It depends, big surprise, on who’s talking.
Let’s set the scene. The Giants were trailing by three points with 2 minutes, 46 seconds left when Cruz caught a 19-yard pass from Eli Manning. Cruz went down at the end of the play, released the ball and stood up. The problem? He had not been touched by a defensive player. The Cardinals jumped on the ball, but referee Jerome Boger whistled the play dead. Although Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt threw the challenge flag, the play was not reviewable because, as Boger put it, the player “gave himself up.”
It is, as NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted, “in the judgment call category, like holding, pass interference, etc.,” and was not subject to review.
But the consensus Sunday night was that the call was wrong.
Manning, whose immediate reaction was to place his hands on either side of his helmet in the international gesture of “Oh, no!” said afterward, “Yeah, I thought we got a break on that one.”
Fox’s Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former vice president of officiating, tweeted: “In my opinion, it should have been ruled a fumble.”
Cruz counted himself one lucky guy. “I’m very relieved,” he said. As for the moments during which the officials were deliberating: “I was a little scared, to be honest.”
Do you agree with the call and with the rule?