— New York Giants (@Giants) November 18, 2018
Written by: Glenn Warciski
Two wins in a row! The Giants defeated the turnover prone Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 in front of a jubilant home crowd. In a game in which the Giants led the entire way, it was their first home victory in this 2018 season. (1-4 at home & 2-3 on the road) So dejected Giants fans had something to cheer about with an exciting win. And the last time the Giants won back to back games, December 11th and 18th of 2016.
So what is the common denominator with all of the Giants wins this year? They defeated the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is the Turnover differential. Yesterday, the Giants were a PLUS 4 in this department. All four turnovers were interceptions by 4 different Giants players. Indeed, Tampa Bay quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston were in early Christmas mode. Despite gaining over 500 yards of offense. the Christmas gifts=Interceptions enabled the Giants to win. In fact, this Buccaneers squad is on pace to break the ignominious record of having the worst turnover differential in a single NFL season. Currently, the Bucs are at NEGATIVE 23. The record is NEGATIVE 30 set by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers.
38 points. This is the most points the Giants have scored in a long time. Go back to 2015. The Giants scored 49 points in a loss to the Saints.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley has his best game as a pro. He gained 142 yards rushing and scored THREE touchdowns! And embattled Giants quarterback Eli Manning was near perfect 17 completions out of 18 attempts for 231 yards and TWO touchdowns. Without question, there is a sliver of optimism with the Giants scoring 38 points and Barkley and Manning putting up fantastic statistics. To put this in context, they played a sloppy Tampa Bay team who had FIVE defensive starters not playing and were aided by the FOUR turnovers. Although the Giants won this game, they were outgained in total yards 510 to 359. In addition, the Bucs had 31 first downs and converted 67 percent of their third downs. And the Giants still won. Amazing.
With this win the Giants improve to 3-7 overall, needless to say, they are breaking away from the bottom feeders of the NFL. Raiders, Cardinals, and 49ers are all 2-8. The Bucs fall to 3-7. So in all three Giants wins, they have defeated teams who have a combined record 12-18. The Texans are the only team the Giants beat who currently has a winning record.
Earlier in the season, I was concerned about Saquon Barkley getting too many snaps in his rookie year. I thought the Giants have to pace him throughout this season. Meaning giving him a breather so he can play at high level for the entire 16 games. With 10 games completed in his rookie season, he has not hit the proverbial rookie wall. We will continue to monitor this as the season progresses.