As Eli Manning goes, so go the Giants, beat Bucs

By Tom Canavan

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Sept. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Cruz, who attended his grandmother's funeral on Friday, finished with 11 catches for 179 yards, both career highs. Nicks, who barely practiced because of a sore foot, had 10 catches for 199 yards, with the yardage a personal best.

The Giants are the second team in NFL history to have a 500-yard passer and two 150-yard receivers in the same game. Van Brocklin's '51 Rams were the first.

"This team always says we're going to come back. It's just a confidence level you've got to have," Nicks said. "Eli is an elite quarterback, so there's a confidence that he can get it done."

Lawrence Tynes kicked four field goals for the Giants, who played a lot better after a season-opening 24-17 loss to Dallas 10 days ago. But they trailed for most of the game.

Freeman finished 15 of 28 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. The first score covered 29 yards to Vincent Jackson, who had five catches for 128 yards. Doug Martin (20 for 66) ran 8 yards for a TD and Eric Wright returned the last of Manning's interceptions 60 yards for a touchdown just 8 seconds before halftime.

"It hurts, but I still believe in my teammates, and the coaching, and the staff," Buccaneers defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. "It's going to come together and it's going to be something great."

NOTES: Tampa Bay PK Connor Barth made field goals of 45 and 52 yards and now has made 20 straight. ... Foster led the Bucs with 13 tackles. ... CB Corey Webster and LB Chase Blackburn had interceptions for the Giants. .... CB Brandon McDonald and LB Mason Foster had the other two picks for the Bucs. .. The Giants rushed for 94 yards against a Bucs' defense that limited Carolina to 10 yards in the season opener. ... Giants T David Diehl (knee), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) and WR Domenik Hixon (concussion) had to leave the game in the first half.

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