The Buccaneers will look to quiet the Giants attack on Sunday in Tampa Bay, as well as try and make some plays on offense to be able to move on the the divisional round the following weekend vs either the Cowboys or Packers. Below are five keys for the Bucs as they look to top the Giants Sunday:
1. Stop the Giants Power Running Game – When New York runs, they love to use Brandon Jacobs to pound the ball inside behind their big men up front, led by guards Rich Seubert and Chris Snee. Tampa Bay needs a strong inside push from their D-line and then sound tackling by their linebackers to not allow Jacobs to punish them all day.
2. Get Inside Eli Manning’s Head – The Tampa Bay cover 2 may not be as good as it was back years ago, but it can still reek havoc on QB’s, and if you can shake Eli’s confidence, you can force some mistakes. Last week vs the Pats Manning looked poised and confident in the pocket, but once he threw that pick late in the game, you knew it was in his head. An early turnover could be key here.
3. Change it Up in the Running Game – Earnest Graham is a better inside the tackles runner, which is not easy to do vs the Giants. If his ankle is okay, they may want to use more Michael Pittman, who is more better at turning the corner and can cross up the Giants defense. Then late they can use Graham to wear down the Giants interior defense.
4. Make the Giants Put a Safety in the Box – By running the ball with some success early, the Bucs can do what Jeff Garcia does best – play action, which if New York commits a safety into the box they can burn them down the middle. To do this though they have to be patient with the run and even if it doesn’t pay off early, stay with it and not panic.
5. Take Some Shots with Joey Galloway – This is a must given how well Garcia and Galloway have connected this season going deep. Galloway has had a great season, and has used his underestimated speed to get behind coverage and make plays. Get that running game going, and BAM – take a shot or two deep with Galloway in man-to-man coverage, which is what Tampa will try and force the Giants into.