The New York Giants fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12 not because of the officials, but because of a series of factors that they were ultimately unable to overcome.
That’s not to say the officials didn’t have an impact, however.
In total, there were 18 accepted penalties — 11 on the Giants, seven on the Eagles — and several others that were either declined, offset or picked up. There were also more than a handful that should have been called, but weren’t.
There was no bias in the game. The officials were just bad and there’s no way around that. Several of the calls were ticky-tack at best, but the real issue that came into play were the penalties that got ignored.
It began early in the game when the Giants appeared to be driving in for their second touchdown. Running back Saquon Barkley was crossing over the middle as quarterback Eli Manning fired him the ball, but Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was quick to jump on his back.
No flag was thrown and the Giants were forced to settle for a field goal.
Later in the game, wide receiver Sterling Shepard appeared to be blatantly held, restricting his route to a ball that fell incomplete. Both Shepard and Manning called for a flag, but none were coming.
There were at least two other pass interference/defensive holding penalties that went ignored by Walt Anderson’s crew, each on wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., including one on another third-down play that would have ended in a touchdown.
The missed penalty on Beckham was so blatantly bad that even Skip Bayless, a known and proud Giants hater, couldn’t deny the impact it had.
Ultimately, the officials saved the worst for last. Literally.
On the final play of the game, Sterling Shepard lateraled the ball to Odell Beckham Jr., who appeared to have a small lane to run through going towards the sideline, but was promptly tripped as an Eagles defender whipped out his legs and took Beckham’s feet out from beneath him.
The play should have drawn a 15-yard penalty and allowed the Giants one additional untimed down — a chance for a hail mary or a 60-plus yard Aldrick Rosas field goal attempt, either of which would have been suitable for the Giants, who trailed and ultimately lost the game by just three.
In the aftermath, former NFL official Gene Steratore explained just how bad the non-call was.
There were other calls and non-calls (see: Golden Tate’s non-fumble) that could be argued and debated, but these are the missed penalties that not only stand out, but directly impacted the flow and outcome of the game.
This has become an ongoing issue for the league and one that has cropped up in several Giants games this season with head coach Pat Shurmur sending film to the league and requesting an explanation. At least once already this season an apology was issued to the Giants, and they can probably expect more after Sunday’s horrendous display of officiating.