After a 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel North to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in Week 2.
For another perspective on this Week 2 matchup, we sat down with Giants101.com beat writer Simon Garron-Caine and discussed the following:
Buccaneers 101: Both of Tampa Bay's coordinators – Mike Sullivan on offense, Bill Sheridan on defense – are former coaches under Tom Couglin in New York. How much impact do you see those two having on this game?
Garron-Caine: Most Giants fans would probably tell you that they can only hope Bill Sheridan has a large impact on the game, as the general recollection of Sheridan's career around Giants 101 mostly revolves around his long year as defensive coordinator. Inheriting Steve Spagnuolo's unit, just a year removed from the super bowl, Sheridan's defense was…well…let's just say it didn't go well.
While some of what Tampa does should be familiar considering Mike Sullivan coached under for Kevin Gilbride for a few years, we wonder if Sullivan's impact will be felt more on the other side of the ball. As Gilbride's former wide receivers and quarterbacks coach, he knows even better than Sheridan what the Giants try to do offensively. We'd bet Sullivan made a cameo or two in defensive meetings this week.
Buccaneers 101: Both of the Giants start wide receivers are coming of subpar performances in that Week One loss to the Cowboys. Which one is likely to have a big game against the Buccaneers and why?
Garron-Caine: The Giants receivers struggled last week, part of a much bigger struggle by the entire offensive unit. Victor Cruz managed six catches for 68 yards but did his part to stall the offense with three drops, all in key situations. As for Nicks, he came back last week after missing most of the preseason with a broken bone in his foot and was a quiet contribution. And because of that foot, which Nicks admits still causes him a fair deal of pain, we expect his struggles are more likely to linger as he plays through pain.
Cruz, on the other hand, is a good bet to bounce back. A few drops aren't going to cause Cruz to stop being an integral part of the Giants offense. After all, Eli Manning looked his way 11 times last week and that's not likely to change. More likely to change: Cruz' case of the dropsies.
Buccaneers 101: The New York Giants win if…
Garron-Caine: The Giants win if the defense bounces back from a horrendous fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. The fourth quarter was a comedy of errors for a normally proud Big Blue defense last week: zero pressure on the quarterback, breakdowns in coverage and an ugly inability to contain Dallas running back Demarco Murray. If Doug Martin can replicate Murray's late-game success and the Giants don't do a better job covering Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, this week might look a lot like last week for Big Blue.
If the defense can get their big boy pants out of storage, we'd like to think Eli Manning, Nicks, Cruz and Ahmad Bradshaw can muster up enough points to win. Although, that wasn't exactly the case last week either.
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