PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Giants had complaints about the officials after the Philadelphia Eagles were flagged just once for 5 yards in the Giants' 24-19 loss Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
Several questionable calls and non-calls seemed to have the Giants perplexed. Among them was a roughing-the-passer call on defensive end Olivier Vernon in the third quarter, and they were upset that there wasn’t a single holding, pass-interference or illegal-contact penalty called against Philadelphia despite 63 pass attempts and a very physical defense.
They believe the missed calls are coming on a regular basis.
“That happens each and every week. It’s football. It’s every week. Nothing has changed,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “You get the same kind of coverage. The same kind of physical play. To go along with it, we get the same no-calls, so nothing’s changed.
“We threw it 63 times. No holding calls. No pass interferences.”
Giants players thought there should’ve been a flag on a fourth-and-6 pass intended for Sterling Shepard with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll was on his back.
Coach Ben McAdoo brushed it off after the contest.
“It was not a penalty, right?” he said.
That was how the officials seemed to call the game. Only seven flags were thrown in the contest. Four were for offside or false starts. There were none for pass interference, defensive holding or illegal contact against a receiver, whether it was the Giants or Eagles.
“When you get in a game like that … on certain plays, the ref doesn’t really come to you and say anything. He just says, ‘It is cool, let it go.’ That is when you can tell you have a little more freedom to play,” Carroll said. “Not necessarily to say we are out there cheating, but they are just letting us play football. They are not getting all sensitive with the rules. They were giving us the opportunity to make plays.”
The Giants were flagged for two costly 15-yard penalties. Both were debatable. The first was an unnecessary roughness call on rookie cornerback Eli Apple for hitting Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz after he slid. Apple himself went to the ground and tried to avoid making contact.
He was still flagged. The Eagles scored a 40-yard touchdown on the next play.
Vernon was later flagged for roughing the passer. It appeared to be a clean hit right after Wentz released the ball.
Vernon was stunned to see the flag and doesn’t know what he could’ve done differently.
“I could’ve stopped in midair and reversed time. That probably could’ve worked,” he said, before adding: “Like I said, I should’ve stopped time a little bit, reversed a little bit, hit him at a different angle.”
This isn’t the first time the Giants have been unhappy with the officials this season. Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t happy with the way the officials handled his matchup with Josh Norman and the Redskins in Week 3. Beckham had a problem with the same crew in Pittsburgh for what the Giants thought were some missed pass-interference calls.
And now this. The calls and non-calls had the Giants scratching their heads after Thursday night’s loss. They missed an opportunity as a win over the Eagles would have clinched a playoff spot.