Gear up for a tight one, as the New York Giants opened as slight 1.0-point favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week 11 matchup at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM ET on November 18th.
Despite coming off a three-point effort in Week 10 (16-3 L vs Washington), the Buccaneers are still averaging an impressive 25.8 PPG (12th). They would be even better if they’d just stop committing so many turnovers. Tampa Bay has committed 25 turnovers this season (32nd), which includes four last week against the Redskins.
Errant Ryan Fitzpatrick passes have produced an intolerable nine of those giveaways, even though he’s only started a little over half their games. Minimizing the turnovers needs to be the main focus for Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers over the remainder of the year.
Tampa Bay is going to need every bit of offense they can manage on Sunday, as their defense has been pitiful this year. The Buccaneers are surrendering 32.3 points per game, which is the most in the league. Their defense is getting lit up through the air, allowing a disgraceful 291.9 passing yards per game (29th).
Fortunately, Tampa Bay’s defense avoids any sort of offensive powerhouse this week, when they take the field against the Giants. New York is scoring just 19.7 points per game (26th).
When you have as much difficulty pounding the rock as the Giants have this season, you make the defense’s job a lot easier. Thanks to an impotent offensive line that’s generating almost no holes for Saquon Barkley, the opposition has been able to focus on Eli Manning and the passing attack .
New York ranks 31st in rushing, averaging a measly 80.0 rushing yards per game. Barkley has at least been a bit of a bright spot in the unproductive backfield, totaling 586 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 131 carries, good for a very admirable 4.5 yards per carry. When he’s gotten even an iota of daylight, he’s been able to break off huge chunk plays. Giving Barkley more touches should be atop the Giants’ list of priorities this week, as trying to have Manning shoulder the entire offensive load clearly isn’t working.
Defensively, the Giants are a pretty average group. They allow 25.3 PPG, ranking 20th in the league. They’ve been weak against the run, giving up 122.6 yards per game on the ground (25th). They’ve at least been average defending the pass, though, surrendering 244.7 passing yards per game (18th).
Tampa Bay narrowly defeated New York, 25-23, the last time these two teams met on October 1st, 2017. The Buccaneers were 2.5-point favorites in that game.