Tom Coughlin is a Genius

If you are reading this post, you are reading history.  This is the first time I have ever blogged “live” during a game.

I’m watching the Giants play the Eagles right now and in the third quarter, it was third and long for the Giants near the Philadelphia red zone.  Eli Manning steps back to pass, the pocket collapses, and Eli runs forward with the ball looking to throw.  He runs forward with the ball tucked, then right as he is about to cross the line, he throws the ball up field to tight end Kevin Boss, who makes the catch at the Philadelphia three yard line.

I was watching this live and it looked CLEARLY that Manning was over the line of scrimmage and the pass was in illegal forward pass.  The referee threw the flag and there was the illegal forward pass penalty, complete with the loss of down, to make it fourth and long.  The Giants field goal unit came onto the field.

I’ll say this about Giants Coach Tom Coughlin, I DID NOT like him until… well the end of last season when I kept hearing how he had mellowed from the Gestapo-like coach he had been known to be.  Now, I’m impressed.

So as the Giants are about the kick a field goal, Coughlin throws the challenge flag.  “Are you nuts?” I’m thinking.  Big Blue already used a time out and those time outs are precious in a tight game like this.  He was wasting a time out.  Manning was OBVIOUSLY over the line, every replay showed it.  As the referee goes under the hood, NBC goes to commercial and when they get back, Al Michaels and John Madden explain how knowledgeable Coughlin is of the NFL rules and how he has a better successful challenge percentage than most NFL coaches.  So Michaels explains that every part of the QB’s body must be over the line of scrimmage for there to be an infraction.  There is one replay where the very end of Manning’s heel is behind the line of scrimmage.

The referee comes out from under the hood.  The call on the field was overturned because of the right heel of Manning being behind the line of scrimmage.  Absolutely wild stuff.  Giants run the ball and get a touchdown.  What a weapon the challenges are and I’m overly impressed that Coughlin’s superior knowledge of the game’s rules helped the Giants get four more points.  Not too many coaches make that challenge.  Wow.

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