So it was a penalty, then it wasn't, then it was?
There certainly was some discussion about that call with five seconds left that ultimately decided Sunday's game.
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At first referee Craig Wrolstad said the flag for a face-mask penalty against punter Brad Wing would be picked up and waved off, which would have given the Saints the ball at the Giants' 47. But after a conference with officials (and some pointing to video replays by Drew Brees, who was nearby), the face-mask penalty was re-enforced, pushing the Saints into field-goal range.
"I couldn't get an answer," Tom Coughlin said of his request for an explanation on the call. "I don't know what that was all about. You guys are raising a good question. Quite frankly, I didn't get a lot of information today from anybody, but that's my problem."
Added Wing: "I don't know why they came back and enforced it. That's all I have to say about it: I'm just not sure."
Was it the right call, at least?
It appeared to be. Visually, Wing certainly had his hand on the face mask of Willie Snead as Snead recovered the fumble forced by Craig Dahl on Marcus Murphy's return.
Although the ball was dead the moment Snead recovered it -- when a player fumbles after the two-minute warning in a half, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball -- former NFL head of officials and Fox analyst Mike Pereira said on the postgame broadcast that personal fouls are "still added on even beyond where the ball became dead by rule."
He added, "In the end, they got the enforcement of it right and the face-mask call right."
Shouldn't Wing have punted it out of bounds? Doesn't anyone here remember the name Matt Dodge?
"Not necessarily," said Coughlin, who certainly does remember the rookie punter's awful kick down the middle of the field that allowed the Eagles' DeSean Jackson to score on a 65-yard return as time expired to win a 2010 game against the Giants. This one wasn't exactly like that, although there were hints of it. "We kicked it in such a way that we should have had better coverage," Coughlin said.
Was Odell Beckham Jr. going to try to block the game-winning field goal?
He originally was on the field for the play but was pulled off as the officials worked out the spot of the ball. "At first we talked about it and I tried to talk to Coach and get on the field and they ended up letting me on," Beckham told Newsday. "Then we ended up pulling it back. I guess we didn't want to take the risk of getting a penalty or whatever the case may be."
What was he planning? A Kam Chancellor-type leap over the line?
"You do whatever you can to get back there," Beckham said. "Time it up, jump over and block it and be on our way. But it didn't end up happening like that."
Why wasn't Rueben Randle able to haul in that deep pass on the Giants' final drive?
He came within an inch or so of doing just that, as he had a step on the defenders and Eli Manning put the ball out for him. "If I was 100 percent, I would have been able to get to that ball," said Randle, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury for several weeks. "It was a struggle just trying to get down there. It was a good ball from Eli. I have to try to find a way to pull that down."
That Giants' defense, huh?
Yeah. It wasn't very pretty. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said he'd never played in a game and felt so helpless against a quarterback. "Not like that, just to have somebody just do what they want to do to you at will and we have no answers for it, don't stop it," the cornerback said. "I can't explain that. I don't know what happened."
Damontre Moore returned after being inactive last week?
Yes he did. And he picked up a roughing-the-passer penalty, although not on a play as egregious as the one in Philly that led to his one-game benching. "Any true competitor would be upset if they're not playing," he said. "This is a game I love. Obviously, it was for a reason. I had to learn what the coaches wanted me to learn."
And Sunday's penalty? "At the end of the day, my job is to sack the quarterback. I felt I was right there."