Updated October 30, 2020  at 9:47 AM CT

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants

When: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, November 2, 2020

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

TV: ESPN (8:15 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter) 

RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Ron Jaworksi

SIRIUS: 81 (TB), 83 (NYG) | XM: 226 (TB), 225 (NYG), 88 (National)

     Tom Brady apparently has found the Fountain of Youth in Florida. The six-time Super Bowl winner is thriving in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the quarterback leads his club into a Monday night game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.

There were thoughts that the 43-year-old Brady might not have much life left in his throwing arm after departing the New England Patriots following 20 seasons. Instead, he is on a superb roll with 15 touchdowns passes against just one interception over the past five games, with Tampa Bay (5-2) going 4-1 in that stretch.

Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, who played nine seasons with Brady in New England, expected the strong performance.

“It’s not a surprise,” Gronkowski said of Brady. “I’ve been seeing firsthand with my eyes his work ethic and how he takes care of himself. I see it happen, and it’s just unbelievable.”

Overall this year, Brady has thrown for 1,910 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Brady had three TD passes and three interceptions over Tampa Bay’s first two games before the hot streak began. He tossed three touchdown passes against the Denver Broncos and followed up with five against the Los Angeles Chargers.

After having three total touchdown passes in the ensuing two games, he erupted with four last Sunday in a 45-20 road victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. He also matched his season best of 369 passing yards.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Brady just needed time to get used to the offense as well as the philosophies of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Tampa Bay ranks third in the NFL in scoring at 31.7 points per game, but Brady, true to form, prefers to deflect the credit.

“Football is the ultimate team sport,” Brady said. “From a quarterback’s standpoint, so much is trust and confidence in the receiver position, the tight end position and the line is doing an incredible job of blocking. My job is to throw it to the guys that are open and they’ve got to make the plays, and I think when you see great production, it’s really a reflection of the entire offensive unit.”

Joe Judge is no stranger to Brady, but excuse the Giants’ first-year head coach if he is highly nervous over meeting up with his long-time friend.

Judge, who spent the past eight seasons on the New England staff, said it would be different being on the opposing sideline from Brady.

“I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for him,” said Judge, who is 4 1/2 years younger than Brady. “He was a ton of fun to be around. You really got to see one of the great competitors on a daily basis of not only how he performed, but more importantly how he prepared.

“I think that’s some of the things that get overlooked. It’s not accidental this guy’s playing this late in his timeline of being 40-plus years old and still playing at this high level.”

The Giants (1-6) rank 14th in scoring defense (24.9 points allowed per game) and have held three opponents under 20 points. However, they also were torched by the Dallas Cowboys for 37 points and the San Francisco 49ers for 36.

New York sustained a 22-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 22 when it blew an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead.

This week has been chaotic for the club. First came the fallout from a bar incident in which quarterback Daniel Jones and injured running back Saquon Barkley were among a group of players who weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Then Thursday, starting left guard Will Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Giants said they instructed eight players -- several were other offensive linemen, according to reports -- and assistant coaches Bret Bielema and Jerome Henderson to remain at home.

The chaos just makes things more difficult for a team that is tied for the second-worst record in the NFL.

“We have to keep improving and keep pushing it forward,” Jones said. “Keep progressing as a team. I think that has to be our mindset. It’s the only way we are going to get better. I’m confident we have the guys to do it. We just have to stay at it.”

Wayne Gallman likely will be the primary running back after Devonta Freeman injured an ankle against the Eagles. Freeman sat out practice Thursday.

Tampa Bay receiver Chris Godwin will miss the game after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left index finger earlier this week.

The Giants have won seven of their past eight meetings with the Buccaneers, including a playoff win in January 2008.


• QB TOM BRADY passed for 369 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 127 rating & had 24th-career rush TD last week. Has 94 career games with 300+ pass yards, 2nd-most in NFL history. Aims for his 5th in row vs. NYG with 325+ pass yards. Has 12 TDs (10 pass, 2 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 103.1 rating in 4 road starts this season.

• RB RONALD JONES had rush TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Had 121 scrimmage yards (80 rush, 41 rec.) in last meeting. Ranks 4th in NFL with 506 rush yards this season. RB LEONARD FOURNETTE had 6 receptions & 97 scrimmage yards (50 rush, 47. rec.) last week.

• WR MIKE EVANS had 8 receptions for 190 yards & 3 TDs in last meeting. Has 120+ rec. yards in 3 of his 4 career games vs. NYG. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with TD catch & 5th in row vs. NYG with 5+ receptions. Has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR SCOTTY MILLER set career highs with 6 receptions for 109 yards & had 3rd-career rec. TD. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with 5+ catches, 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD.

• LB LAVONTE DAVID aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with 8+ tackles. LB DEVIN WHITE had 11 tackles, career-high 3 sacks & 4th-career FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 10+ tackles & sack. LB SHAQUIL BARRETT had career-high 4 sacks & 2 FFs in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with sack. Rookie S ANTOINE WINFIELD had 1st-career INT last week. CB CARLTON DAVIS aims for his 3rd in row on road with PD. Is 1 of 2 DBs (JAMES BRADBERRY) with 11+ PDs (11) & 3+ INTs (3) in 2020.


• QB DANIEL JONES passed for 2 TDs vs. INT for 91.9 rating & rushed for career-high 92 yards last week. Is 1 of 3 NFC QBs (KYLER MURRAY & RUSSELL WILSON) with 500+ rush yards (575) since 2019. Passed for 336 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 112.7 rating & rushed for 2 TDs in last meeting, his 1st-career start.

• RB WAYNE GALLMAN had 1st rush TD of season last week, his 4th career rush TD. RB DEVONTA FREEMAN has 679 scrimmage yards (84.9 per game) & rush TD in 8 career games vs. TB. Aims for his 3rd in row on MNF with 190+ scrmmage yards & TD.

• WR STERLING SHEPARD had 6 catches for team-high 59 yards & rec. TD last week, his 1st TD catch of season. Has 7 catches for 100 yards & TD in last meeting. WR DARIUS SLAYTON has 3 rec. TDs in 3 home games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row on MNF with 5+ catches, 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs. WR GOLDEN TATE had 1st TD catch of season last week. Had 85 rec. yards & TD catch in his last game vs. TB (12/10/17 w/ Det.). TE EVAN ENGRAM had 6 catches in Week 7. Has 6 catches for 113 yards & TD in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. TB with 60+ rec. yards.

• LB BLAKE MARTINEZ ranks 2nd with 73 tackles this season. LB MARKUS GOLDEN had sack in Week 7. Had 2 sacks in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with sack. DL DEXTER LAWRENCE had sack last week. Had sack in last meeting. CB JAMES BRADBERRY aims for his 3rd in row with INT. Had 11 tackles, 4 PD & 2 INTs in his last game vs. TB (10/13/19 w/ Car.). DB LOGAN RYAN had sack, INT & FF in his last game vs. TB (10/27/19 w/ Ten.). S JABRILL PEPPERS had 2nd-career sack in Week 7.



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

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