Was it a fumble?
Although former NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira, without question, makes a compelling case on the Victor Cruz non-fumble call, I disagree with him. First, what is the rule?
Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (e) states that “an official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner is out of bounds or declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling and making no effort to advance.”
What is Pereira’s take?
But in my opinion, Cruz slipped and stumbled and didn’t fall to the ground to give himself up. I think it should have been ruled a fumble. I just don’t see this as the normal way a player would give himself up.
He was clearly moving forward and gaining yardage when he went to the ground. I don’t think the rule was meant to protect him in this situation.
But then again, I had plenty time to look at several replays before forming my opinion. The officials on the field in Arizona had to make a split-second decision.
Based on the wording of this rule, the officials, in my opinion, made the correct call. After catching Manning’s pass, Cruz tromped up field for approximately four more yards and fell down. Once he fell down on the turf, he was untouched. Despite being left untouched, he had no interest in getting upright. Subsequently, once on the ground, his body language showed no interest in prolonging this play. Therefore, taking all of this into account, the officials applied this rule satisfactorily. By the way, at the end of this video, you can see a back judge appear. Unfortunately, we do not have a vantage point of this official. Needless to say, the back judge had the best view of this play. If Cruz did not give himself up which Pereira sitting miles away from the scene thinks. Then the back judge, with a bird’s eye view, would have called it the same way. And Giants head coach Tom Coughlin agrees with the officials, “I’m standing by the way the rule was interpreted by the officials. And if you look at the way that play took place, there’s no question he was giving himself up, he was headed back to the huddle. I don’t know how you could call it anything else.”
Recent news: Giants WR Brandon Stokley was let go. In his place, the Giants signed former Colts reserve cornerback Justin Tryon. Additionally, quarterback Sage Rosenfels is gone too. And center David Baas’ injury is not healing fast enough. As a result, the Giants signed center Jim Cordle off their practice squad.