Giants use questionable call to tie game


Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks pleaded through the media for holding calls against the Steelers defense this week.

They haven’t gotten any of those, but each Giants receiver drew a flag on a touchdown drive that tied the game at seven in the second quarter. Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis was flagged for pass interference on a deep throw to Nicks that gave the Giants 41 yards and put them in scoring position. It wasn’t an egregious mugging by Lewis by any means and might not have even been interference, but was still better than a call on Ryan Clark that set up Andre Brown’s eventual touchdown.

On third and goal, Eli Manning threw to Cruz in the end zone on the run. Ike Taylor almost had his second interception of the game, but the ball bounced out of his hands as Ryan Clark hit Cruz in the left arm with his shoulder on a pretty much technically perfect hit behind Taylor. The officials disagreed, calling Clark for a hit to the head of Cruz that gave the ball to the Giants just outside the end zone. That part of the call was wrong and any attempt to say it was actually a late hit is undermined by the fact that the ball was still in the air after being deflected by Taylor at the time.

Cruz went down hard and wound up staying down, the first part of which likely contributed to a call that has put the Giants back into a tie at the Meadowlands.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m. ET: Michael Boley just returned what the refs are calling a fumble 70 yards to put the Giants ahead 14-7. There’s a bit more doubt on this call, but it certainly appears Roethlisberger’s arm was moving forward with the ball when the ball came out and the play could have been ruled an incomplete pass. NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos believes it should have been called an incomplete pass and there also appeared to be a block in the back on Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul that went uncalled. It’s been an interesting day for referee Bill Leavy’s crew to say the least.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m. ET: The “hit to the head” on Cruz has left him with a rib injury. That must have been some blow to the head. Cruz is probable to return.

99 responses to “Giants use questionable call to tie game

  1. Well, we can see how this game is going to go. NFL feeling sorry for NY/NJ – going to make sure Giants win this game?

  2. The ever-growing conspiracy against the Steelers is reaching dangerous heights. Everyone will pay for this. 7th Lombardi is coming.

  3. Typical worthlessburger, instead of trying to tackle the guy that picked up his fumble he’s griping to the officials.

  4. First time I’ve ever turned a game off. I was upset about that first call but the review on the “fumble” just takes the cake. Disgusting.

  5. Giants getting some home cooking from the refs because of Sandy’s impact. Not to mention Goodell’s there, he probably gave the orders before the game.

    The Steelers have no chance, the NFL is not sending the Giants home with a loss on this day.

  6. The fix is in on this game 3 questionable calls leading to 14 pts for the giants. The NFL must want the hurricane victims to feel better. What a joke the NFL is.

  7. lol…. this is so pathetic its not even funny anymore… where are the Giants fans to say you never get lucky or the benefit of any calls… the pass interference call, the hit on Cruz, and the defensive TD were all horrible calls that went the Giants way….

    it never ends with this team.. its so transparent, the NFL should be ashamed… please, defend those 3 calls… I need some comic relief

  8. I’m from NJ. Aaaaaannnd the officials look like they’ve had a long meeting with Chris Christie before the game. Shameful job by the officials thus far.

  9. horrible pass interference call on keenan lewis moves the ball over 40yrds downfield for the giants. unacceptable, incomprehensible personal foul against ryan clark personifies the ‘modern goodell league’ and gives the giants a free td. and a worse call to take the lead. fumble with the qb’s arm moving forward? no clip on heath miller? the fix is on. goodell: “i hate the steelers and nyc needs this in lieu of recent events.” call everything you can agaisnt the steelers and call nothing against the giants!”

  10. The fix is in for the crybaby Giants. Pass interference was BS, the personal foul BS, RBs elbow was down b4 goalline and fumble for TD all BS……..I will never root for the Giants again even if they play Patriots or Ravens in Super Bowl….I will simply not watch……Maybe the ref lost his home or something too

  11. Four horrible calls in a matter of 3 minutes. Apparently these refs are doing everything in their power to ensure the Giants win. NFL’s more like the WWF these days.

  12. You’re implying that Cruz “stayed down” in order to sell the call. Um, no. The flag was thrown immediately, prior to him “staying down,” and he hasn’t come back in since, so he’s clearly hurt.

  13. These referees are absolutely pathetic.

    The pass interference call was a joke.

    The hit to the head call was a joke.

    The fumble call was a joke.

    The block in the back no call was a joke.

    I understand that New York has been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy and a win the the NYG would be great for this city.. but this is absolutely pathetic.

