Giants Q&A: Manningham loses ball, TD

Mario Manningham had this apparent touchdown nullified when

Mario Manningham had this apparent touchdown nullified when the officials ruled he did not have possession of the ball. (Oct. 16, 2011) (Credit: David Pokress )

Why wasn't Mario Manningham's play in the end zone a touchdown catch?

Although it appeared that Manningham had control of the ball and two feet down in the end zone on a 37-yard post pass from Eli Manning, the officials ruled it incomplete when the ball came loose after he hit the turf. It's the same rule that denied the Lions' Calvin Johnson a game-winning touchdown last season: If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground.

Tom Coughlin challenged it after seeing the replay, so he must have thought it was a touchdown, right?

Nope. The Giants coach admitted after the game that he simply challenged on principle. "I know what the rule is, blah, blah, blah," Coughlin said. "It was the right call, but in a situation like that, I felt justified knowing that I was pretty much going to lose it."

Can anyone stop Jake Ballard?

The "blocking" tight end keeps finding ways to get open. On Sunday he was targeted five times and caught five passes for 81 yards, including a long of 24 that brought the Giants to the 1 to set up their first touchdown. Ballard, who has 15 catches for 273 yards this season and caught more passes Sunday than he had in any game since high school, said he expected to be met with skepticism replacing a popular and effective player in Kevin Boss this season. "You got some guy coming in who really hasn't had much experience, so I'd be a little iffy too," he said. "Luckily, they gave me a shot and I'm trying to make the most of it."

Perry Fewell talked about having players wear wristbands with plays written on them to facilitate communication. Did they?

No. But after the two long scoring plays in the first quarter, he might have been regretting it.

Was this the first game this year the Bills didn't have a takeaway?

Yes. They came into the game with a league-high 16, but the Giants were able to hold on to the football. The closest the Bills came to a takeaway was on the play before the game-winning field goal, a third-and-goal pass from Manning to Manningham that was nearly picked by Leodis McKelvin.

And what was Coughlin thinking on that pass?

Very simple thought: "Don't throw it to them."

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