Browns robbed on Sam Darnold play that looked like clear fumble
The New York Jets jumped out to an early lead over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and the officials appeared to give them some help on what could have been a turning point late in the first half.
Sam Darnold looked like he was stripped deep in Jets territory in the second quarter, but the call on the field was an incomplete pass. The ruling was somehow upheld upon review. It certainly looked Myles Garrett knocked the ball loose before Darnold’s arm started coming forward.
Former NFL official and current rules analyst Gene Steratore indicated he felt the play was not handled correctly.
Unless a pass is very clearly incomplete, IMO it should be ruled a fumble. That way, replay can correct it if the arm is moving forward with control of the ball. It looked to me like Sam Darnold lost possession of this ball in #CLEvsNYJ prior to his arm coming forward. pic.twitter.com/JrbUtDp7QX
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) December 27, 2020
A number of things went against the Browns on the play. For starters, the officials blew the whistle. Had they let things play out and ruled it a fumble, the play probably would have stood as called and Cleveland could have walked into the end zone for a touchdown.
With several key playmakers already absent due to an unfortunate COVID-19 situation, a bad break like that was the last thing the Browns needed.