  14. And now a horrible fumble call for a TD. So Florio, will you kill the regular refs like you did the replacements?

  15. And yes, that was a blatant block in the back at the end of the return. Almost makes you wonder if a picture of one of the refs wearing a Giants hat will surface.

  16. Too bad there wasn’t a hurricane in Pittsburgh, I guess. Because these calls have become an embarrassment.

  17. Never bought into the NFL conspiracy theorys of the past, but wow, they’re giving this game to the Giants because of super storm Sandy.

  18. No, I’m saying he went down hard and theorizing that it might have helped lead to the flag. And the Giants haven’t run an offensive play that Cruz is eligible to take part in since the initial injury.

  19. Not a Steelers fan by any stretch but if they win this game after 3 horrible calls I will give them major props

  20. this is almost as embarrassing as the replacement refs. they reacted completely on how it looked rather than what actually happened. is this what the NFL wants, if you make a “loud” hit then it’s a flag, if it looks like a fumble just let it ride? pathetic.

  21. so now a QB can have his arm going forward with no ball ala Brady tuck rule & it be incomplete or Roethlisberger’s arm going forward WITH the ball & it’s a fumble.

    pretty big grey area there…

  22. Sad game. Giants are clearly the better team, in general, but Pittsburgh is playing them real tough. Three horrible ref calls have NY leading this game, but they certainly don’t deserve to be losing right now.

    The personal foul call on Clark was stupid, and if you can’t tell the ribs from the helmet, even at game speed, you should NOT be an NFL ref.

    The fumble/incomplete pass is a tough one, and it appeared the ball did not move until the throwing motion was complete. I could live with that judgement call, even if wrong, but the blatant and uncalled clip/block in back on Pierre-Paul was beyond believable. A high school ref flags that, and the combination needs to cause some heads to roll.

    Bill Levey and his entire crew should be fired for such incompetence. Coming off the replacement ref fiasco, time to make an example of a crew and weed out the crap.

  23. Tomlinson should just pull the team – the refs are handing the games to the Giants so why let someone get hurt? Take the forfeit and go home!!!

  24. and here comes Simms now saying it was a good call. LMAO you can’t make it up. Obviously the league let him know he had to quell the outrage with a statement on air. What a load of B.S.

  25. NO WAY the nfl lets the giants lose this game. Eli has 9 yds pasiing? I feel for the people in NY, but this is sad! They cant stop the steelers, bur the refs WILL NOT LET THEM WIN> its the old “we won this for the poor people of NY” BS!

  26. Wow, I am not a steeler fan at all. But these calls r horrible. Two bogus p.i. Calls, a fake touchdown and a fake fumble. Not to mention that Heath miller got absolutely killed with a block in the back.

  27. Wow. Are you sure these aren’t the same refs that gifted that Monday night game to Seatle over Green Bay? Very sad to see refs determine the outcome of a game. BTW, I am not a fan of either team, but after what I have seen during this game, go Steelers.

  28. Wow..Any more censorship for a comment about the integrity of the NFL PFT? No swear words or anything wrong with my honest opinon….everybody else on this board saw the same things i did..where’d my comment go/

  29. Don’t worry, there will be at least one call against the Giants and then their fans can whine about how they would have won by 35 points if not for that terrible call.

  30. Eli Manning sucks. Elite QB, BS
    Two biggest plays were pass interferences
    Their defense is adequate. The officials are lousy, more like the replacement ones.
    A very “lucky” team

  31. Sorry the call on Ryan was BS I am so sick of the BS that goes on gameday its almost to the point I don’t even want to watch anymore. The way the rules are written and the way are called on the field make one question why is defense played at all.
    That was a perfectly legal hit by Ryan and I am pretty angry to see him get flagged for it. I am even more angry at what the league has done to his reputation over the years, they have turned him into some kind of cheep shot monster. I had the pleasure of playing with Ryan at Shaw High School and I know Ryan isn’t a dirty player. However every time he makes a bone jarring hit the kind he made at Shaw then at LSU it always seems that a yellow flag comes soon after. Again why play defense even more insulting I am sure Ryan is going to get fined yet again for simply doing his job!!!!

  32. Breaking news: Phil Simms , who got Steelers fans in a tizzy, admits on t.v. it was the correct call. He lost control of the ball. Every Steelers fan, minus blinders, know that wasnt truly an “incomplete pass. Osi hit arm, which caused him to lose control of the ball. Really simple.

