Posted September 08, 2013

Clay Matthews starts altercation with late hit on Colin Kaepernick; official admits botching key call

Green Bay Packers, NFC North, NFC West, San Francisco 49ers
Generally speaking, the NFL does not want its linebackers launching themselves at quarterbacks.

Generally speaking, the NFL does not want its linebackers launching themselves at quarterbacks. (Ben Margot/AP)

How to deal with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback? Well, that was a point of focus for the Green Bay Packers all week — and all offseason. Green Bay’s defensive staff went back to the drawing board after Kaepernick fried their defense for a record 181 rushing yards in the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs, and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said this week that the best way to deal with Kaepernick when he is in read-option mode is to tee off on him. The NFL specified its rules regarding contact on running quarterbacks in the offseason, and that did not make 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh very happy at all.

With 9:30 left in the first half of the season-opening rematch, Matthews did something that undoubtedly drew even more of Harbaugh’s ire. As Kaepernick ran out of bounds after a four-yard gain from the Green Bay 10-yard line, Matthews launched himself at Kaepernick, hitting the 49ers’ QB outside the field of play. Matthews was penalized, but that foul was negated when San Francisco left tackle Joe Staley got in Matthews’ grill and threw punches. With offsetting dead-ball fouls as called, the play was re-done from the 10-yard line, and Kaepernick promptly threw a touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin to give his team a 14-7 lead. However, as referee Bill Leavy admitted after the game, there should have been a different result.

“On the play where the quarterback went out of bounds and was hit late out of bounds, and then there was a subsequent hit by a San Francisco player, the down should have counted,” Leavy said. “The penalties were both dead ball, and they should have offset at the spot where the runner went out of bounds. And it would have been fourth down.”

A Matthews-Kaepernick dustup seemed inevitable given the chatter leading up to the game.

“We’re always trying to get after the quarterback,” Matthews told the Bay Area media Wednesday morning. “It’s not like this game is any different as far as hitting the quarterback. But it does provide a clearer picture in regards to when a quarterback can be hit. “It looks like — and, obviously, we’ll see in Week 1 — it looks like any time that quarterback is carrying out that play fake, he loses that right as a pocket passer and the rules that govern that. So we’ll see. We’ll see the hits that are legal and aren’t legal … But we feel like our gameplan fits within the scheme of the officials and what we want to do.”

Well, launching at a quarterback, anywhere on the field, probably isn’t within the NFL’s purview.

“You’re hearing a lot of tough talk right now,” Harbaugh responded, citing Matthews’ as an example of intent to harm. “You’re hearing some intimidating type of talk. Kind of things — same things we were hearing a couple of years ago. It sounds a lot like targeting a specific player. “You definitely start to wonder. A man will usually tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. You know what’s being said publicly, you wonder what’s being said privately. You hope that their intent is not going to be anything that’s not within the rules.”

Intentionally or not, that’s what Matthews seemed to do. Former 49ers offensive lineman Randy Cross was unimpressed.

145 comments
PiercePyneda
PiercePyneda

sloppy article!  this reporting is highly inaccurate since Staley did not throw any punches which was subsequently confirmed by the league office.  Green Bay in fact benefited from the wrong calls but the touchdown resulted in no harm done to the 49ers.

adam.m.pickett
adam.m.pickett

http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/pg.evRyqsgd4EhR_xQD6KQ--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTIyNTtweW9mZj0wO3E9ODU7dz00MDA-/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/sports/2013-09-08/93d6fda7-1560-4658-a09a-15e4c305003d_cmhit.gif


and

http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/iVsDZxHJUCsx7lOSNCGN8w--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTIyNTtweW9mZj0wO3E9ODU7dz00MDA-/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/sports/2013-09-08/017bc1a6-c013-4142-aef4-52f00c482ad2_cmfight.gif


If you want to see it over and over again.

Unca_C
Unca_C

I guess the point to all this is mathews himself said it was a stupid mistake on his part, so, go with that Cheese heads. 

LitterBoxer
LitterBoxer

Regardless of what happened, the Niners deserved to win and they did. 

BrandonRousseau
BrandonRousseau

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the play before this one, the niners were penalized and the Packers bench was given the "option" of a 3rd & 6 (replay of downs, minus 5) or a 4th & 2. After the niners had already converted the majority of 3rd downs going into that decision and when they were on the Packers ~ 35 yard line, McCarthy selects 3rd & 6.

