Contrary to Belief, the Giants Beat the Cards Without Any Help from the Refs

Nicholas LianosCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2011

two solid weeks
two solid weeksNorm Hall/Getty Images

Down by a score is nothing new to the Giants in Arizona.  The last time the Giants were in Glendale, they were down by 4 to the undefeated Patriots in the Superbowl and marched down the field for the winning TD.  This time the Giants were only down three, but the outcome was the same.

Eli Manning threw a 29 yard touchdown to Hakeem Nicks to cap off a two play, 48 yard drive to give the Giants the lead they would not give up to walk away from the University of Phoenix Stadium with a victory. While the Giants celebrated the touchdown, the Cardinals were left feeling the refs robbed them of a potential victory. 

On the first play of the winning touchdown drive, Victor Cruz caught a Eli Manning pass, broke a tackle and "gave himself up" at the Arizona 29.  After giving himself up, Cruz then released the football as he rose up and quickly went to line up for the Giants next play. 

The Cardinals believed that Cruz, who never was touched by a Cardinal defender fumbled the ball and it was recovered by them.  The refs on the field ruled that Cruz going down, "gave himself up" and the play was dead.  It was ruled correctly on the field. The Giants didn't catch a break.

What Cruz did, is something that you have seen by WR and RBs all the time.  One of the greatest running backs, if not the greatest, Barry Sanders did this all the time.  Seeing that he would not get more yardage and knowing he is about to be hit, Sanders would go down, saving himself for the next play. 

If you need more evidence, take a look at the Rams during their "Greatest Show on Turf" years.  Marshall Faulk, Torey Holt, Issac Bruce would all do this.  Cruz did the exact same thing.

Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (e) states that "an official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner is out of bounds or declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling and making no effort to advance." 

The point everyone is missing is that Cruz went down and made no effort to advance the ball. 

If you look at the video, you see Cruz went down, waited for a second then got up straight and went to his position.  At no point do you see him trying to advance, so the refs, ruled it correctly. 

You can debate it all you want, but the Cardinals lost a game by their own mistakes.  Blowing a 10 point lead with five minutes to go is inexcusable.  You could point your fingers at the refs but the Giants won the game without their help.