way to win. Bad teams find a way to lose. For as long as I can remember, the Bucs found a way to win…

    Go Bucs!

  20. Dapostman Says:

    Kangol should have never went for 2. That was a stupid decision. There was still too much time on the clock with a lot of game left. He got bailed out because that 2 pt try by the Giants wouldn’t have even mattered if old Kangol would have made the right decision.

    Kick the PAT unless you need to go for 2.

    Biggest play of the game? Giants 2 point try.
    Next biggest play of the game? Bucs 2 point try.

  21. Sumosam Says:

    Now we are seeing how important Vita Vea is to our defense. It’s going to be tough moving forward against the run.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Magnificent writeup Ira, one of your best (and they’re all good). For some reason, the Bucs as a team just weren’t ‘on’ last night. Playing to empty stadiums is undoubtedly a bummer, but every team is facing the same thing AND the Bucs have looked much better in several past games playing to empty stadiums. I’m sure that it’s hard to maintain a high intensity level for a full 16-game season, but champions manage to do that, wannabees don’t.

    I particularly liked your point about “Give the Giants their due”. Despite the apparent disparity in talent, they played an inspired game & had their opportunities to win. Kudos to Daniel Jones for his competitiveness, although he reminded me of Jameis twice too often.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Dapostman … Agree with you 100% about the extra points. It was much too early to be thinking that way. Todd Bowles is a true maestro with the defense (most of the time), but still not happy with what I’m seeing out of our offense. Good thing this offense has The GOAT at QB; Brady’s play is holding it together, but the play-design & play-calling isn’t doing a thing to help him IMO. We might be able to get away with that in the regular season, but it’ll be the kiss of death if we get into the playoffs … unless it improves considerably.

  24. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    The Giants played well. They will be just fine, … next year!

    Again, I note that no one has mentioned Barrett’s two QB pressures that led to the two picks that kept us in the game.

    Go Bucs! Just Win!

  25. MCHammet Says:


    All this playoff talk has me wondering if Vita Vea could become available later on the the post season. I know he’s out for the rest of the regular season, but if we make a post season run would the NFL let the guy come off of IR if we survive until late January. 4 months seems like enough time for a broken leg to heal.

  26. Joe Says:


    Everything Joe has read is “season-ending.” Didn’t specify regular-season-ending, just “season-ending.”