The Giants beat the Cardinals Sunday 31-27 after capitalizing on a controversial ruling by the referees. Taking over the ball down 27-24 with 3:10 left in the game, Eli Manning threw a pass to Victor Cruz for a gain of 19. Cruz saw several Cardinals defenders in front of him and decided to go down. He wasn’t touched, meaning he could have gotten up and kept running. Cruz went down, gave up the football, and the Cardinals jumped on it. It appeared to be an absentminded fumble by Cruz, but the referees bailed him out.
The referees ruled that Cruz voluntarily gave himself up, thereby negating the fumble. Their ruling also prevented Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt from challenging the play. NFL.com has video of the play for you to take a look. That sure looked like a fumble to me because the play was not dead. But here’s what the rule book has to say about dead balls: