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Jan 5, 2008 

N.Y. Linemen Hold The Key To Beating The Bucs


Forget that the Buccaneers took the last game and a half off and finished 9-7 to get healthy. Tampa is the weakest team in the NFC playoffs. The team isn't built with stars, so the health and cohesion of this team is very important. 

There quarterback has a bad back, they have a running back nobody's ever heard about and their defense is undersized, or, to be nice; "speedy".

Tampa couldn't have picked a worst team, matchup-wise, than the Giants. It's hard to beat a team that is superior on both the offensive and defensive lines. 

On top of that, New York's Brandon Jacobs looms large in whether this game is a cake walk or a nail-biter. It's hard to imagine the hulking Jacobs not wearing down a Tampa defensive line that features a pair of linemen tipping the scales at less than 300 pounds.

Jon Gruden should have known better than to let up during the last two games of the season. There's something called momentum that a team under-experienced and lacking amazing talent needs in the postseason.

Undoubtedly, the Florida press is going to skewer Gruden for this decision after they fall in the playoffs. GIANTS 31-19.


Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be coaching in his first playoff game. His unit is ranked seventh in the NFL and the players love him.

Not every quarterback can be like Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger. It took Peyton Manning four tries to win his first playoff game and papa Archie never made the postseason, so lay off Peyton's baby brother.

Jacobs is Bucs' worst nightmare, New Jersey Star-Ledger
The undersized Tampa defensive line could have major problems with the grinding running back Brandon Jacobs. As the article points out big back whittle small defensive down by the fourth quarter.


Bucs QB Jeff Garcia has beaten the Giants in two previous playoff matchups, including the momumental meltdown the G-Men endured against San Francisco in 2003.

Bucs Take Risky Approach in Build-Up to Playoffs, Miami Herald
Will Jon Gruden's Bucs suffer from resting regulars and losing the last two games of the regular season? Will there be a Giants letdown from fighting hard against New England in week 17?

Giant Threat, Bradenton Herald
New York's defensive line is strong and creative. Of there 53 sacks this season, 37 came from the front line. Can the young Tampa offensive line protect Jeff Garcia and make space for Earnest Graham.

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