Grading the Giants
GalleriesGiants 41, Buccaneers 34 Giants 2012 schedule and results Countdown: Top 10 Giants of all time
How do you have the second-most prolific outpouring of offensive yardage in franchise history and not get an A? By preceding the outburst with three poorly thrown interceptions, a couple of dropped passes and four trips to the red zone -- two of them within the 5 -- that result in four field goals and no touchdowns. Other than that, the Giants were unstoppable. Eli Manning threw for 510 yards, three short of Phil Simms' team record, and Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks totaled 21 catches for 378 yards. Even the running game picked up as Andre Brown provided a spark, replacing injured Ahmad Bradshaw and gaining 71 yards on 13 carries.
The Bucs scored three first-half touchdowns off turnovers that included a pick-6 and drives that began at the Giants' 28 and 13. They didn't score another touchdown until there was 1:58 remaining. Corey Webster was shaky but came up with a key interception and Michael Boley sealed the win with a pick.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B+
Kicker Lawrence Tynes and holder Steve Weatherford seem to be the only guys on the Giants who are happy when they kick short field goals. It means the Giants' offense has failed to punch it in, but Tynes has been converting the field goals, kicking four of them Sunday. With Domenik Hixon sidelined by a concussion, the Giants turned to rookie Reuben Randle to return punts. He was sure-handed and nearly broke one for 46 yards in the second quarter, but it was called back on a penalty.
Considering all of the injuries and replacement parts the Giants had to put on the field for the second half, the coaching staff deserves credit for having the backups ready to play. Tom Coughlin and his staff never lost focus, even when they were trailing 27-13 in the second half. And don't discount the credit Coughlin will get from players for sticking up for them and squaring off with Greg Schiano after that final play.