  33. The Commish appears to be pulling out all the stops today to ensure at least one happy day/night in NY/NJ after Sandy.

    Can we bring back the scab referees for the 2nd half of this game? They were bad, but I don’t think any of them would cross the lines that appear to have been crossed today.

    Yet another sad, sad day for the NFL.

  34. The Cruz penalty was called for a ‘blow to the head’. He’s on the sideline with bruised ribs.

    The optimist in me hopes that this joke of a crew goes in a halftime and reviews the first half. The realist in me says more of the same in the 2nd half.

  35. @giantslucksack. you continue to be the biggest loser on this site, you root for a 3-6 team and continue to troll anything giant related. you are one miserable person. ill say it again, how pathetic are you that you create a name about the giants. its sad.

    i thought the ball was moving before he went forward, simms felt the same way, and i was going to wait until halftime to hear what the rest of the cbs crew thought, especially cowher and he said it was a fumble. I guess goddell contacted them too. there are bad calls in every game, there is a half to go, well see the outcome.

  36. Tough to win when the team you’re playing gets spotted 14 points.

    I love how Simms quickly backtracked his criticism of the fumble/incomplete pass after a few minutes.

    Goodell must have made a visit to the booth during the commercial.

    The ball has to be completely out of the hand before the arm moves forward for it to be considered a fumble. At minimum, Roethlisberger gets the tuck rule.

  37. Terrible refereeing. Look, I can tolerate borderline calls, like the ones against K lewis on the long pass interference. But I cannot tolerate such horrible missed calls like the call on Ryan Clark which gifted 4 points and hte non call on Heath Miller which gifted anothre 4 points to Giatns(face it, the way Eli has played, they dont score a TD on that). And I thought Ben initially lost control, but had enough control to throw the ball forward. His own OL guy seemed to be a bigger hindrance on tha tplay., I dont understand why Haley doesnt call more plays to Walalce to pressure the refs to even out the pass interferencecalls.


    (1) The (initial) Defensive P.I. call against PIT CB Keenan Lewis. That was exceptional coverage. Result: 40+ yard gain for NYG (Pittsburgh gets hosed).

    (2) The Personal Foul against PIT SS Ryan Clark, accompanied by an affirmation the penalty was the result of a blow to the head of NYG WR Victor Cruz. The hit was textbook, nowhere near Cruz’s head. Result: NYG gets first and goal, when they otherwise would have only had a FG attempt (Pittsburgh gets hosed). The Giants get 7 on an iffy touchdown carry by NYG RB Andre Brown.

    (3) The Andre Brown TD run. The ball is marked down at the precise point where the forward progress is halted by virtue of any number of body parts coming into contact with the turf. Check where the forward point of the ball was when Brown’s elbow hit the turf. Result: it was close, so I won’t say Pittsburgh got hosed, because the real damage came on the inane Clark penalty.

    (4) PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger’s turnover returned for a TD: this one was close, but I can live with this one. An argument could be made Ben did not have control as his arm was moving forward, BUT ….

    (5) Where was the FLAGRANT clip that JPP layed on Heath in front of EVERYONE, including every ref, who was following the ball? Huge non-call. Result: another gimme TD for NYG (Pittsburgh got hosed).

    So everyone who was begging for the real refs, just keep in mind that the “real” refs can suck big-time too. This is only the first half too.

  39. Seriously people? Those of you acting like the games are fixed as if the league office has a pregame meeting with the refs and tells them to let a certain team win are absolutely delusional. If this was common practice, like many ignorant fans choose to believe, you think a referee might say something about it once he retired or stand up to it morally and drop one of the biggest bombshells in sports history? This just in, refs make mistakes and teams have to move on and deal with it. You can be a loser and dwell on it or you can move on and try your hardest regardless. There have been so many rule changes it seems as if the refs have a hard time deciding which rule to enforce and usually have a pretty hard time explaining it. The inconsistencies by the NFL competition committee are to blame, the refs are in over their heads and they are blowing very routine calls. There is no conspiracy though. Stop taking yourselves so seriously and calm down and enjoy the game. Damn.

  40. Hey Steeler fans…..Be grateful this is happening to you now instead of in the Super Bowl. If it did, you would have to change you team name to the Seattle Seahawks. So quit your crying already.

  41. Wow. Steeler fans seem to be forgetting all the calls THEY have gotten in the past. Remember the sb’s against the cards and Seahawks?!! Bad calls are part of the game, kids. Stop making Ravens fans sound correct and Shut Up.

