TAMPA, Fla. -- In the end, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left too many points off the board.
The Bucs' inability to score touchdowns instead of kick field goals contributed to a 32-18 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. They reached or moved inside the Giants' 10-yard line three times in the first half, but they came away with just nine points to show for it.
The Bucs will wonder what could have been in what was a winnable game. A matchup that seemed to have shootout potential didn't unfold that way. Jameis Winston threw for 249 yards and Eli Manning had 213. Still, both defenses did enough to place their respective offenses in a position to win.
The Giants did a bit more to escape with a victory.
What it means: The Bucs (3-5) missed an opportunity to win consecutive games for the first time this season. New York entered with the NFL's worst passing defense, allowing 315.4 yards per game, and Winston played well -- but drops and missed opportunities in the red zone led to Tampa Bay's loss.
What were they thinking? There weren't many glaring decisions, but perhaps coach Lovie Smith could have gambled and gone for a touchdown late in the first half. The Bucs faced a fourth-and-goal at the Giants' 3-yard line with less than a minute left in the second quarter. Instead, Tampa Bay settled for another field goal and trailed 17-9 at halftime.
One reason to get excited: Winston played another disciplined game from the pocket. His numbers would have been better if not for some costly drops by Mike Evans and Doug Martin. This was Winston's fourth consecutive game without an interception.
One reason to panic: There were too many missed opportunities on offense in the first half. That can't happen. Tampa Bay could have had 21 points by halftime but settled for nine.
Fantasy watch: Martin entered with at least 106 yards rushing in three of his previous four games, but the Giants held him to 31 yards on 11 carries. He was contained from the start, bottled up for 9 yards on five carries in the first half.