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Coughlin defend ruling on controversial Cruz call

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  • By Associated Press
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin believes referee Jerome Boger and his crew made the right call in ruling that receiver Victor Cruz was giving himself up and didn't fumble after making a catch on the Giants' game-winning touchdown drive against the Arizona Cardinals.

Coughlin looked at the videotape of Cruz's 19-yard catch with roughly three minutes to play in the Giants' 31-27 victory Sunday and said there is no doubt in his mind the receiver was giving himself when he went to the turf at the Cardinals' 29.

Cruz put the ball on the turf after going down and the Cardinals recovered it, believing Cruz had not been touched down so it was a fumble.

Boger ruled that Cruz gave himself up and added the Cardinals could not challenge that type of ruling.

"I'm standing by the way the rule was interpreted by the officials," Coughlin said. "If you look at the way that play took place there is no question he was giving himself up and he was headed back to the huddle. I don't know how you can call anything else."

The NFL noted Monday that Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 states that the ball is dead and the down ended once a runner declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and making no effort to advance.

Hakeem Nicks, who caught a game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning on the ensuing play, said he was not aware of the rule.

"I'm just glad it turned out on our side," Nicks said. "Initially during the game, I assumed he got touched when he went down. What I saw on film it was different, but I guess you can declare yourself down and that made the call and I am glad."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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