  42. nhmac says:
    Nov 4, 2012 5:40 PM
    There is not a luckier team in professional sports than the New York Giants.


    I’m just wondering when the devil is going to cash in his part of the deal with the Giants?

  43. Refs can’t make that many mistakes in that short of a period time…or they’d be out of a job their “mistakes” may very well decide the outcome of a game by spotting the Giants 14, and if you think a call wasn’t made to CBS for their announcers to go along with the calls you’re kidding yourself. PFT Censorship is UnAmerican…especially with no vulgar language.

  44. First we’re “lucky”, now teams and officials are “handing us games”. Sounds like Heat fans the other night when the Knicks manhandled them all night, just as the Giants pass rush is about to do to Pig Pen in the 4th quarter.

  45. The fix is in. There have been 4 terrible calls which resulted in 14 Giants points.
    No doubt Goddell is trying to fix this one.
    I don’t think the Steelers had anything to do with NJ getting flooded.

  46. sd1024 says: Nov 4, 2012 6:32 PM

    Dear Steelers Fans,

    If you dont like us, send us the Lombardi Trophy back and we’ll ship it to Seattle.
    Ironically it was a Bill Leavy crew in that game.

  47. Dear Steelers Fans,

    If you dont like us, send us the Lombardi Trophy back and we’ll ship it to Seattle.



    Nah! we owned the giants today just like we owned the seahhawks in the SB.. see the differnence? Every team gets bad calls, the GOOD ones overcome them!

  48. Refs can’t make that many mistakes in that short of a period time…or they’d be out of a job their “mistakes” may very well decide the outcome of a game by spotting the Giants 14, and if you think a call wasn’t made to CBS for their announcers to go along with the calls you’re kidding yourself. PFT Censorship is UnAmerican…especially with no vulgar language.

    I was thinking the same thing. Before the comercial break, they couldnt beliwve the calls, after the break, they were like “uh, yea, the refs got it right.”.

  49. Steeler Giant in our area today and watching two of those calls, never say anything against the replacements refs. Then one of Steeler receviers I think wallace,is on ground and the giant hits him hard with flag and they pick that one up. That is the true meaning of home cooking for the refs in this game today.

  50. melikefootball says: Nov 4, 2012 9:20 PM

    Steeler Giant in our area today and watching two of those calls, never say anything against the replacements refs. Then one of Steeler receviers I think wallace,is on ground and the giant hits him hard with flag and they pick that one up. That is the true meaning of home cooking for the refs in this game today.

    He was not down by contact and was getting up to continue running (as he was eligible to do so) DOOFUS.

    I don’t think I’ve seen three people post on here who don’t have a bent and actually know the rules.

  51. There’s still the rule about a defenseless receiver and helmet to helmet hits. Is not the fact Wallace was trying to get up and run, it’s that he was delivered a H2H hit

  52. You talk about people knowing the rules Mr Wright, yet you say all of the calls were correct? Really the Clark penalty?, the no call on the clip on fumble return? Phantom PI call on Allen? Maybe you don’t actually know the rules

  53. Steeler sideline was crying about the Wallace hit because they thought it was spearing after being down by contact. He wasn’t. Helmet to helmet was incidental. The one on Rainey was the one that they missed horribly.

  54. Oh one more thing mr ex official, the NFL has determined there is no such thing as “incidental” helmet to helmet. Or haven’t you been watching the fines handed out to defenders for H2H Hits?

  55. What was that, Justin Tuck, about “getting away with murder” again? Whose side are the refs on?

    Steelers are clearly the better team, dominating the game in every way including statistically.

  56. Steelers definitely dominated. No excuses, the Giants did not come to play. They were even saved by a few questionable calls.

    But to all who claim the Giants are getting all the breaks and, moreso, in this game, I have nothing to say. You’re relating a totally horiffic experience, for the region, to a game of football. I am a Giants fan and have watched them play since winning the SB back in 90. I see the ball bounce their way sometimes, and the ball bounce the other way at other times as well. As someone pointed out to me at this very forum, it does take some luck to win, but it also takes some effort. No team can claim that this is not applicable to them at some point.

  57. Here’s what the refs might have seen during the Big Ben fumble/forward pass play.

    While Ben’s arm was going forward, there was a point when he stopped his arm and attempted to either tuck the ball in, or reload his arm for another throw. At that point is when the ball fell free.

    I was surprised at the call, i just thought they would say it was forward motion, normally im correct when i ‘guess along’ with the review, but this one was kind of shocking and probably not the right call.

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