Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Evaluating the interception by JT

When I recorded the game on Sunday, I used a lower resolution record to save space.  I saw another replay last night - in HD - slowed by the broadcast.  It seems clear to me that Clayton never had complete control of the ball, and therefore the interception call was correct.
 
But, I still can't figure out what happened after the play. 
 
As most of you know, the NFL rules are not made available to the media or the public.  They're a big secret, apparently.  We can get our hands on the rules digest, the scorers guide, etc.  But, we can't see the actual scrolls of parchment they are engraved on.  Now, I did get my hands on an older set of them - dated 2007.  Since there are always rule changes or amendmants, its useful for context but not for specific scenarios that evolve over time.
 
What we do know is that they modified a rule last offseason to allow for changes of possession (such as the Denver-San Diego game) so the whistle "doesn't matter" when there is a change of possession like that.  One might assume that because that rule allows for the change of possession, but not any subsequent returns, that this might have been a factor in the outcome of the play on Sunday.
 
Its still not right, we think, because the whistle never blew and therefore it was continuing action.  And although it wasn't "ruled a TD," the play was concluded that way, and the officials huddled and called it incomplete.  Had they called it incomplete at the time the play was happening, their rule would be correct. 
 
In other words, I think they mis-applied the rule.
Like This Article ? :