In the NFL, you're only as good as your last game. That's good news for the Tampa Bay Bucs defense, who put a disappointing 2011 campaign behind them with a dominant showing in their 16-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.
The Bucs, in their first game under new head coach Greg Schiano, picked off Cam Newton twice and held the Panthers to 2-10 on third down. After watching the film, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin told the Tampa Bay Times' Stephen Holder that he was impressed:
"They played fast, they played hard," he said in comments to reporters in New Jersey. "They certainly caused issues up front for the Carolina front. To hold a team that was ranked (third) in rushing in the league last year to 10 yards -- I think at halftime it was minus-1 -- they did a nice job."
And while the Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions, their offense is coming off a underwhelming showing in a 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
All of a sudden, what once seemed like a sure loss on Tampa Bay's schedule could be a toss-up game. That's how quickly things can change at this level.
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