The Buccaneers’ winning percentage in 2012 was lower when they left MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon. The team’s confidence level, however, was arguably higher than ever before.
A hard-fought and frequently wild 41-34 loss to the Giants in Week Two dropped the Bucs’ record to 1-1 following a season-opening victory over the Carolina Panthers. The Bucs obviously preferred celebrating a win to swallowing a loss, but either way they were ready to move on to the next game on Monday. If the Carolina victory got the team one step closer to the playoffs, the New York loss brought it closer to understanding what it will take to get there.
“We need games like that; they’re important,” said linebacker Adam Hayward, one of the team’s six captains, on Monday. “You get to see every aspect (of the game) and just kind of work on it. We get to correct things and fix stuff that went wrong.”
The Giants game produced a treasure chest of helpful videotape. Under Head Coach Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers pride themselves on being ready for any possible game situation, and this one had a multitude of them, from two-minute drills to goal-line stands. The Buccaneers will learn from that tape, but they won’t dwell on the outcome, or any of the gaudy statistics the Giants recorded during their frenzied comeback.
“That game is over and now we’re on to Dallas, so it’s a new situation,” said Hayward. “We’re just worried about Dallas. I know this defense and I know the players we have and we’re going to be fine. We’re going to go out there and take care of business.”