It looked like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were about to the do improbable and knock off the defending Super Bowl Champs on the road in Week 2. But the Bucs couldn't hang onto their 14-point second half lead and lost to the New York Giants 41-34 on Sunday.
Even though the Bucs couldn't hang out for the win, Buccaneers101.com is here to recognize some of the top performers from the game.
Offensive MVP: WR Vincent Jackson
Now that's more like it. After using Vincent Jackson pretty conservative;y last week against the Panthers, the Bucs open up the playbook a bit and took some deep shots with Jackson. On the Bucs' opening possession, Jackson hauled in 41-yard pass after beating his coverage. Later, Jackson caught his first TD pass as a Buc when he grabbed a 29-yarder from Freeman early in the second quarter. Jackson played very well and didn't have the dropped passes that plagued him last week. He finished with five receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Honorable Mention: RB Doug Martin
It wasn't a great game for Doug Martin, who only averaged 3.3 yards per carry, but he was effective at times and did score his first NFL touchdown against the Giants. In the second quarter, Martin took a handoff, spun at the line of scrimmage when no hole opened up, and raced left to the end zone for an 8-yard score. His lack of involvement in the passing game was surprising, but Martin did finish with 66 rushing yards and one touchdown. He would have had more yards if Tampa Bay didn't foolishly abandon the run in the second half.
Defensive MVP: LB Mason Foster
The Bucs may have given up over 600 yards of offense to the Giants, but don't blame middle linebacker Mason Foster. The second-year man played possibly his best game as a pro and was a beast in the middle for Tampa Bay. He got his first interception of the season early in the game after picking off a Manning pass in the middle of the field. That turnover led to an offensive touchdown for Tampa Bay. Foster was also around the ball often and had a team-leading 13 tackles on Sunday.
Honorable Mention: CB Eric Wright
Yes, the Bucs' secondary was dreadful. But things weren't so bad early on in the game when Eric Wright was still in the game. Wright left the game early in the second half with an injury and didn't return. But before he left, Wright limited Victor Cruz to a lot of underneath stuff and got a pick-six right before halftime. Wright was in the slot on the play and read Manning's eyes before taking the interception 60 yards for a touchdown. He also had three tackles as well.
Special Teams MVP: K Connor Barth
Connor Barth extended his franchise-record field goal streak to 21 on Sunday against the Giants. Barth nailed both of his field goal attempts right through the middle of the uprights, including a 52-yarder in the third quarter. Barth was also converted all four extra points tries and continues to be as dependable as ever for the Bucs.
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