Former Gopher Antoine Winfield Jr. responsible for game-winning play on Monday Night Football
Antoine Winfield Jr. was all over the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, the former Minnesota safety not only producing a big game but came up clutch in preserving win at the New York Giants.
An All-American a season ago at Minnesota, Winfield had seven tackles and a crucial pass breakup in Tampa Bay’s 25-23 win in Week 8. It was a coming out party of sorts for the second round pick, who did a little bit of everything in keying the Tampa Bay defense.
And in the process, there is now some buzz that Winfield could be a contender as the top defensive rookie in the league.
Winfield made a pivotal pass breakup in the fourth quarter when the Giants attempted a two-point conversion.
Originally, the rookie was assessed with pass interference on a ball intended for Giants running back Dion Lewis before the flag was picked up.
GIVE Antoine Winfield Jr. Rookie of the Year
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 3, 2020
Upon replay, it was evident that Winfield originally made contact with the ball before hitting Lewis – or rather the ball made contact on him hitting the Buccaneers safety in the back of his right arm.
The play preserved Tampa Bay’s lead and improved the rebuilt Buccaneers to 6-2.
The Giants, not surprisingly, didn’t agree with the overturn of the call.
“I thought [the official] made the right call when he threw the flag. I’m not sure why it got picked up, we had a pretty good view,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “I know they can’t use the jumbotron to replay. We had a pretty clear view of that as well. I thought [the official] made the right call the first time, and I thought normally your first instinct is right. That’s all I’m going to say about the officiating.”
Through eight weeks, Winfield has 44 tackles, two sacks, four passes defended and an interception.