Eric Schubert, who was just signed this week, kicked five field goals in five tries and Joe Morris rushed for a career-best 132 yards and a touchdown as the New York Giants came alive in the second half to defeat Tampa Bay, 22-20, today, handing the Buccaneers their ninth straight loss.
Schubert, 23, whose only job until this week was as an assistant coach at a New Jersey high school, hit from 24, 36, 24, 41 and 33 yards as New York overcame a 13-6 halftime deficit to raise its record to 6-3. The five field goals were one short of the Giants team record set by Joe Danelo in 1981.
"Last week, I was coaching and watching the (Giants') game on TV. Today, I was on TV," said Schubert, who coaches special teams, quarterbacks and receivers at his old high school, Lakeland Regional in Wanaque, N.J.
Schubert was signed Friday because Giants Coach Bill Parcells believed that Ali Haji-Sheikh's injured hamstring was not healed and because former Maryland kicker Jess Atkinson, waived Monday, was claimed by St. Louis.
"This is a little comment for all you guys who talk about my field goal kicker," said Parcells, who was questioned about the decision to waive Atkinson.
The 5-foot-7 Morris, who was held to 16 yards on eight carries in the opening half, tied the game at 13 early in the third quarter, sweeping into the end zone from three yards out behind a crunching block by fullback Maurice Carthon.
Morris' touchdown capped a 47-yard drive after a 17-yard punt return by Phil McConkey gave the Giants excellent field position on their first second-half possession.
On third and two, Morris ran 11 yards to Tampa Bay's 28, and Phil Simms hit McConkey for 13 yards on third and seven from the 25.
Schubert put the Giants ahead, 16-13, with 2:11 left in the third quarter. Morris ran five times for 32 yards on the 51-yard drive, kept alive by Simms' 10-yard third-down pass to Tony Galbreath to the 18. Morris and Chicago's Walter Payton are the only backs to rush for more than 100 yards against Tampa Bay this season.
Schubert added two more field goals in the fourth quarter. A one-yard touchdown pass from Steve DeBerg to Jimmie Giles with 2:27 left was not enough for Tampa Bay, which once again failed to give Coach Leeman Bennett his first victory.
"We fought and they beat us," Bennett said. "In the second half, we weren't able to move the ball as well until late in the half."
DeBerg also hit Giles with a 25-yard scoring pass in the second quarter. Donald Igwebuike added field goals of 53 and 20 yards for the Buccaneers, who failed to hold a halftime lead for the sixth time this season.