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A Giant Miss


Officials made one of the most puzzling calls of the season during Philadelphia's 40-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. Although the ruling did not directly affect the outcome, it provided yet another opportunity for football fans to debate questionable officiating and to wonder if replay really does make a difference.

In case you missed it, quarterback Donovan McNabb fumbled as he was being sacked in the third quarter, and defensive tackle Fred Robbins picked up the ball and began running. After 11 yards, Robbins lateraled to teammate Osi Umenyiora, who ran the remaining 37 yards for a touchdown.

Eagles Coach Andy Reid challenged the call that McNabb had fumbled, and after officials viewed the play, they determined while McNabb did indeed fumble, Robbins's lateral was actually an illegal forward pass. Thus the touchdown was overturned, and the Giants wound up with possession at the Eagles 42. That drive ended in a field goal to cut the deficit to 33-10.

Repeated television replays appeared to show the lateral was legal, but inexplicably, officials didn't see it that way. That's what made this particular judgment so frustrating.

It just goes to show even replay can be fallible because, after all, humans are still involved in the decision-making process.

By Gene Wang  |  November 2, 2009; 12:20 AM ET  | Category:  New York Giants , Philadelphia Eagles , Refs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I always thought that the officials could only look at the specifics of what is being challenged and not other aspects of the play. If so, then they should only rule on whetehr or not there was a fumble, if that was what Andy Reid asked for. Anything else is noot.

If this is not the case, then why don't we see them calling holding on other replays, as we all know this takes place on almost every play?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | November 2, 2009 1:16 PM

Only certain calls may be challenged - holding is not one of them. When a play is challenged, all aspects of the play are subject to review.

Posted by: seasidegolf | November 6, 2009 4:29 PM

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