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Poor timing by officials


The Philadelphia Eagles took control of the NFC East on Sunday night with a 45-38 victory over the New York Giants in a game filled with questionable calls. Among the most glaring was a timing lapse just before halftime that prevented the Eagles possibly from scoring.

After Michael Vick's one-yard touchdown run gave Philadelphia a 30-17 lead 16 seconds before intermission, Giants returner Domenik Hixon ran the ensuing kickoff to the 33-yard line and fumbled. The Eagles' Moise Fokou recovered at the 32 with two seconds to play, but officials allowed time to expire.

That sequence was reminiscent of the Big 12 championship game between Texas and Nebraska, when trailing at the end of the game, Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy scrambled and threw the ball out of bounds as time expired. But officials reviewed the play and determined there should be one second left on the clock, and Texas kicked a field goal to win and save its national championship hopes.

Even the play-by-play announcers on CBS Radio invoked comparisons of the lost time in the Eagles-Giants game to that of the Big 12 championship.

But because the play occurred in the final two minutes of the half, Eagles Coach Andy Reid was not allowed to challenge. League rules stipulate in the final two minutes of each half and in overtime, only the replay assistant in the television booth or press box can call for a video review. That never happened, and the Eagles were cheated out of at least attempting a long field goal.

That clock issue did not wind up costing the Eagles, as they improved to 9-4 with a one-game lead over Dallas. But what if Philadelphia had lost to the Giants by two points?

The larger issue is how officials permitted two seconds to tick off the game clock, even when it may have seemed meaningless at the time. Even one second can be the difference between winning and losing, and when the stakes are as high as they were in Sunday's Eagles-Giants game, managing the clock correctly becomes all the more important.

By Gene Wang  |  December 14, 2009; 7:27 AM ET  | Category:  Refs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The game officials and the high up NFL execs seem to look the other way when these major goofs happen. There was another issue in the game that still wasn't explained, the McNabb incomplete pass/fumble where they spotted the ball as a 10 yard loss but gave the incomplete signal. I still think that NFL officials should be full time. They are not prepared for games. I never would have thought that refs cheated in the NBA but the nfl gives the appearance as if does with some of the lamest and inconsistent calls over the years.

Posted by: larry40 | December 18, 2009 11:49 AM

The clock mis-mgmt at the end of the 1st half was disturbing. However, it didnt matter, the eagles won anyway.

Posted by: dc4life | December 18, 2009 2:20 PM

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