If anyone needs halftime right now it’s Eli Manning. The Giants quarterback was picked off three times in the first half with the last one a huge momentum killer. Eric Wright returned the Manning interception for a touchdown to make it 24-13 Tampa Bay and send the Giants into the locker room to a chorus of boos from their fans at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants might want to consider themselves fortunate the score does not reflect a bigger difference. Thanks to a big drive late in the second quarter, the Giants were able to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 17-14. A drive consisting of big completions from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz help setup a 23-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. However, Manning’s 3rd pick stopped any momemtum the Giants had as Wright turned it into a pick-6. What should be a 1-point lead at halftime for Tampa Bay at worst is not an 11-point lead.
It was literally a painful first half for the Giants against Tampa Bay. They suffered losses to RT David Diehl (knee), and WR Domenik Hixon (concussion). RB Ahmad Bradshaw watched the majority of the second quarter from the sidelines with an apparent neck injury and according to the Giants will not return for the second half.
Victor Cruz looked locked in from the start … caught first two passes for 16 yards and 20 yards respectively. He caught just about everything thrown his way in the first half. 9 catches, 94 yards.
The Giants running game has struggled to get going this season and with Bradshaw sidelined in the first half today, they have received a much needed boost from Andre Brown. Brown ran for 39 yards on 4 carries. Rookie David Wilson still has yet to make the impact head coach Tom Couglin might be looking for from him. Wilson dropped a key pass in the red zone on the Giants opening drive.
Tampa Bay went right after CoreyWebster and the injury ravaged secondary., connecting deep to Vincent Jackson. Jackson was beat on one on one coverage, however didn’t get much help from safety Antrelle Rolle on the play either. Two plays on opening drive for 51 yards.
Eli Manning may want that 1st and goal back on the Giants second offensive series of the game. He haa Bradshaw wide open in end zone and instead threw it to Will Beatty who then proceeded to have the ball hit him in the hands and fall to to the ground for a dropped pass. The pass wasn’t exactly thrown well either. Beatty was wide open and tackle-eligible on the play as well, however if you see Bradshaw that open then you have to go to the high percentage play there.
Bennett drops a 3rd and goal pass in the End Zone. Leads to the Giants settling for a FG.
Tampa Bay picking on Giants secondary as expected. Quarterback Josh Freemen was able to hit Vincent Jackson for TD pass. Michael Coe was beat on the play.
Jason Pierre-Paul recorded his 1st sack of the year, a big one to force Tampa into a 3rd and long they were unable to convert.
Eli Manning will need to play much better than he did in the first half. 21 of Tampa Bay’s 24 points were setup by Manning’s three interceptions.
Important to keep in mind as well that Tampa Bay’s coaching staff is extremely familar with the Giants and how they gameplan. Their offensive and defensive coordinators are both former members of the Giants coaching staff.