Week 4 vs. New York Giants
Speaking of looking forward to seeing how the Bucs defense competes to start the year, the New York Giants offense is by far the most explosive the Bucs will have to go up against to this point. Adding Brandon Marshall and rookie Evan Ingram to a receiving corps that already had Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard is downright scary. Eli Manning can sleep well at night knowing that he’s throwing to those guys every Sunday. The Bucs improved pass rush is going to have to exploit the Giants weak offensive line in this one.
Not only do the Giants possess a good offense but their defensive unit was top-notch, especially towards the latter portion of the season. Young offensive lineman Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, and company will have their hands full with the Giants front seven. This and the Minnesota Vikings defense the week before are going to be the first two tests to see if Jameis Winston’s offense will live up to all the hype surrounding them. It was clear that the Bucs main goal over the off-season was to give Winston more weapons to work with and they clearly succeeded in doing so. Now it’s all up to them to go out and do it against a top-tier, playoff defense.
Speaking of offense, this will be Doug Martin’s first game back from his three game suspension. The Bucs put a lot of faith in Martin by not signing or drafting a running back early in the draft. It’s all on his shoulders now to come back strong this year as the lead back. Being a 4:05 start against a New York team will mean that a lot of eyes will be on this contest to see if the Bucs are for real.