Victor Cruz Goes to Ground in Giants Win
On the Giants go ahead drive with just over 3 minutes left in the 4th, Eli Manning threw a pass to Cruz for a 29 yard gain. At least that's how it eventually turned out. Cruz caught the ball, and after eluding one tackle, seemed to fall to the ground untouched. Cruz then proceeded to let go of the ball and walk away! A Cardinals player picked up the ball thinking that Cruz had fumbled because he was not down by contact. After the challenge flag was thrown by the Cardinals, the Referees huddled and determined that the call on the field was that Cruz had declared himself down, and therefore it was an unchallengable call.
According to the NFL Rules when a player slides feet first they are determined to have declared them self down, and therefore a player from the other team does not have to touch them. While watching this game it seemed to me like Cruz tripped, there was NO WAY he purposefully went down (especially at that point in the game with the Giants down by 3). The second part of the rule says when a player falls to the ground. So maybe Cruz's action of flipping the ball away was his "declaration" in a sense, but that seems iffy.
While the call on the field couldn't be challenged, it definitely seemed like the wrong call under the circumstances. It also made a huge difference in the game with Eli Manning throwing a TD pass to Hicks on the next play.
Check out the play on youtube. Do we really think he gave himself up?