This was the mistake that led to the 7 points if everyone really wants to study it...Why would any coach give the 49ers another shot. Remember, this was the sideline making the call, not the refs...McCarthy...bad mistake putting the ball in Kap's hands a second time for a 1st down conversion. 

Everyone is making a big deal and blaming the refs on the next play...and the refs made a mistake. But the bigger blunder was the Packer's bench on the preceding play and putting the ball back in our hands...which had the Packers bench made the right call, there is only a field goal which would have happened in any event. Remember, even if the 49ers fail to convert on 3rd & 6, they go for the filed goal anyway and in Dawson's wheelhouse...


freebyrd711
freebyrd711

Can you imagine if  Kaepernick was gay?  the drama queens would be yelling hate crime

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

The NFL Officials are simply attempting to "COVER THEIR @$$"!  First of all, Staley seeked out Matthews and bumped into him when Matthews was walking back to the field of play.  Second of all, are they trying to say that in that post-play team fight, not one 49er threw a punch?   Personal  fouls were clearly committed by both teams several times.  Off setting was clearly the correct call, the refs should just man-up and admit their mistake instead of trying to cover their @$$ with another lie.

We don't know how the game would have change but that is not the point here. 

While it was a late hit by Mathews, it certainly doesn't rise to the level of a fine/suspension by the NFL, it wouldn't surprise me if the cowards did something like that.


freebyrd711
freebyrd711

The so called hit was a bit more like Matthews was trying to find someone to break his fall.

The NFL should create the " i am offended penalty " to go along with their liberal thinking.

drama drama drama

SixPham
SixPham

“After reviewing the play, Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino determined that Joe Staley should not have been penalized,” an NFL spokesman said in a statement.

So the 49ers should have been awarded a first-and-goal at the Packers 3-yard line after Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews illegally hit Kaepernick after he stepped out of bounds at the 6-yard line.

HeatherCampbell
HeatherCampbell

As a packers fan my main problem here is how they are making a big deal of what clay said before the game.  SO WHAT PEOPLE!!! The idea of the game is to not let the other team score, now days you can barely play the dang game!! Cant do this cant do that.. WTH!! I'm not gonna sit here and say the late hit wasn't the right call, but seriously  this is ridiculous.. the 49ers are only as good as their CRY baby coach!! He cried when he was at Stanford (Duck fan as well!) and hes the biggest cry baby in the NFL now.. so the players are learning from him.. cry and you get attention.. GET OVER YOURSELVES and play the damn game!! Before too long college and the NFL will have to hire cheerleaders to play the sport..

Charlie P
Charlie P

think the point is - if this had been someone else, it would not have been a big deal, but Clay Matthews had openly talked about targeting Kaepernick and that's what took it to a different level.And Packer fans, please ask yourselves how you would feel if Aldon Smith flies at Aaron Rodgers and clotheslines Rodgers to the ground as he is ducking out of bounds.

jpratt3rd
jpratt3rd

Matthews needs to be suspended by the Commish. He was only out to injure Kaepernick, and nothing short of that.

JosephAngelo
JosephAngelo

Greenbay peeps ,

Clay should have been flagged that was obvious 

Joe should NOT have been flagged because he did not hit Clay ,  this means we should have never of had offsetting ,  

Plus Clay should have had 2 flags because he also hit Joe , 

The issue here was not that the wrong call was made for offsetting , it was the fact that offsetting should never have been called , and instead 2 flags should have been on Clay 

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

So let me get this right...Matthews goes after him and hits him there, its a late hit. If he lets up, you know what happens, CK turns it up and scores a TD. Its a lose lose for the defender. The hit happened, it was penalized, frickin move on. 49er fans are starting take on the whiny-ness of their coach now and its ruining what was once a great fanbase! 

What Matthews did happens dozens and dozens of times in the NFL, multiple times a week...people talking about suspensions or ejections are either dumb or delusional...or both.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@PiercePyneda Staley may not have thrown any punches but he escalated the situation.  He sought out Matthews yelling at him and grabbing his jersey with both hands.  Matthews was on his way back to the playing field.  I don't know if there is an NFL player who would not have reacted the same way Mathews did when Staley wouldn't let go.  I agree with the late penalty on Matthews but several personal fouls were committed by both teams in the brawl which justifies personal fouls on each team, even if the NFL doesn't believe Staley's actions warranted a penalty itself. 

The NFL is "covering their @$$" because the refs screwed the call up.  I have no problem with the 49ers winning the game,  but they did benefit from the error the refs made.  It should have been 4th & 2.

