Giants victimized on similar play earlier this season

The Giants were victimized by the same rule at least once earlier this season, so Eli Manning hardly was surprised while watching the ending of the Pittsburgh-New England game on Sunday.

The Steelers had a potential game-winning touchdown reversed and ruled an incomplete pass when it was determined that tight end Jesse James didn’t fully maintain possession of the ball as he went to the ground in the end zone, leading to a 27-24 victory for the Patriots.

“I had a feeling they were going to overturn that,” Manning said on Monday. “You hate it. When you’re watching it live, you don’t even think about that not being a catch. But when they run it down, and hey, when you go to the ground, you’ve got to finish with the ball in your hands.

“If it hits the ground, and there’s movement, I was like I think there’s enough evidence that they will reverse it. It is what it is. It’s called the same everywhere and those are the rules.”

Manning noted the Giants similarly had a touchdown reversed in a Week 3 loss in Philadelphia on Sept. 24, when Sterling Shepard got both feet down in the end zone but lost control of the ball when he hit the ground out of bounds.

“Sterling, yeah, same deal. Caught it, had two feet (in bounds), went to the ground, ball comes out, it’s going to be an incompletion,” Manning said. “I think it is clear what a catch is, especially when you’re going to the ground. You’ve got to control the ball the whole time.”

While the Steelers complained afterward, and many players and others around the league have railed against the rule, Manning isn’t calling for a rules change to be made by the NFL this offseason.

“I know the rules. Don’t be surprised. Whether they’re right or wrong, could be one way or the other, but in my mind, I guess, it’s being called the same everywhere. Those are the rules,” he said. “Coaches talk about it, players talk about it. There’s understanding that if you’re going to the ground, finish the catch. Don’t stop and celebrate too early, don’t assume anything. You’ve got to finish the play.

“Guys know it. Guys know when you’re going to the ground, in the end zone or whatever, you’ve got to finish the play. Especially if you’re going to the ground, you’ve got to hold onto it. Don’t assume it’s going to be a touchdown. Either don’t go to the ground or don’t let go of the ball.”

As for the final play of the Giants’ 34-29 loss to the Eagles, the 14-year veteran wasn’t up in arms over rookie tight end Evan Engram possibly being interfered with by Philly defensive back Corey Graham on the high 4th-and-11 throw.

“It could have been called, but I don’t think it was an obvious call,” Manning said. “They were kind of going back and forth, so, hey, we’ve gotta throw the ball a little lower and try to make the play. That’s football sometimes.