The most controversial play of Week 4 **took place in Arizona**, where Giants WR Victor Cruz apparently fumbled late in the fourth quarter, which would have stalled New York's game-winning touchdown drive. However, the officials **ruled Cruz was down**. What did you think of the call?
I think at that critical juncture, it was dumb of Victor Cruz to put the ball on the ground and risk anything after he went down untouched. And I initially thought it was a bad call. But after seeing the letter of the law, it looks like the refs got it right. Whether you agree with the rule or not is irrelevant. The officials have to follow the book, and this one, it seems, was by the book.
I understand the rule, but I think it was a bad call. The rule the officials cited was that a player is down if he willingly stops trying to make a play. That rule clearly was designed for a quarterback sliding or taking a knee, which was not the case here. Cruz didn't look like he stopped intentionally and I was stunned that he would just leave the ball there and that no Arizona defenders tried to at least touch him while he was down so he couldn't get back up and run. Wacky situation altogether, but I think the call was bad and the Giants caught a lucky break/Cardinals got gypped.
The play by Victor Cruz in the Giants' game shouldn't be considered controversial. He gave himself up by taking a dive with three defenders closing on him and the play should be considered dead at that point. Furthering that notion is the fact that he dropped the ball on the ground and appeared to head back to the huddle. If the Cardinals didn't believe he was down, one of the defenders would have touched him down or made a tackle to ensure the play was over. While we have seen plays like this ruled as fumbles previously, the officials got this one right.
It's a neat coincidence that, 10 years after the Tuck Rule, we've now all learned about another cockamamie, obscure, fumble-related rule: the "He Gave Himself Up" rule. Please, Giants fans, spare me the jazz about "a rule's a rule." If you heard Eli's post-game comments, he knows the call was hooey. If you heard Victor Cruz's comments, he knows he got lucky (he said he thought someone touched him while he was on the ground). Just because something's a rule doesn't make it right. The U.S. has had a number of laws -- like prohibition, for instance -- that ultimately were eliminated from our nation's rulebook. Someday, the "He Gave Himself Up" rule will be eliminated from the NFL rulebook -- and I think we can all drink to that.
I didn't like the call, because it provides an offensive player an opportunity to do something contrary on every other play during a game. Sure, the defender should have touched Cruz. But to think a defender now has to be able to interpret whether a ball carrier has ended a play by falling to the ground or taking a knee or can figure out if he's making no effort to advance is asking for trouble. I get it when a QB takes a knee behind the line of scrimmage, but an open-field runner is another story. I don't feel like it is in the spirit of the game.
Congratulations Tuck Rule, you have some competition for the dumbest rule in the NFL. Somebody will need to explain how this rule differs from the one where bone-headed receivers spike a live football, thinking that they are down, which results in a fumble.
But much like the Tuck Rule, the losing team had nobody to blame but themselves for being in a position to lose that game.