TeddyBloomquist
TeddyBloomquist

@BrandonRousseau Exactly. It's kind of like how everyone remembers Bill Buckner but not what Rich Gedman did a few pitches before. 

SJNiner
SJNiner

@DeekRivers  But if YOU look at the replay, Staley grabs Matthews and holds him with straight arms; no punches thrown by Staley. It was MATTHEWS who throws a punch and a open hand slap to Staley.  Staley did nothing to get a flag. Yes Pack was screwed by Fail Mary but get over it already!! Jeez you starting to sound like Seahawk fans who still moan about Steelers SB!! 49ers played a better game and deserved to win; deal with it and focus on the next 15 games..


TeddyBloomquist
TeddyBloomquist

@DeekRivers Dude was clearly out of bounds and Matthews did his best impression of a lion taking down a gazelle . . Not saying it was a cheap shot or anything, but it was recklessly stupid and could've ended with the type of injury that the NFL was concerned about with horse collar tackles. He'll be fined and that's the end of the story.

Unca_C
Unca_C

@DeekRivers What Glay Mathews did was punch Staley in the face twice. This was after head hunting Kaepernick as he went out of bounds. But don't worry. Sister Golden Hair will be given a pass by the league office. 

No, you can't question whether the 49ers threw punches, because they didn't. It's all there on tape. 

SixPham
SixPham

@DeekRivers Players get into each others faces all the time.  Its a dirty play.  The altercation in my opinion isn't a bid deal.  Matthew wacked, though not that malicious, Staley twice.  You can question whether any 49ers throw punches but the video showed otherwise.  Should be 49ers 1st and Goal but who cares, the better team won anyways.  God for bids someone does that golden boy RG3 and he gets hurt.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@SixPham actually No.  Staley seeked out Matthews after the play and there were clearly several personal fouls committed by each team during the fight.  Off-setting was the correct call, the officials are clearing attempting to "Cover their @$$es" when they know the screwed it up.  Should have been 4th and 2.  How it affected the final score we will never know but that would have been the correct call.

BenMyers
BenMyers

@SixPham 


And THAT should be the last word on it.  The Niners actually should have been set for an even EASIER TD attempt.  And Clay should be getting a nice fat fine.  GB fans, grow up.  You ain't been jobbed again like you were last year at Seattle.  You were outcoached (again), outplayed (again) and funnily enough outclassed (as a fanbase) again.


You accuse Coach of being a cry baby, while being cry babies yourself.  Priceless.  (Especially since Jim, while tactless, is usually right in his evaluation)

HeatherCampbell
HeatherCampbell

Ya'll are funny!! Thanks for the laughs! No I wouldnt defend ole Jim if he was coaching my team! He really does cry and the only reason why he's winning is cause he has a good team.  I'm not gonna sit here and say the 49ers arent good, you dont go to Super Bowl and suck, seesh you would think I know nothing about football.  Second I also do agree with Suh getting scrutinized last yesterday.  That hit he did yesterday was not as bad as he has been doing.  So dont just say its cause I'm a Packers fan people.  I love my packers, yes and Clay happens to be my favorite but I really am tired how players cant do anything it seems this year so far, heck college is the same way.  Thats all END OF STORY.. let the men play football and the cry babys go home and cry!

BenMyers
BenMyers

@HeatherCampbell 


You sound about as bitter as most USC/Seaduck fans do about Harbaugh.  Yup, he speaks his mind.  And he takes his lumps and backs it up by simply kicking everyone's butt.

Funny thing is, if he was coaching your team, you would be defending his behavior, lol.  Deny it all you want, but we all know better.

JamesNoriega
JamesNoriega

@HeatherCampbell I would have love to hear you comments if that would had been Patrick Willis hitting Aaron Rodgers and then punching an o-line man on the head, twice. 

Another thing, that "cry-baby"  is 3-0 against the packers last 2 years, i have a feeling you are the cry-baby after getting beat over and over by the 49ERS and Stanford.

x72
x72

@HeatherCampbell That's rich coming from a packers fan, how many phantom roughing the passer calls does Rodgers get?

rbosveld
rbosveld

@Charlie P No, it's a big deal regardless because Clay Matthews has a history of hitting QBs late.  He did the same thing last year with Ponder.  I'm curious to see what the NFL does.  As a Steelers fan James Harrison was flagged, fined, and suspended for far less.  Just because Harrison might be the grumpiest person on the planet doesn't mean that the rules change.  So, a fine is necessary and a suspension is within reason.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@JosephAngelo So Staley has the right to run at someone then grab them and not let go?  What coward is going to let someone do that without fighting back?  If you come at me, then grab me with both hands, better duck!  Staley escalated the situation.  Offsetting was the right call.  Several 49er and Packer players were guilty.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@JosephAngelo Absolutely Not.  Joe did seek out Matthews after the play when Matthews was clearly headed back to the field of play.  During the post-play team fight punches were thrown be each team.  Yes, offsetting was the correct call.

