When the New York Giants play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there is more to the game than just the Giants trying to avoid falling in an 0-2 hole. There are plenty of story lines to keep tabs on, starting with the fact that twin brothers Michael and Martellus Bennett will be facing off, and will likely go against each other on quite a few plays.
Martellus, whom the Giants acquired in the off-season, caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown as the starting tight end for the Giants. Michael, who plays defensive end for the Bucs, collected a sack in his first game this season. The brothers went to Texas A&M together (true story: I played on an intramural basketball team with Michael, and played quite a few pick up games with the pair at the Student Rec Center).
Though this adds an element to the game on Sunday, which the Giants pretty much have to win if they want to make the playoffs (teams that start 0-2 do not typically make the postseason), Giants fans should be used to brothers facing off with these two teams. Twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber faced off on multiple occasions, and Ronde still plays for the Bucs.
Tiki will be at the game on Sunday, but warns you not to ask who he is rooting for.
If that wasn’t enough to peak your interest, all the former Giants on the Bucs should. It starts with D.J. Ware, who should get an expanded role on Sunday with LeGarrette Blount out with a concussion. Ware is out to show the Giants they shouldn’t have cut him.
“I just want to go out and prove to them that they let me go for no reason.”
Derrick Ward was saying the same things when the Giants played the Bucs in 2009, ask him how that turned out.
Not only that, but former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan is now the defensive coordinator for the Bucs, and former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan is the offensive coordinator for the Bucs. Sullivan is running pretty much the same offense over in Tampa, so both defenses should have insight into the other team’s offense this weekend.
Obviously starting 0-2 is not the end of the world—the Giants started 0-2 in 2007 and went on to win the Super Bowl—but the odds would be against them. They had better take this game seriously and not look ahead to the Carolina Panthers next Thursday Night.