Though there’s not much to ponder in a Raiders-Giants game that the New York team currently leads by a wide margin in the third quarter, there was a bad call in the first half that seems destined to land on Mike Pereira’s “Official Review” segment.
We received several e-mail messages about it, and in order to be clear on what happened we sought out input from Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, who is at the game.
Michael Bush Justin Fargas ran into the line and was stopped. The ball popped out, safety C.C. Brown recovered it, and Brown returned it for a score.
The initial call on the field was that Bush was “down by contact.” Though at one point during the second life of the replay rule not a reviewable decision, “down by contact” is now subject to video review, and possession may be awarded to the defensive team if the referee finds indisputable evidence both of a fumble before the runner was down and that a member of the defensive team recovered the ball.
So Giants coach Tom Coughlin threw the red flag. The touchdown wouldn’t have counted in any event, but a successful challenge would have given the Giants the ball.
Then the officials explained that the call on the field wasn’t “down by contact,” but that the whistle had blown because the runner’s forward progress had been stopped.
The former is reviewable; the latter isn’t.
So the Giants got neither a touchdown nor the ball.
Still, they don’t need your pity. The Giants currently lead the Raiders by 31 points, even with David Carr taking over for Eli Manning (heel) once the game was out of reach.