JamesNoriega
JamesNoriega

@JosephAngelocorrection to your comment, ... Matthews should have been flagged after the out of bounds hit, and then should have been ejected after the 2 hits to the head of Joe Staley.

rbosveld
rbosveld

@TrevorRasmussen Kaep was more than a yard out of bounds before Matthews launched.  Look at the photo at the top of the thread.

JamesNoriega
JamesNoriega

@TrevorRasmussen  hey Trevor.. that cry-baby is 3-0 against your Packers, i think you're just tired of losing to the 49ERS.

tcf098
tcf098

@TrevorRasmussen Are you blind? The angle Kaep was taking was clearly going out of bounds, and even still, Matthew's tackle occurred a good 2 yds out of bounds. It was CLEARLY a late hit. 

matt37
matt37

@DeekRivers @PiercePyneda Do you actually watch football on Sundays?  There is pushing and shoving and crap talking all day long, every single game.  That rarely gets flagged.  Punching a guy in the face, however, should ALWAYS draw a flag!

The refs screwed up, twice, on the field.  The League addressed it afterwards-should have been 1st and goal from inside the 5.

rar113
rar113

@TeddyBloomquist @BrandonRousseau Or the fact that it only tied the score, or that it was the 6th, not the 7th game, etc.   But the truth is, when you watched that ball go thru Buckner's legs, you <i>knew</i> the Red Sox' goose was cooked.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@SJNiner @DeekRivers Staley has no right to seek out Matthews and then grab him with both hands.  Most players would attempt (punch, push, etc) to get someone off them in that situation, Staley escalated the situation by doing that.  Matthews was headed back to the field of play and the flag had already been thrown.  What was Staley's intention? Certainly Matthews did not know.  Why even mention the "Fail Mary" incident?  I didn't bring that up once.  While a loss is never good, I was not too disappointed in the game.  The Packers played like crap and lost by 6 points on the road to a good team.

SixPham
SixPham

@DeekRivers @SixPham I'm just the messenger.  The NFL made the statement that Staly should not have been flagged not me.  If thats the case, the Packers got the lucky break not the 49ers.  Should have been 1st and Goal.  Either case, 49ers won.

Unca_C
Unca_C

@HeatherCampbell Right. If that was Aldon Smith who hit Mr. Rodgers out of bounds, you'd be singing the same tune? Don't make me laugh. So crackback blocks and diving at the knees from behind is cool with you? Wow. Do they let that slide in the lingerie league? 

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@JamesNoriega @HeatherCampbell The Cry-Baby hasn't won a Super Bowl either.  Just because they've beaten the Packers the last 3 games doesn't mean anything, neither team has won the Super Bowl in that time.

rbosveld
rbosveld

@DeekRivers @JosephAngelo I just re-watched the play as I didn't get to see the whole game yesterday.  All I saw was punches / aggression from Matthews.  Last time I checked seeking someone out isn't a penalty, but throwing punches (kinda dumb, helmets are really hard) is.

Just look at the photo at the top of this thread.  Does anyone really think that Matthews had the intent of making a legal tackle?

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@rbosveld An look where he was when Matthews left the ground. I suppose guys are supposed to stop in midair now huh? Don't be dumb about this. Kaep stepped out of bounds as Clay leaves the ground. You know how often I have seen QBs turn it up because no defender follows through, happens a LOT. 

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

 @JamesNoriega Thats your take? Yeah the 9ers have been better, that doesn't bother me...well it sucks but there are a lot of teams that are better that I don't mind. What I do mind is a coach who clearly wants to be a tough guy himself and running his mouth in a press conference about another "tough guy" not being tough enough. How pathetic.

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

 @tcf098 Are you blind? Kaep stepped out as Matthews left the ground. Not saying it wasn't a late hit but it wasn't something to get all pissy and whiney about. Geez there was a late hit on Rodgers too but notice we don't care. I never said it wasn't a late hit, I am telling you its not something to make a huge deal out of. There are late hits on QBs all the damn time! MOVE ON.

hrnedg
hrnedg

@DeekRivers @SJNiner  - NFL just determined that Staley should not have been penalized. Result: Niners 1st and goal at the 2.

