In boxing, this is what you call an undercard.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz are renewing hostilities on Sunday night, which meant no one saw it coming when Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano appeared to exchange some unpleasantries after the final gun of the Giants’ 41-34 win. Coughlin was upset about the way the Bucs defense played out the final kneeldown of the game after Josh Freeman’s last-ditch chance at continuing the game was intercepted and appeared to be telling Schiano that he thought what Tampa did was the fecal matter of a male cow. He cleaned things up a bit later.
“I don’t think you do that. I don’t think you jeopardize the offensive line, I don’t think you jeopardize the quarterback. Thank God nobody got hurt. That I know of,” Coughlin said in his postgame press conference.
It was fitting that a wild game had a wild ending, though. Eli Manning dug an enormous hole for his team by throwing three interceptions in the first half, all of which led to Tampa touchdowns, and then added another check mark in his fourth quarter comeback column by leading the team to 25 points in the final 15 minutes. Manning finished with 510 passing yards, a career-high, and both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz had huge days against a Bucs defense that was fairly easily shoved aside by the defending champs when Manning wasn’t throwing the ball right to them.
Manning wound up getting his team back in front twice in the final minutes with Freeman getting the game back to a tie in between on a 41-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams that he corralled after it caromed off cornerback Justin Tryon’s helmet. Manning then found Nicks for 50 yards and Andre Brown, who gave some life to a moribund Giants running game, ran in the winning score.
Williams almost put the Bucs in position for another touchdown with 12 seconds to play, but couldn’t hold onto the catch after a hit by Giants safety Antrel Rolle. Freeman was picked off on the next play, the Giants got their first win of the year and Coughlin got a reason to show off his world-class angry face during his meeting with Schiano.