Clay Matthews not fined for roughing Christian Ponder

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The Packers were unhappy with the roughing the passer penalty that linebacker Clay Matthews picked up for a hit on Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder Sunday. So they’ll be happy to know that Matthews wasn’t fined.

The league office confirmed to PFT that Matthews did not get fined this week.

Although the NFL didn’t actually come out and say that the roughing the passer penalty was a blown call, it clearly was: Matthews led with his shoulder and hit Ponder in the midsection just as Ponder was delivering the pass. It was a good, clean hit that never should have been flagged.

NFL referees still get roughing the passer wrong too often, but at least the league office got the decision not to fine Matthews right.

87 responses to “Clay Matthews not fined for roughing Christian Ponder

  1. Vikes fan: yeah, that call was way weak, shouldn’t have been called. Of course they weren’t going to fine him.

    Though at the time, I was more than happy to take the gift.

  2. As a neutral fan for this game I saw it live and before seeing any replays KNEW the call was a joke. But seriously, I don’t remember guys getting fined for roughing the passer 10 years ago. What happened? I can see if it’s blatant, but a penalty flag shouldn’t equate to a fine.

    And where is all the fine money going? Hopefully to charity…I’d like a little more transparency on the part of the league.

  3. If he were still using HGH it would have been roughing, because he would have hit him much harder. (LOL)

  4. What are you complaining about? You still won the game and it was a great game. There were bad calls and no calls going for both sides. It is no different from any other game this season, officiating has been terrible.

  5. Tomorrow’s PFT headline: “League, NFLPA agree on NO HGH testing during 2011-2012 season.”

    PFT headline on January 1, 2012: “Matthews regains form; late surge leads to sack crown.”

  6. One more thing….. Look at that picture. That, literally is the way they TEACH football players how to tackle. You can’t go below the knee or above the shoulder. All that’s left is where Mathews tackled him.

  7. brian327 says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:33 PM
    I say fine the ref that threw the flag. Horrendous call.

    ————–

    Recompense for not calling the over the top obvious Woodson P.I. and contact penalties. These guys always seem to work to even out the calls.

  8. Seriously, enough with the HGH talk. With the exception of this year, the NFL has always done random testing, and Clay has never tested positive, ever, in his life. Yes, he is a beast, and his sacks are down this year, but he’s also being asked to play more in coverage.

  9. @tiffpats4eva, did you watch the Vikings game? Did you see the sack? How about the passes knocked down? How about the play in question which doesn’t count as a sack, but he certainly sped up the process on Ponder?

    I’m sure you know that Matthews has the most combined hurries, knockdowns, pressures and sacks in the league. You know, the types of things that lead to QB mistakes? Could his sack numbers be down because he gets double-teamed or because teams are running plays towards the opposite side of the field? Is it because the Packers aren’t blitzing as much because Capers doesn’t want to expose a secondary lacking its All Pro safety? Or are you just using your superior intellect to imply that because his sack numbers are down, it must be tied to the HGH testing that the NFL isn’t doing? What happens if he has a few 3-sack games in the future? Does that mean he’s on PEDs?

  10. To all the tards saying Matthews production has fallen off haven’t been watching the games, all they do is look at the sacks column. He has still been an absolute STUD this year – the back end of the packers D isn’t holding coverage like the did last year (T.williams can’t play press due to his shoulder injury, nick collins out, M.Burnett playing with a clubbed hand). Matthews leads the leauge in knockdowns which means hes been getting to the QB more than ANYONE else in the leauge. He has made more explosive plays against the run in all his previous yrs combined. Silly tards don’t know football. Watch the game, kid is still everywhere.

  11. Without saying the call was right or wrong I believe the issue was whether Matthews was “driving him into the ground” and not where he made contact on the hit. This picture doesn’t show any of that.

  12. But has he been suspended for using HGH yet? He will be, notice the drop in production this year. weird.

    —————————-

    Have you watched a Packer game this year, or do you just look at stat sheets with only one column of stats?

    Clay Matthews is probably having his most productive year yet. He’s made some of the biggest defensive plays of the year for his team, and if it weren’t for Aaron Rodgers, I’d say he’s the team’s MVP as they near the halfway point of the season.

  13. All these posters on here are so sure this guy is on HGH. If it were their own lives, I’m sure they would love others to jump to conclusions.

