December 20, 2017
Apparently, a few New York Giants players were upset that the officials did not bail them out with a pass interference call on fourth down with less than a minute to go on Sunday.
On the play, Eli Manning tried to find rookie tight end Evan Engram in the back of the end zone, who was closely covered by Eagles safety Corey Graham. The ball sailed over the head of Engram, just about sealing the game for the Eagles.
According to Engram, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com, it was an 'obvious' call that the officials missed.
"My arm was kind of held," Engram said. "It was obvious that he kind of arm-barred me. I thought it was definitely defensive pass interference. Fourth down. It was really obvious, but no call."
After the play, wide receiver Sterling Shepard was assessed with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for screaming the back judge after the play.
"You hate to see it end like that," Shepard said. "I was hurt for all of our wins. I was itching for one. I think that's the reason emotions got to me like that. I usually don't let that type of stuff happen, but I was staring dead at it. I'm like, 'What are you looking at?'"
It was absolutely a good no-call. On the play, with the ball on its way, Engram extended his right arm into Graham's shoulder in an attempt to gain separation. The officials could've really gone ahead and flagged Engram for offensive pass interference right then and there. In a slow-motion replay, you can see Graham pull Engram's arm down off of him, at which point he then immediately then plays the ball in the air.
“I was playing the ball, and looking back at it,” said Graham. "It’s tough to get pass interference when you’re looking back and playing the ball. Obviously, we were leaning on each other. I won’t say that we weren’t touching each other.
"We’re taught that when a receiver pushes off on you, you knock his hand down so he can’t get separation. It’s a pretty normal thing. Receivers are taught to get their separation that way, and we’re taught to knock their arm down when they try to do that."
Had Engram simply gone up for the ball without first committing offensive pass interference himself first, then sure, go ahead and flag Graham for defensive pass interference for pulling his arm down. But Engram's adamant expectation for a flag, when he initiated the contact, is laughable.
Jim Schwartz thought Graham made a clean play.
"Corey had good leverage and also went up and played the ball," he said. "It’s easy to get a DPI right there, have your back turned, freak out and panic. He's a veteran player. He doesn't do any of those things."
Doug Pederson also pointed out that the pass was uncatchable anyway..
"I saw an incomplete pass," he said. "The ball was high. I don't know if anybody could have caught the pass. In those situations a lot of times the officials are going to let you play, whether it's a fade in the back of the end zone, a front pylon throw, a back-end line throw. There's always going to be contact. We complain when it happens to us."
Honestly, of the two teams, the Giants were far bigger beneficiaries of a missed call in that game. With around four minutes left in the third quarter, Najee Goode was flagged for jumping offsides on a fourth down punt. That allowed the Giants to keep possession of the football, resulting in a touchdown drive.
On the re-watch, Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie clearly false started, as he twitched his left arm and hand, simulating the snap, which caused Goode to jump.
"No matter how much you bitch about it, it’s over now, so what the hell," Graham added.
The Giants are 2-12.
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