After a major gaffe during Monday night’s game between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions, fans ripped ESPN’s officiating expert after making an error while analyzing a call.
It has become common for networks to hire former professional football officials to provide commentary and analysis during football games. But it’s also surprisingly common for these so-called experts to be wrong about how a play is called.
In the first quarter of the game, Giants quarterback Eli Manning fumbled and the ball was returned for a touchdown by the Lions.
The play immediately went under review, where video evidence clearly showed that Manning’s knee was down before he fumbled the football, making the play dead and nullifying the fumble.
Rules expert Gerry Austin, who spent 25 years as an NFL official, disagreed with the video evidence and said Manning’s knee was not down and that the touchdown should stand.
It looked like Lions had a defensive TD on an Eli Manning fumble, but after review, Manning was down. The celebration counts though pic.twitter.com/SiTXYrCOXn
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) September 19, 2017
A video uploaded to Twitter provided a different camera angle, which made it clear Manning had complete control of the football when his knee touched the ground.
— brett ducker (@BrettDucker) September 19, 2017
Austin said the ball was moving and coming loose prior to Manning’s knee being down, stressing that the Lions touchdown should stand.
The call was overturned seconds later, where it was determined that Manning’s knee was down prior to losing control of the football.
Fans rely on officiating experts to provide accurate interpretations of close calls, and several users on social media flayed Austin for his bad analysis on the play.
Someone check Gerry Austin’s eyes.
— Nick Mensio (@NickMensio) September 19, 2017
Gerry Austin hit the bricks. Not a chance the ball was coming out before Eli’s knee hit the ground
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) September 19, 2017
Good thing Gerry Austin isn’t the ref. #NFL
— Dave Rothenberg (@RothenbergESPN) September 19, 2017
The Giants also had an embarrassing performance on Monday, where they fell to 0-2 after losing 24-10 to the Lions.
Despite the return of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from an ankle injury, the Giants offense struggled.
Manning was 22 for 32, with 239 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked five times.
The Giants are the only NFL team to not reach the 100-yard rushing mark in either of their first two games.
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