The Giants' Eli Manning wasn't the only quarterback to hit it big in the deep passing game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had a pretty good day with the deep ball, too.
Freeman accounted for nine of the Bucs ten longest plays with passes that picked up 11 yards or more, including a 41-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson.
"Vincent did a great job running his routes,'' Freeman said. "We had him singled up several times and had a couple of chances to make big plays there, and Mike had a couple of big catches, too.''
Jackson led all Bucs receivers with five receptions for 128 yards, including one catch for 41 yards in the first quarter that helped push his per-catch average for the day to 25.6.
Jackson also had catches of 22,19 and 17 yards, while TE Dallas Clark counted a 20-yard reception among his four catches. Jackson said Freeman's distribution of the ball on those big plays is proof the Bucs can be potent offensively.
"Week in and week out, anyone could have a big game,'' Jackson said, "We have that kind of a team. That's how we want to be, we want to be a team that has multiple weapons and can hurt you from anywhere.''
The Bucs walked away from their 41-34 loss to the Giants still holding a respectable plus-five turnover ratio. Freeman believes firmly, though, that the rating should be plus-six and blames himself for the fact it isn't.
Freeman, who spent the offseason working to improve his decision making in an effort to avoid turnovers, threw his first two interceptions of the season against the Giants and he said the first one definitely should have been avoided.
"I went through (the first two progressions) and then came up and tried to find the back and was like, 'I have to get this out,' '' Freeman said. "You know the appropriate thing in that situation would be to take a sack or try to run, so that was definitely a bonehead play by me.''
What condition their condition is in
Including special teams, Bucs DT Gerald McCoy said he played in all but three of the 83 plays the Bucs defended on Sunday. He said he woke up Monday feeling pretty tired as a result, but he swears fatigue was not a factor in the Bucs second half slide.
"It wasn't fatigue at all,'' McCoy said. "I honestly believe we are the most conditioned team in the NFL. It just came down to making the play and not making the play. It wasn't conditioning at all.''
Consistency breeds consistency
PK Connor Barth extended his franchise-record streak of consecutive field goals to 20 on Sunday by making kicks of 45 and 52 yards. He says his consistency is due in part to consistency within the kicking unit.
"This is actually the first time in my career, college or anything, that I've had the same snapper and holder for a second year in a row,'' Barth said, referring to long snapper Andrew Economos and holder Mike Koenen. "That's really nice. It just makes the whole routine that much easier.''