Corey Sipkin/Associated Press
New York had an opportunity to tie the game with less than a minute remaining on a two-point conversion, but Antoine Winfield Jr. broke up Daniel Jones’ pass to Dion Lewis. Officials initially threw a flag for pass interference but picked it up after discussing it.
Giants head coach Joe Judge said the officials “made the right call the first time” and was unsure why the penalty didn’t stand:
For his part, Jones told reporters, “I gotta get the ball out there sooner.”
Ralph Vacchiano of SNY also shared the explanation from official Brad Rogers, who said, “The defender contacted the receiver simultaneously as the ball came in. And in order to have defensive pass interference, it has to be clearly early and hinder the receiver’s ability to make the catch.”
Rogers continued, saying, “You want to make sure that it meets the qualifications for pass interference. And in our communication (we) believed that it was appropriate to pick that flag up.”
While pass interference could have been called on the bang-bang play, Jones was also right in his assessment.
Lewis was wide open for a moment early in the play, but the quarterback hesitated and provided enough time for Winfield to get there in time. It was more of the same for the signal-caller who threw second-half interceptions to Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting and largely cost his team a game it was leading by double digits at one point.
What made the interceptions all the more troublesome is Darius Slayton was wide-open for a potential touchdown on the one to Davis, while the second one came when the Giants were driving with a chance to go up two scores late.
New York’s defense also deserves some of the blame for falling apart in the second half and allowing Tom Brady touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans after holding Tampa Bay to just six points in the first half.
Still, the controversial finish stood out, especially since it appeared as if Jones would have some redemption after converting two fourth downs and finding Golden Tate for a clutch touchdown on the drive.