Around the NFC West: Referee's fumble?


The ruling referee Jerome Boger made on the New York Giants' non-fumble interests me more in the short term than rehashing the Arizona Cardinals' third defeat in a row.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com provides a helpful link to a replay and says he finds the call "even more egregious" upon review. Noted: I thought Giants receiver Victor Cruz gave himself up on the play, but only after he had slipped. Why else would he flip the ball forward and move back toward the huddle? It was almost as though Cruz decided to give himself up once he slipped and was headed for the grass. This was not a typical fumble, but should it have been ruled one anyway? The question I have revolves around whether a runner can declare himself down after slipping and then flipping the ball forward. What criteria must be met for a runner to declare himself down? The rules do say the ball is dead "when a runner is out of bounds, or declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and making no effort to advance." Cruz did fall to the ground, but it might not have been intentional. He did make no effort to advance. Does that make him down? Yes, according to the NFL, which put out a statement saying referees make judgment calls in these situations, and Boger judged Cruz to have been down.

Also from Urban: Darnell Dockett voices confidence in the team and says the Cardinals just need to find ways to finish games. Dockett: "Everybody is going to point fingers and say we’re not good and all that. But I am confident with this team. I will take this team anywhere, any place, any time. We just have to find a way to finish. It’s one thing when you go into a game and you don’t have a clue and you’re getting beat from the start. That’s not the case. We have to find a way to finish. And we will do that."

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says the pressure is on Kevin Kolb to produce.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers thoughts on various aspects of the Cardinals' performance, including this one on Kolb: "To me, Kevin Kolb doesn't look like he has a feel for the pocket, or for this offensive line yet. I think he can do a better job of moving a step or two in the pocket to buy himself time. I saw Kurt Warner improve greatly in this area, but it took a year or so of work. Kolb is mobile, but it looks like he's trying to figure out how to use that mobility. It's possible he and his receivers need to get a better feel for each other, too. Maybe the receivers don't have an idea of how to move to get open for Kolb when the QB is on the move."