Tom Brady and the 5-2 Buccaneers travel to MetLife Stadium to take on Daniel Jones and the 1-6 Giants for Monday Night Football.  

Week 8 Prime Time Picks: Buccaneers (-12.5) vs Giants (+510) O/U 45.5 – All lines via DraftKings

Prime Time Picks: 9-5

Tom Brady Heating Up

After a slow start to the season against the Saints, Tom Brady has steadily improved each week.  In his last four games, Brady has 12 TD’s and just one interception, with that one pick coming one month ago against the Chargers, a game in which the also threw 5 TD’s.  Brady is becoming more and more comfortable in his first season with the Buccaneers offense, and he is spreading the wealth among his receivers.  Brady is leading a Buccaneers offense that is 2nd in the league in points per game with 31.7, and he is throwing for 266 yards per game, good for 8th in the league.  

Spreading the Wealth

Brady has been masterful at spreading the ball to all of his offensive weapons.  Last week in the Bucs 45-20 road win against the Raiders, Brady completed passes to 9 different players.  On the season, the Buccaneers have four players with 20+ catches: Chris Godwin (25), Mike Evans (25), Scott Miller (22), Rob Gronkowski (22).  The running backs for Tampa Bay also serve as pass-catching weapons, as Ronald Jones has 18 catches, Leonard Fournette has 13, and LeSean McCoy has 10.  That is a lot of firepower for the Giants to try to slow down tonight.  The Giants passing defense has been below average, as they rank 21st with 251.3 yards per game allowed.  

Tampa Bay’s Strong Defense

The Buccaneers defense has been very good so far this season.  They are allowing 20.3 points per game, good for 7th in the league.  Tampa Bay gets to the QB, as they have 88 pressures on the year, and are second in the league with 25 sacks.  Their rushing defense has been especially good.  The Bucs are best in the league in rushing yards per game (66), and yards per carry (3.0).  With no Saquon Barkley, it may be tough sledding for the Giants on the ground tonight.  Their leading rusher?  Daniel Jones.  Yupp, that’s right.  Daniel Jones is leading the Giants in rushing.  Going up against such a strong rushing defense, Jones is going to have to make big plays through the air, which the Bucs are also good at defending.  They are giving up an opposing QB rating of 84.3, which is 6th in the league.  Any way you slice it, the Bucs have the defensive advantage over the Giants offense.

Daniel Jones Struggling

Daniel Jones has thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5) this season, and has a rating of just 73.7. He is completing just 61.9% of his passes, and has failed to gain 200 yards though the air in 4 of the 7 games this season. On the bright side, he is leading the team in rushing with 42.3 yards per game, and 9.5 YPC. He can’t do it all by himself though, especially against a defense as good as Tampa’s. He may have a long night ahead of him.

Monday Night Splits

In his career, Tom Brady has played on Monday Night Football 24 times.  He is 17-7 with 49 TD’s, 22 interceptions, and a rating of 95.8.  For the youngster Daniel Jones, in his short career, he has played on MNF twice, going 0-2 with 3 TD’s, 3 interceptions, and a rating of 76.7.  Jones has yet to win a prime time game, as in all prime times, Jones is 0-4 with 6 TD’s and 7 interceptions.  This will be the Buccaneers first Monday Night game since 2018 where they lost to the Steelers at home 30-27.  On the other hand, this will be the Giants’ second Monday Night appearance this season.  They lost 26-16 to the Steelers in Week 1.  Since 2010, the Giants are 6-11 on MNF.  

PREDICTION

The Buccaneers are going to win this game.  It’s just going to be a matter of by how much.  On paper, the Bucs have the advantage in just about every statistical category.  They also come in off two straight wins—one at home against the Packers 38-10, and one on the road against the Raiders 45-20.  The Giants are just 1-6 on the season, with their lone win coming to division rival Washington 20-19.  The only thing that I think could potentially throw the Buccaneers off is focus.  This will be their third road game in four weeks, and they have a huge game next week against the Saints.  They could be looking ahead a bit.  The Giants have had a few extra days to prepare, as they last played on Thursday of last week.  I don’t think it will make that much of a difference in the outcome, but it’s something to keep in mind.  That being said, I like the Buccaneers to cover here.  I just can’t find any motivation to back the Giants in this one. The last time the Bucs were in prime time, they did not look their best and lost to the Bears by one on a Thursday night.  I don’t think Brady will allow a repeat of that letdown to happen.  They will also want to put on a strong showing to tune-up before next week’s showdown with the Saints.  I think the Bucs win relatively big, and cover the 12.5 point spread.

Buccaneers -12.5

@stadium_times

Title Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

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