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Saints' Payton: Rule makes sense but call on Cruz doesn't

  • By Simon Samano
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With regard to Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz's fumble-not-a-fumble (whatever you want to call it) against the Cardinals, plenty of people have an opinion. Here's what we've heard:

» Former vice president of officiating and Fox analyst Mike Pereira thinks the referees blew the call.

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» Current VP of officiating Carl Johnson backs the zebras' ruling.

» Giants coach Tom Coughlin thinks the crew got it right.

» Eli Manning believes New York caught a break.

» All the while, Cruz himself was confused in thinking he had been touched after he voluntarily went to ground and dropped the ball when, in fact, he wasn't.

Get all that? Good. Because we have yet another insightful opinion to include from Saints coach Sean Payton, who broke it down two ways Monday on The Dan Patrick Show.

First, Payton uses a hypothetical situation to explain why the rule, being able to "declare yourself down" without being touched, makes sense.

"Let's say hypothetically there's eight seconds left on the clock," Payton said. "I want to throw the ball. I want the receiver to catch it, and then slide down so that we can call timeout. In other words, if you didn't allow that, the defense essentially could just sit there and watch them and the clock would (run out) ... a player can down himself, but clearly that wasn’t the case (Sunday)."

Even though Payton agrees with the rule, he disagrees with call.

"I think it was more of an inexperienced play in not being adjusted to the NFL rules in that we are going until you are downed, and if you are not downed you are still going," Payton said. "At the end of the game the situation arises where you might have 18 seconds left, and you might want the yardage, but you may also down yourself just to kick the field goal and use a timeout. That exists, but that’s different."

Thank you, Payton, for shedding this light: It's important to distinguish the rule from the call.

For those of you who don't like the rule, did any of Payton's explanation change your mind? For those of you who don't like the call, we already know there's no chance of changing your mind.


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