Bruce Arians was relieved after his team was able to leave New York with a surprisingly tough 25-23 victory over the Giants. After taking a 25-17 lead late in the game, Arians had to watch as his defense allowed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones complete two 4th down passes before he hit Golden Tate for a score with 28 seconds left. Tampa Bay cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr., however, did not allow the Giants to tie the score after breaking up Jones' two-point attempt to Dion Lewis. Officials initially threw a flag on the play before the head official determined that Winfield had not committed pass interference.
While many fans who watched the game feel that Winfield made early contact with Lewis, Arians didn't see it that way.
"Well, the ball hit Antoine in the back," Arians said, via Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. "To me, there was no pass interference. It was a good call."
Instead of lamenting over the no-call, Arians instead showered praise on Winfield, a second round pick and the son of longtime NFL cornerback Antoine Winfield Sr.
"He's been consistent since the day he's gotten here," Arians said of Winfield, who starred at Minnesota before being turning in a solid performance at February's NFL combine. "He verbalizes so much out on the field that most rookies will not do and even second year players. He's talking, he's communicating. He's a baller. He's got it in his bloodlines, and there's no stakes that's too big for him."
Giants head coach Joe Judge, who has rarely been critical of officials during his first season as a head coach, openly questioned the head official's decision to pick up the flag after Winfield was initially called for pass interference.
"I thought (the official) made the right call when he threw the flag," Judge said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. "I'm not sure why it got picked up … Normally, your first instinct is the right one."
While he was clearly not happy with the no-call, Judge did not blame Monday night's outcome on that play. Judge's team, despite playing well enough to win, were not able to overcome two second-half Daniel Jones interceptions that led to 10 Buccaneers points.
"I thought our guys played hard," Judge said, "(but) we gotta put ourselves in position that we can have success and not bring a third party into the factor. It's tough enough to beat the Bucs. That's all I'm going to say about that."