The end of the Giants’ 41-34 win was highlighted by an angrier than normal Tom Coughlin giving Bucs coach Greg Schiano a piece of his mind about the way the Tampa defensive line knocked down Eli Manning in an attempt to dislodge the ball as Manning knelt down on the final play of the game.
Several other Giants players expressed disgust with Tampa’s actions after the game was over and guard Chris Snee, via Mike Garafolo of USA TODAY, accused Bucs players of diving with helmets into the knees of the Giants. Garafolo also spoke with Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after the game and McCoy gave a hint about where the defense came up with the idea of crashing the line on the final play.
“We do what we’re coached,” McCoy said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Schiano apologized for nothing during his postgame presser, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. That style of coaching could wind up getting Bucs players hurt in the future. Schiano’s stressed aggressiveness at every turn since taking over the Tampa job and that edginess helped the Bucs for much of Sunday’s game so he might be willing to take that risk. Even so, there wasn’t much to gain from the actions at the end. There almost certainly wouldn’t have been time for a play if the Bucs recovered a fumble without returning it for a touchdown and Tampa could see other teams willing to take a swipe at them in response to such behavior.
The Giants and Bucs don’t play again this season so there won’t be a chance for any Giants looking for a little revenge to get it until a future season. Should another team take offense to something that the Bucs do on the field this season, though, there could be a bigger conflagration than we saw at the Meadowlands on Sunday.