Daniel Jones nearly led a game-tying drive in the Giants’ “Monday Night Football” game against the Buccaneers. New York missed on a 2-point conversion attempt after the officiating crew picked up a flag for pass interference in the end zone.
The Giants trailed by eight points with 3:41 remaining and no timeouts. Jones responded with several crucial plays, including a pair of fourth-down conversions, which set up a 19-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate with 28 seconds left to play. That gave the Giants their chance to tie.
Jones, however, couldn’t connect on his final throw, which was intended for Dion Lewis. He was a hair late and the ball hit the arm of Tampa Bay rookie defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr., who raced from the middle of the field to break up the pass. But it looked as if Jones might get another chance as a flag was thrown late. It was definitely a close call; Winfield appeared to arrive right as the ball did.
After the officials got together to discuss the play, they ruled that there was no interference, effectively sealing a 25-23 victory for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
“The ball hit Antoine in the back. To me, there was no pass interference,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said after the game. “I thought it was a good call (to pick up the flag). I don’t know why it took so long. He had his hands out, there was no contact, the ball hit him in the back.”
“It was a great play,” Brady said. “I think he sensed the ball was coming and put his arm out. The ball hit him in the arm. It was a game-saving play for us.”
Giants head coach Joe Judge clearly wasn’t quite as happy with the call.
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Jones said he was “surprised” when the flag was picked up.
Reactions on social media were about as calm and rational as one would expect.
Antoine Winfield gets to Dion Lewis before the ball and gets flagged for PI on the game tying 2 point conversion, but after a discussion, the refs remember he’s on Tom Brady’s team and pick up the flag…ending the game #TBvsNYG pic.twitter.com/ktPs7mHTnK
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) November 3, 2020
THANK YOU. Winfield was right on time. NOT INTERFERENCE.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 3, 2020