    Rivers, Harvin, DeAngelo Williams, Freeman, Steven Jackson, DJax, Fitzgerald, Benson, Flacco, Hillis, the entire NE defense, Reggie Bush, Sanchez, Santonio, Wayne, Bowe, Floyd, and Donald Driver are all on HGH because their production has dropped too.

  14. to everyone who is commenting about clay’s dropoff this year: why do you think the nflpa is dragging their feet on the testing? it’s so players like clay “the ape” matthews can get it out of their system.

  15. @ packerfan1000

    I HAVE watched the packers games and what you’re saying is far from true. One reason for his drop off is they lost the guy on the other side of him the other is that the players association told him that he needs to clean up because they can’t stall the testing any longer.

  16. Mathews sacks are down because he’s being used more as a linebacker and less as a pass rushing specialist. He’s every bit as effective as last season, probably more. The man is a prototypical linebacker and is IMO the best player in the league at his position.

  17. smoothjimmyapollo says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:55 PM@tiffpats4eva, did you watch the Vikings game? Did you see the sack? How about the passes knocked down? How about the play in question which doesn’t count as a sack, but he certainly sped up the process on Ponder?
    ——————————-
    the play in question was a converted 3rd and long. His “late hit” did nothing to disrupt the play. did YOU watch the game?

  18. The only CMIII stat that’s dropped off is sacks. His sacks dropped off last year too after he started getting doubled and tripled. . The rest of it, he’s doing better than last year. He’s been playing like a disruptive beast at a Pro Bowl level.

    Some of the people who post comments here must confine their football activity to reading other people’s comments.

  19. To everyone claiming that he has a had a dropoff in production, you obviously haven’t watched him much this year. For one, his covering skills have gotten better so he does not have to blitz every 3rd down and he also leads the league in quarterback hurries, knock downs and sacks combined.

    Sacks are one of the most over blown stats in football, just like interceptions in a season, but not as bad.

  20. Oct 28, 2011 5:12 PM
    All these posters on here are so sure this guy is on HGH. If it were their own lives, I’m sure they would love others to jump to conclusions.

    Rivers, Harvin, DeAngelo Williams, Freeman, Steven Jackson, DJax, Fitzgerald, Benson, Flacco, Hillis, the entire NE defense, Reggie Bush, Sanchez, Santonio, Wayne, Bowe, Floyd, and Donald Driver are all on HGH because their production has dropped too.

    ************************
    Yes absolutely, all of them. But only the packturds will be suspended. Driver, man that guy is over rated!

  21. Good thing few of you were watching NFL football in the 70’s and 80’s. Your delicate sensibilities would’ve been extremely put off by an era where men were men.

  22. Do not give the league office credit for not fining him…..it is the league offices fault the refs make these bad calls becasue the league is vauge and dodges the issue on giving a clear definition of what the rule is and just tells the officials to “err on the side of caution” and then docks them missing calls if they judge that they missed an “illegal hit” so officials are gun shy because they dont want to get docked on performance evaluations…So do not give the league office any credit they cant define a legal hit or a catch they are useless!!!!!!!!

  23. Matthews gets the flag on a clean hit and Woodson gets away with illegal contact and pass interference on almost every single play. Doesn’t seem right, but Packerland gets benefits like that.

  24. Why are people pointing to HGH use….EVERYONE of us would want him and he is dominant at his position …linebacker who has to cover the short underneath passes and he doesn’t have as many sacks….this day and age sacks are overrated some but still very important just like ints people are clowns……..

  25. stixzidinia says:
    Oct 28, 2011 5:45 PM
    Good thing few of you were watching NFL football in the 70′s and 80′s. Your delicate sensibilities would’ve been extremely put off by an era where men were men.

    ————————————————–

    But not the size or speed that they are now

  26. Do you talk about anything other than fines? Dear christ, they affect nothing. So what is he did get fined? It wouldn’t make any difference next week, it wouldn’t change what happened last week. It’s 15,000 dollars to someone with a multi-million dollar contract, who gives a rats terd. Talk about something that actually matters in the NFL.

  27. The ref made that call based on what looked like pile-driving. I do believe it’s against the rules to pick a QB up and distribute all of your weight on top of them.

    I think Packer fans have a right to complain though…

  28. The only thing that drove Ponder into the ground was gravity and the momentum from getting cleanly hit by Clay Matthews, who is almost 30 pounds heavier and a lot stronger. With concussions and the Brady effect, officials are basically going with the “penalize first, ask questions later” approach.

