Turnovers have plagued the New York Giants in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals, even though this one was appeared to be a stroke of genius by the Cardinals -- if the play was intended this way. Dion Lewis took a kick return 15 yards before fumbling the football and giving Arizona a short field, right after the Cardinals kicked a field goal to take a 6-0 lead over New York.
Returning a kick back in the NFL these days is a bad idea, but it's hard to fault Lewis here when Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts literally kicked the football out of his hands. While attempting to bring down Lewis, Fitts decided to lift his leg up to slow his momentum -- and actually forced the fumble. Of course, if the officiating crew had deemed this to be an intentional kick then it would have been penalized. No flag was thrown on the play and it is not reviewable.
A fumble forced by a foot 🤯🤯 #Cardinals #giants pic.twitter.com/xz7x9b5q3J— JWAL Sports (@JwalSports) December 13, 2020
Trent Sherfield recovered the loose ball for the Cardinals, who received excellent field position at the Giants' 21-yard line. Arizona scored a touchdown four plays later, as Kyler Murray found Dan Arnold for a touchdown to put the Cardinals up 13-0 at the half.
The Giants have three fumbles in the first half, two of which were lost. Only one fumble cost them points, but New York was held scoreless in the first half due to their ineptitude on offense and special teams. It's still hard to fully fault Lewis on that fumble.
In case you're wondering if the play is illegal, former NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said on the Fox broadcast the kick was illegal -- but not reviewable since the officials missed the call.