Bucs capitalize on Manning picks for halftime lead


The loss of right tackle David Diehl was just the start of the injury fun for the Giants on Sunday.

Diehl is done for the day with a knee injury and he’s since been joined in the locker room by wide receiver Domenik Hixon and running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Hixon has a head injury after getting popped in the dome by Bucs linebacker Mason Foster following a catch in the first quarter. Bradshaw has gone to get x-rays on his neck after running head first into a wall during a running play in the second quarter. Fullback Henry Hynoski was also shaken up after getting flipped head over heels following a short catch.

Adding insult to injuries are three Eli Manning interceptions. Manning tried to drop a ball over Foster to tight end Martellus Bennett, but underthrew it badly and Foster picked it off. That set the Bucs up for a pretty 29-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson. The Giants have had a very hard time keeping up with Jackson through the first half, even with a more robust pass rush than they had against the Cowboys in the opener. It’s looking like a winning combo for the Bucs, as Freeman clearly trusts Jackson enough to put the ball up and let his receiver go get it against man coverage.

Manning was picked again in the second quarter by Brandon McDonald on a play that looked like it should have drawn a flag for defensive holding on intended receiver Victor Cruz. It didn’t and the Giants picked up a penalty for a horse collar tackle on McDonald to give the Bucs even more yardage. Doug Martin sprinted into the end zone a few plays later to make the score 17-6.

The third pick was all on the quarterback, though. Manning threw a ball directly into Eric Wright’s hands and Wright danced his way through the Giants for a 60-yard touchdown return that killed a brief comeback attempt before the half for the Giants. It’s 24-13 in the Meadowlands and Tom Coughlin’s face is as red as a tomato.