Still, Packers played extremely well against the run.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@SixPham @DeekRivers Yes, I know but I am just pointing out that the officials are just "covering their own @$$".  Several personal fouls were committed by both the 49ers and Packers, which is clearly offsetting.  4th and 2 was the correct call but was screwed up by the officials.   Yes the result was the 49ers won.  We will never know how the correct call would have affected the final score. 

rbosveld
rbosveld

@Unca_C @HeatherCampbell I would.  I'm actually not a 49ers fan, although I do like them and frankly I like the Packers, too, many of my friends are from Wisconsin and were at the game with my friends who follow the 49ers.  I'm a Steelers fan, so I'm as close to neutral as you're going to get.  Not sure why you're jumping to all of these conclusions about completely unrelated topics.  I haven't seen the lingerie league so I can't comment on that.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@rbosveld @DeekRivers @JosephAngelo Actually if you listened to the game Aikman said it wasn't as bad as first appeared. "Matthews is leaving his feet just as Kaepernick steps out of bounds with his left foot" (Aikman's words).  He didn't jump when Kap was out of bounds, still photos can be very deceiving, that being said I understand the penalty.  Running at someone as Staley did, then holding them is an aggressive move no matter if he threw punches or not.  Somebody grabs you, I can't imagine you letting them do that.

DeekRivers
DeekRivers

@tcf098 @TrevorRasmussen 

1.  Yes, Matthews admitted it was a late hit, he is a man that can admit his mistake (unlike the officials).  It was no ill-intent but a late hit.

2.  Look at the Picture?  So somehow you believe that Kap was at the point in the picture when Matthews leaped?  Here's a hint to help you figure it out.  They were both running at full speed.  Kap barely had his left foot out when Matthews first made contact, this picture is a still shot of the play well after contact.  No ones arguing late (again) just not ill-intent.

3.  Yep (has nothing to do with this situation but)... Yep.

4.  Every player talks about hitting the QB, (clue) that's how you knock them down and end the play.  Again he was not 2 yards out of bounds when contact happened.  Left foot had just hit out of bounds.

Please do not ever consider becoming a lawyer,  Your points don't even match what happened.  

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@tcf098 @TrevorRasmussen I love it when people don't even read a post when they comment. Whats best is that you went on a long diatribe without reading it. 

1. I also said it was a late hit. End of story...

2. Yes, he is IN the air, which means he left the ground LONG before the 2 yards you speak of. Is this really that hard to understand? 

3. Okay, not sure there is point to this, but yes you are right. 

4. Matthews talked about hitting the QB, yes...if you listened to Mike and Mike this morning, where he said the quote you speak of (have you actually listened to it?) They still can't figure out why this is being blown up, he never talked about hitting the QB late or out of the rules, simply that when a QB is running, the best way to stop them is to hit them. If anything the reaction should have been...welly yeah, of course.

But hey keep going on about it thinking you've moved one when you clearly haven't because you are STILL here. Still whining. Still arguing that this is something so awful that a guy left the ground as someone stepped out of bounds and hit a player. Its not a big deal...move on. 

tcf098
tcf098

@TrevorRasmussen @tcf098 Not sure why I'm still arguing this with you since you clearly have the same level of judgement as Ms. Matthews, but here we go. 

1. Regardless of the points I'm going to continue making below, Matthews admitted that it was a mistake and a late hit and that Kaep was running out of bounds. End of story. But if you really want to keep reading as to why you're wrong, feel free...

2. Look at the picture at the top of the page. Matthews is STILL in mid-air and only BEGINNING to tackle Kaep 2 YARDS OUT OF BOUNDS. Obvious late hit. You can't possibly convince me it was otherwise. 

3. Pawing this off as "oh, late hits happens on QBs all the time" is not only ignorant, but incorrect. First of all, Kaep was out of the pocket, which forfeits all of his protective QB rights, therefore he was not a QB at that point in time. He was fair game to be hit - LEGALLY. 

4. So why is this a big deal, when you claim that it's "nothing special"? You're completely negating the fact that Matthews talked about "hitting the quarterback" in the days leading up to the game. Then what happens? Ms. Matthews flies through the air 2 yards out of bounds to clothesline a player who was CLEARLY running out of bounds. 

Trust me, I moved on immediately after the penalty when SF scored to go up 14-7.  I've got bigger things to talk about, such as real competition in SEA this weekend.