Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fumble

No, not that one. The one last night that Osi Umenyiora caused and was picked up by -- wait for it -- AN OFFICAL because nobody fell on it.

Had the Giants just fallen on that second-quarter loose ball, the ball would have changed hands at the Eagles' 32 and deprived the Eagles of the touchdown that made the halftime score 30-17, and might have resulted in a Giants touchdown to even things up. Indeed, the entire nature of the game might have been changed.

But no one did, despite the fact that players are drilled every day since their Pop Warner careers to pick up stray footballs.

Tom Coughlin said he's always made a point of that in practice.

"The simple fact of the matter is that it was ruled a fumble right away," Coughlin said. "Now the question I presented to our defense and to our team today -- you could imagine what it is if you have watched us practice -- no matter where the ball goes, if the ball is on the ground even if it is a thrown incomplete pass, we pick it up and run with it.

"Why didn’t somebody do that yesterday? Michael Boley off his finger tips, that is one aspect of it. But the fact it’s a fumble, someone come in and scoop the ball up and run in the end zone. As you have been taught since day one, let the officials correct it, let them bring it back."

Of course, the entire snafu never happens if Boley hangs onto what should have been a sure interception. But Coughlin never heard a whistle, a direct contradiction to the players' explanation of why everybody, including the Eagles, stopped playing and simply walked past the ball.

"I don’t think anybody down on the field really knew what was going on," Coughlin said. "I think, to be honest with you, that it was an assumption that it was a fumble. There really wasn’t a lot of explanation. Whereas on the sidelines, because of the way it happened with Michael Boley, you thought he just dropped an interception. That is why I tried to stall because I didn’t know what the call was. But evidently from the end of the play the call was that it was a fumble."

Morale to the story: If you hear a whistle and there's a ball on the ground, pick it up. You might be saving a touchdown.



  1. Was there a more frustrating moment to this game than that? I'd say it's at least on par with Eli coughing up the ball RIGHT AFTER we intercepted it.

  2. The lack of execution on a basic play like recovering a loose ball is a great example of everything that's wrong with this unit.

  3. ggggg-men - Except Eli was down by contact and therefore, by rule, the ground caused the fumble. The fact that the refs AND the play by play folks missed that the Eagles player's helmet hit Eli's foot and caused the fall (finishing up what the obvious jersey pull started) is sad and pathetic. It doesn't excuse the Giants loss. I put this one on the team as a whole, not the refs, but it is inexcusable that a ref under the hood couldn't see the helmet hitting Eli's foot that was plain as day on my HDTV. Go watch it again and see Eli's foot bend in when the helmet meets up with it. Feet don't do that when you're running unless they get hit. Eli does need to protect the ball better, but the refs should have overturned that call. It was wrong.