Did NFL actually review pivotal play Giants complained about?

While Giants defensive backs sat in a corner of the visitors’ locker room Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium and fumed about the officiating in a 33-31 loss to the Panthers, Pat Shurmur wondered about the spot on Christian McCaffrey’s apparent 1-yard run that gave the Panthers a first down on the Giants’ 45-yard line.

It is very likely Shurmur’s doubts are well-founded.

Watching the play live — the snap came with 30 seconds remaining — it did not look as if McCaffrey ever surged forward enough to get the first down before Alec Ogletree and others pushed him backwards. Given the first down, the Panthers had enough time and extra downs to get to the line of scrimmage and have Cam Newton spike the ball with 11 seconds left. That allowed for a calm and unhurried setup for a 63-yard field goal, which Graham Gano drilled with one second to go for the winning points.

Immediately after the run by McCaffrey, the Fox broadcast flashed “4th-and-1″ on the screen. The Giants were out of timeouts and thus could not stop the action and plead their case for the spot of the ball to be challenged.

“We’re out of control,” Shurmur said. “There’s really nothing you can do. You’ve just got to play the down.”

This left the Giants to wonder: Where the heck was the league in all this? Why did the New York officiating office not signal to the referee, Jerome Boger, that the spot of the ball was to be reviewed?

Well, it was reviewed. New York did take a look at the play, according to NFL Network, and determined the first down and the spot of the ball would not have been overturned. If this review took place, it did so with great speed, as there was no stoppage of play on the field.

If the ruling was that McCaffrey had come up just short and it was fourth down, the Panthers would have had time to get the field goal unit onto the field. But it would have been a far more hurried scenario, which could have affected Gano’s kick. No one will ever know.