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Simms, Hampton Help Keep Giants Unbeaten

September 13, 1993|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Coach Dan Reeves warned the New York Giants about looking past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Phil Simms and Rodney Hampton made sure they didn't.

Simms passed for a touchdown and set up a short touchdown run by Hampton as the Giants jumped on the Buccaneers early en route to a 23-7 victory on Sunday.

David Treadwell had three field goals as the Giants (2-0) spoiled Craig Erickson's first start at quarterback for Tampa Bay.

"We emphasized all week that we are not good enough to overlook anyone," Reeves said after his regular-season home debut as the Giants' coach. "We're off to a great start, but we have to keep it in perspective."

Simms completed 12 of 26 passes for 204 yards.

Hampton had 29 carries for 134 yards, including a 20-yard run that set up a touchdown.

Simms said Reeves makes it hard for a team to lose perspective.

"In 15 years, I have never stood up and said anything around here," Simms said. "But Coach Reeves stressed that all week in practice. We were all very aware of it."

It showed on both sides of the ball. The Giants' offense controlled the ball for 35 minutes and 4 seconds in gaining 381 yards, while the defense limited Tampa Bay to 199 yards and one first-down rushing.

Erickson played well for Tampa Bay, which has lost at least 10 games each of the last 10 seasons. He completed 16 of 28 passes for 174 yards and had the Buccaneers (0-2) in position to get back into the game late in the third quarter.

With the Giants leading, 20-7, the second-year quarterback from Miami moved the Buccaneers from their 20-yard line to New York's one. On fourth and goal, Reggie Cobb was stopped inches short after linebacker Michael Brooks penetrated into the backfield and tripped him.

"I'm going to sit back and evaluate things," said Erickson, who missed a wide-open Courtney Hawkins on a second-and-goal pass. "I'm frustrated. We should have put more points on the board. We had a better offense than we showed today."

Said Buccaneer Coach Sam Wyche: "We can walk away knowing that's not the same Bucs team that played last week and lost to Kansas City."

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