TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- Another game, another disappointing last-second loss for the New York Giants. Yes, they’re still winless, one of four teams that remain without a win after playing a quarter of the season.
The Giants lost 25-23 on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were dropped passes, shanked punts, blown coverages and another demoralizing ending.
At first glance, without the benefit of film review, here were the weekly Up/Downs:
RB Wayne Gallman -- He injected some life into the Giants offense. Gallman had 18 yards rushing and a four-yard receiving touchdown during a key third-quarter drive. That was his coming out party. He also had a quality blitz pickup early in the game and ran hard. What Gallman showed is an ability to make yards after contact. The Giants came into Sunday last in the league in that category. That likely earned Gallman more opportunities going forward.
LB Devon Kennard -- The starting strongside linebacker had a solid game. He was able to both set the edge and make plays in the backfield. Kennard only had three tackles, but one was for a loss and he was able to get pressure on several plays as a pass rusher. Kennard had one of the Giants’ four quarterback hits.
QB Eli Manning -- His numbers weren’t overly impressive. Manning finished 30-of-49 passing for 288 yards (5.9 yards per attempt) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. But he again wasn’t helped by drops. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall combined for four dropped passes. Manning even navigated the pocket better than usual and had a 14-yard rushing touchdown. It was by far his best game of the season.
Honorable Mention: RT Justin Pugh, G D.J. Fluker, CB Janoris Jenkins
WR Brandon Marshall -- He had six catches on 10 targets with two drops. Even when the veteran made a grab, it seemed to come with a bobble. Marshall has admittedly not played well this season. He made a tough catch late, but this still wasn’t what the Giants were hoping for when they signed him this offseason.
DC Steve Spagnuolo -- It seemed everything the Giants defensive coordinator called on Sunday didn’t work. He lost the chess match with Tampa’s Dirk Koetter badly. The Giants were able to pressure quarterback Jameis Winston on one of just 15 dropbacks in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Spagnuolo also came with blitzes from his secondary all afternoon, with minimal success. Winston was 8-of-10 passing with two touchdowns against defensive back blitzes as the Giants defense crumbled late for the second straight week. This one was in part on Spagnuolo.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul -- The Giants needed Pierre-Paul to be a consistent, disruptive force with Olivier Vernon struggling with an ankle injury that eventually knocked him out of the game. Pierre-Paul shared a sack with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but that was his only quarterback hit. He didn’t appear to be in the backfield often enough or dominate the way the Giants needed.
Dishonorable Mention: P Brad Wing, RB Paul Perkins, S Landon Collins, LB B.J. Goodson