Three keys to victory for the Giants on Sunday against the Buccaneers:
1. Hold the line. Former Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said he plans on "bringing the house down" in his return to MetLife Stadium. After being traded to the Buccaneers in March, Pierre-Paul, who is seventh on the Giants' all-time sacks list, is on pace for 14 this season, which would be his highest total since recording 16.5 in the 2011 championship season. The offensive line can't let him – or any other Tampa Bay pass rusher for that matter – get there. The Giants used yet another combination up front in Monday's victory over San Francisco with newcomer Jamon Brown taking over at right guard. Eli Manning was sacked just once after being taken down 31 times in the eight games before the bye week. He had enough time to throw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 53 seconds remaining. The Giants also found some balance in the run game with Saquon Barkley having a career-high 20 carries.
"Yeah, I thought the offensive line did a great job, and I thought we did a good job mixing up different protections and different drops," Manning said. "Try to get the ball out on time and get it to our playmakers. I thought our concepts were concepts that our guys knew really well, and can get open in a timely fashion."
On the other side, defensive coordinator James Bettcher said generating pressure is one of two things the defense focused on coming back from San Francisco. The Giants have just 10 sacks in nine games, the second-fewest in the NFL.
"We've got to win some more one-on-ones," Bettcher said. "We've got to beat the back when we get on the back in protection. If we get a free runner, we've got to time up our pressures a little bit better. We had a couple of those this past week when our timing just wasn't good enough. We were a little late in the pressures and we've got to clean that up."
A look at the playmakers for the Buccaneers as the Giants prep for Week 11.
2. Get off the field on third down. The other area Bettcher circled for his defense was third down after the 49ers went 8-for-13 on their conversion attempts. "That's calls and execution," he said. "I've got to call a little better; we've got to execute a little better." Tampa Bay, which will start Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback in place of former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston for the seventh time this season, enters Week 11 as the No. 1 offense in total yards (452.8) and passing (361.2). The Buccaneers are fourth in both third down percentage (47.6 percent) and plays of 20 yards or more (47).
"These guys have been working really hard, and they haven't flinched one bit," Bettcher said of his defense. "I said that last time we visited about this group of guys and having the chance to coach them, is no matter good, bad, indifferent, these guys have been running to it. They've taken the criticism, they've taken the coaching, and they've taken ownership of their play to heart."
3. Taketh away. Turnovers tend to come in bunches, and after linebacker B.J. Goodson recorded his first two career interceptions last week, the Giants face a Buccaneers team that has turned the ball over a league-high 25 times (19 interceptions, six fumbles lost). Big Blue is still tied for 22th with just nine takeaways this season, but defenders like Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins will be licking their chops come Sunday. That doesn't mean they should take ill-advised chances to get the turnovers.
"You take what you know," Collins said. "I wouldn't say chances, but different route concepts that you know that they're [going to] run and know you can get a key in on, yeah, you take your chance then. Other than just keep taking chances, no. You get beat then."