(As the Bucs prepare to host the Giants this afternoon, our resident Bucs historian from London, Paul Stewart, gives us his top moments in their meetings, as archived on his Bucpower.com site.)
The all-time series with the Giants is now led 13-6 by the team from the Big Apple thanks to their wins in the last four encounters. Although the Bucs and Giants are in different divisions, they twice played each other home and away in a season thanks to the NFL’s original 5th place finish schedule. They also met in the 2007 Wild Card game that the Giants won on their way to winning the Super Bowl that season.
24 November 2003
This was a Monday Night game so full of all the off-field antics and mayhem that happens to an NFL stadium when the iconic series arrives. The Bucs were defending Super Bowl champions so had three appearances in 2003 including an earlier one against the Colts that featured one of the worst losses in franchise history.
The 2003 Bucs were larger than life in so many ways and one of their most outspoken players, Keyshawn Johnson, had finally pushed the coaching staff too far in the week leading up to this game and was suspended for the remainder of the season. The Bucs could not afford to release him because of salary cap issues so for the final six weeks of the year, he was a gameday inactive. Naturally his absence was a major talking point for Al Michaels and John Madden.
On the field, the Bucs did not miss him at all in this win over the Giants. Little-used Charles Lee stepped up and had a 53-yard scoring pass from Brad Johnson as the Bucs jumped out to a 14-3 half-time lead and then sat back to allow their still mighty defense to pummel Giants’ QB Kerry Collins into two interceptions and three sacks.
“These guys have been scrutinized a lot,” said Coach Jon Gruden of his defense. “They did a great job when they needed to.”
6 January 2008
The Buccaneers have not made the post-season in 10 years and this was their last appearance. It was one last hurrah for some of the remaining Super Bowl defense as Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber appeared in an NFL play-off for the last time. And Jon Gruden would only last one more season before departing Tampa for the commentary booth.
Led by Jeff Garcia, the Bucs took an early lead and seemed on their way to earning their pre-game favourite title. But the wild-card Giants came back with 24 unanswered points and began a roll that would end with their stunning upset of the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Jon Gruden (photo post game above) had been critcised for resting many of his starters over the final two weeks of the regular season when the playoff berth was clinched but his players refused to use this as an excuse. “It wasn’t rust; we just didn’t play well,” LB Barrett Ruud said. “The question is always going to be did we get too much rest or should we have played more, but I think Bill Parcells said it best. ‘You’re not right unless you win.'”
16 September 2012
You would think that a team passing for over 510 yards would be the lead story in the NFL. Not when Greg Schiano was the head coach of the Buccaneers. As the Giants moved into victory formation to take a knee and run out the final seconds of the game, Schiano ordered his defense to crash the line and try and force a fumble. It did not work and it led to a storm around the NFL that is remembered to this day.
Giants coach’ Tom Coughlin approached Schiano after the game with his finger pointed, walked away then returned to yell at him for about 15 seconds before shaking his hand. “I don’t think you do that at this level,” Coughlin said. “I don’t think you do that in this league.”
The Bucs led by two touchdowns nearing the end of the fourth quarter and then Eli Manning got going with his aerial attack. The most yards ever allowed by a Tampa Bay defense through the air and only three yards short of Phil Simms’ franchise record.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.