Michael Clayton’s “Interception” Broken Down

November 19th, 2009

Joe still can’t figure out how in the hell the NFL officials dreamed up that “interception” by Jason Taylor on Michael Clayton’s catch last Sunday.

In short, Clayton is to blame because he never got both feet down. Seriously.

Joe learned this by watching NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira go through the replay in great detail in this special NFL.com video, explaining how the officials determined it was an interception.

Pereira called the play “fascinating.” Joe’s not so sure he’d use the same word.

12 Responses to “Michael Clayton’s “Interception” Broken Down”

  1. CharlieB Says:

    Steve White game a good explanation on the blog for why it had to be an interception. This is entirely Clayton’s fault for not holding onto the ball until the whistle.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    I thought Clayton had both feet down, but only one actually hit the ground, so I was wrong. I take back everything bad I have ever said about Zebras. Not, refs still suck, and Clayton should be traded to a Pop Warner team.

  3. Jorge Says:

    It’s a bull sh!t explanation, for a bull sh!t rule…Clayton should have hung on to it, but that rule is ridiculous…He wasn’t going out of bounds, or in the endzone…Burt Emmanuel, Iddel Shepard–>now Micahael Clayton, or as the lackies of NFL network consistently call him “Mark” Clayton, Child Please! NFL, Child Please…

  4. Teddy Says:

    If Rah had any gumption at all, he’d instruct his players for the entire upcoming Saints game to, when they get tackled, curl up in a fetal position around the ball on the ground until the referee comes and takes it from them. A bit of a silent protest to show just how insidious this ruling was.

  5. Joe Says:


    Joe likes that idea, but fears the zebras would be throwing delay-of-game flags all over the place.

  6. tnew Says:

    While I would love to pile on Clayton for this, it wasn’t his fault. The NFL found a tidy little excuse for a bad call with the one foot down conspiracy. They blew the call saying it was incomplete because he didn’t posess the ball all the way to the ground buttttt he has the ball all the way down to the ground and is laying on his back, the ball only comes out after he is rolling over to get up, which is not in the continuation of the catch. By the logic explained in the vid, as a secondary coach, I would teach my dbs to only worry about grabbing a single leg every time a reciever went up and not let it go until the other 10 guys piled on to strip the ball, but just keep that foot up so the receiver isn’t down…. That is an obvious abortion of the intention of the rule, but so was this ruling. IMO, the explanation was worse than the blown call.

  7. Louie Says:

    OK, then before handing the ball over to the zebra, ask “do I have possession of the ball?”. Won’t be a delay of game, but will annoy the crap out of them.

  8. Joe Says:


    It’s a bullshit rule. That rule was also applied (can’t remember the game) in the same segment on NFL Network. A guy caught the ball, rolled over with the ball, got up and then lost the ball and it was called incomplete. I mean, com’on, if you don’t have possession, there’s no way you can get up after rolling over with the ball still in your hands.

    Anyone remember the Troy Polamalu “incompletion” when he intercepted Peyton Manning in the playoffs, fell down, rolled over a couple of times (with the ball tucked away) and after he got up lost the ball and it was ruled incomplete? Same rule applied. It’s a bullshit rule, just like the tuck rule.

    It’s getting to the point that to be an NFL referee you have to be an ambulance chaser or an insurance claims adjuster to decipher the BS rules.

    People don’t pay good money for zebras to watch peep shows. How is it there are so many disputed pass plays by the zebras in the NFL whereas in college, there’s not a fraction of the hand-wringing? Simple, the NFL adds rules where none are needed and as a result they are splitting hairs.

  9. paul0311 Says:

    tnew, exactly right. That’s why a knee, butt elbow etc constitutes being down. This was a blown call and its part of Pereira to be a sales man on blown calls.

  10. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    To be fair, Paul, if you watch the whole video, Pereira blames the officials on for the next two plays he breaks down

  11. Eric S Says:

    Thought Pereira explained it very well. Clayton has to hold on to the ball. He didn’t and it was a pick.

  12. Joe S. Says:

    so, if clayton holds on to the ball and continues to roll over and get up like he did, does he get to keep running, or would he have been down by contact?