W2W4: Giants vs. Buccaneers
September, 14, 2012
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
It feels like a month since the Giants dropped their season opener to Dallas in disappointing fashion. The champs have had plenty of time to stew. Time to redeem themselves against Tampa Bay at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Here's your What To Watch For on Sunday:
Hip Hop Hooray: Justin Tuck had said prior to the season opener that the Giants' pass rush always enjoyed playing Dallas and it often was "almost in a way kind of a 'Hip Hop Hooray' party for us."
That was before Tony Romo crashed the party. On Sunday, the Giants' pass rush has to get its Naughty (by) Nature going again against Tampa Bay or the championship defense will be in serious trouble. The Giants must get to Josh Freeman. Tuck said it was "alarming" that neither he, Jason Pierre-Paul nor Osi Umenyiora got a sack against Dallas. The Giants need a strong performance from their pass-rushing trio.
Hot corner: Whether it is Prince Amukamara or Michael Coe, the Giants need better play at corner opposite Corey Webster. Webster has to play better than he did in the season opener, for that matter.
Amukamara hopes to return from a high ankle sprain and make his season debut Sunday. Coe has been battling a hamstring injury but says he is good to go. No matter who it is, the corners have to give the defensive line time to rush Freeman.
G.W.A.: Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have T-shirts that show the Giants receivers under the letters "G.W.A." -– Giants With Attitude.
Last week against Dallas, though, the Giants receivers were almost M.I.A. Cruz and Nicks were shut out of the end zone and Cruz dropped three passes. It’s been a tough week for Cruz, who lost his grandmother on Monday. He credits Lucy Molina with helping to raise him and teaching him how to salsa. He hopes to score on Sunday and have an emotional salsa touchdown celebration.
Nicks is still playing through some pain lingering from offseason foot surgery, but he hopes to move closer to his old form this weekend. Both Nicks and Cruz have to be the playmakers that they are for Eli Manning.
Push it: Tom Coughlin wants to see his offensive line get better push up front to jump start the running game.
The Giants rushed for 82 yards against Dallas, but 33 of those yards came on one Ahmad Bradshaw run. Rushing against Tampa Bay could be difficult since Greg Schiano's defense held Carolina to 10 yards of net rushing last Sunday.
Rookie David Wilson hopes to get a shot at redemption after fumbling last week.
Must win? After dropping the season opener, the Giants cannot afford to start 0-2. With the toughest schedule in the NFL, one that is downright brutal in the second half, the Giants have to take care of business and win as many home games as possible.
Tampa Bay may be 1-0 but it is still rebuilding. The Giants pretty much have to win this one, with a quick turnaround before Thursday night's game against Carolina. Michael Vick and the Eagles await after that.