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Monday Night Football Preview: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

MNF Preview: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here’s a preview of Monday night’s matchup between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, courtesy of STAT Stack:


Line: Bucs -11, Total: 50


What if I Told You…

Before the season, if we’d told you that Daniel Jones would have fewer turnovers than Tom Brady when these teams met in Week 11, you’d have thought we were crazy. But that’s exactly where we are at this point in the season; Jones has turned the ball over eight times (five interceptions, three lost fumbles), one fewer than Brady’s nine (seven INTs, two fumbles lost).

Brady and the Bucs’ offense has struggled over the past two games – losses to the Saints and Washington Football Team – in large part because of Brady’s ball security…or lack thereof. Over the past two games alone, Brady has five turnovers, more than doubling his prior season total. The season started with turnover issues for the Tampa QB, but they didn’t hurt the team.

Brady committed three giveaways in the team’s first two games, both wins, before having only one over the next five games (4-1 record). A big reason why is that the defense stepped up; opponents scored three total points on Brady’s first four turnovers of the season. Over this two-game stretch, the team has been hurt in the loss column because they’ve been hurt on the scoreboard; each one of Brady’s last five turnovers has led to points for the opponent, totaling 26 over the two games. Fortunately for the Bucs, they haven’t been hurt in the standings.

The Saints lost their third straight game on Sunday and regardless of the outcome on Monday Night Football, Tampa will retain first place in the NFC South. In fact, over the past two games for each, NFC South teams are a combined 1-7, with the Panthers securing the only victory last Sunday against the Kyler Murray-less Cardinals.


Daniel Jones Loves Road Trips & Brady Hates Staying Up Late

For his career, Jones has been far better against the spread on the road (11-6 ATS) than he has at home (6-11 ATS), and the Giants are 12-3 ATS in their past 15 road games including 3-1 this season. New York is also on a three-game ATS win streak, regardless of venue, and all three of those games have gone under the total. In fact, 12 of New York’s last 16 games have cashed on the Under.

The Bucs, meanwhile, have been very strong at home – they’re 4-0 straight-up and 3-1 ATS at home while going 0-5 ATS on the road. Dating back to last season, Tampa has covered seven of its last eight home games. According to his 2017 book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, Brady says that his usual bedtime is 9pm. Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t covered the spread in any of his last 11 primetime starts, dating back to his time with the Patriots. While Brady lost two Super Bowls to the Giants, he is 5-1 vs. New York in the regular season, averaging 293 passing YPG with 8 TD and 4 INT.

Speaking of primetime games, Jones has been much maligned for never winning a primetime game in his career (0-7). However, he doesn’t usually get blown out on national TV – the Giants have covered four straight games that started after 8 pm ET, with three of those coming on the road, including a cover last year in Tampa on Monday Night Football (Giants lost 25-23 but were 13-point underdogs against Brady’s Bucs). In his two career games vs. Tampa, Jones has thrown for 592 yards and four touchdowns, but also has four turnovers (2 INT, 2 lost fumbles) and has been sacked eight times.

The bets and money are fairly even in this matchup, with Tampa Bay garnering 56% of the tickets and the Giants attracting 52% of the handle, according to Action Network. As far as the total, 62% of bettors are thinking a high-scoring game will go over, but the money is heavy on the under at 68%.


The Rarity of Back-to-Back, Multiple-Pick Games for Brady

Tom Brady has thrown two interceptions in each of his last two games, something he has done only seven times in his entire career (355 games), including playoff games. Only once has Brady thrown multiple interceptions in three straight games and that occurred in his second season starting for the Patriots back in 2002 (Weeks 4-6). In his last five games coming off back-to-back multiple INT outings, Brady’s teams are 5-0 and he’s thrown one interception combined in those five games. He had back-to-back, multi-pick games last year against the Rams and Chiefs – following those games, the Bucs would win their next eight straight en route to their Super Bowl victory.

To find the last time that Tom Brady turned the ball over five times in a two-game stretch you have to go back 15 years – Weeks 10 & 11 in 2006. If the Bucs were to lose this game to New York, it would be Brady’s first three-game losing skid since 2002. It would be easy to blame Brady’s struggles on his offensive line, and according to ESPN Analytics, they’ve been essentially middle-of-the-pack.

Their pass-block win rate (percentage of time an OL holds his block for 2.5+ seconds) of 58% is tied for 16th in the NFL. Their run-block win rate is 70%, again near the middle of the league, ranking tied for 14th. This matchup provides an excellent bounce-back spot for Brady and the Bucs, as the Giants have the league’s worst pass rush at a 29% pass-rush win rate (PRWR). Though, Tampa did struggle against New Orleans which ranks 30th with a 34% PRWR.

As much as the spotlight will be on Brady and the offense, the Giants offensive line might be the key to this game. New York’s O-line has a PBWR of 51%, which is tied for fourth-worst in the NFL. This week the G-Men face a Tampa Bay defensive line that is tied for fifth-best in PRWR at 47%. The key for New York will be staying competitive so that it can run the football. While the offensive line struggles in pass protection, the team is better when run blocking, tied with Tampa Bay at 70% RBWR. Plus, the Bucs defense is much weaker against the run than the pass, with just a 30% run-stop win rate (tied for 17th).

After starting the season by holding opponents under 80 rushing yards in each of their first five games, the last four have each gone for 90+. The Giants are coming off a 149-yard rushing performance in a win over Las Vegas and have reached 100+ yards on the ground in two of their past three games, winning both of those contests. It looks like they could get star running back Saquon Barkley back for this game, which couldn’t have come at a better time. Barkley rushed for 142 yards as a rookie vs. the Bucs at home but was held to just 10 yards on eight carries in his first trip to Tampa Bay in 2019.