    For a league trying to walk the tightrope between emphasizing player safety but showing that the game is still hard-hitting, the Commish should be publically praising clean hits like these and, privately telling officials to stop impulsively throwing flags on clean QB hits. There’s a big difference between coming out and saying the flag was a mistake and the hit was clean and merely not fining Matthews.

  29. packfan1 says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:59 PM
    Matthews leads the leauge in knockdowns which means hes been getting to the QB more than ANYONE else in the leauge.
    __________

    Well, it means he’s been getting to the QB a step late more than anyone else in the league. I believe Jared Allen leads the league in getting to the QB before he throws the ball.

  30. I’ve heard Madden (the guy, not the game) talk about how D lines can’t stop the run now compared to guys in the 70s and 80s, and how small shoulder pads are now compared to then – when guards and tackles taped their arms so they could hit harder.

  31. According to KS on the Magic Kingdom’s site, technically Matthews was in violation because the QB left his feet. Ridiculous, some of these new rules. And Dollar Roger continues the Riddell deal and doesn’t require mouthpieces but wants any hint of the possibility of a sign of a concussion to bench a player.

  32. tiffpats4eva says: Oct 28, 2011 4:30 PM

    It’s been forever since we have seen the Clay Matthews celebration in Wisconsin.

    I wonder why the drop off? Hmm.

    —————————————

    Probably all of the double teams he’s been getting every game.

    Also, you’re an idiot.

  33. Questionable call but it can go either way. If packer fans want to bash vike, bear and lion fans for complaining about calls there is no reason to come here and bitch about this call. Yeah I agree it was a bad call, but he wasn’t fine because it really wasnt a good call..so move on.

  34. As a bears fan who was rooting like crazy for the packers to go down in that game, I’m really glad matthews wasn’t fined. The fact that the hit was penalized and even considered at all for a fine is pretty insane. The league needs to take a step back and realize that a good solid hit right after the throw is far different from trying to rip the QB’s head off or a 3 second late cheap shot.

  35. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 28, 2011 6:54 PM

    packfan1 says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:59 PM
    Matthews leads the leauge in knockdowns which means hes been getting to the QB more than ANYONE else in the leauge.
    __________

    Well, it means he’s been getting to the QB a step late more than anyone else in the league. I believe Jared Allen leads the league in getting to the QB before he throws the ball.

    —————————–

    Also, Jared Allen is on a team that’s 1-6, so his sack totals are really helping them win games.

  36. The Phantom Stranger says:
    Oct 28, 2011 6:54 PM
    packfan1 says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:59 PM
    Matthews leads the leauge in knockdowns which means hes been getting to the QB more than ANYONE else in the leauge.
    __________

    Well, it means he’s been getting to the QB a step late more than anyone else in the league. I believe Jared Allen leads the league in getting to the QB before he throws the ball.
    ————————–
    Yea……….and besides you lavender turd balls, who else cares? Your team is 1-6 and has the 3rd highest payroll in the league. Pathetic.

  37. wow. after the 09 nfc championship game packer fans were lining up to rip the viking fans for whining about the officials. now anytime a precious packer gets jobbed it’s a freaking national emergency.

  38. Silly Viking fans. Matthews is better than any player on their defense……not even close.

    I just love the steroids/HGH arguments with Matthews and Hawk. Real sign of frustration with a 1-6 team.

    Paul Hargis is still an idiot. Too bad he’s afraid to come on this site anymore.

  39. “NFL referees still get roughing the passer wrong too often”

    35 years since Ben Dreith blew (threw?) a playoff game and they’re not even close to getting it any better. Progress?!?

  40. Why does everyone acuse Clay of using HGH?
    Because his college teamate used them? Because he is a white guy with muscles? Maybe Jared Allen is using HGH. Maybe Tim Tebow is using HGH. Maybe Brian Urlacher is using HGH.
    Matthews Dad and uncle were great NFL players. Perhaps its just good genes. When they finally start testing for HGH every team will have players that test positive including your favorite team. And their skin is going to be black and white.

  41. What’s with all the jealousy on Clay Matthews? Jared Allen is the sack leader, better test him for HGH too, he’s clearly cheating.

    Wow, did that sound just as stupid?

    Thought so.

  42. Missed the Matthews play, but that photo isn’t roughing the passer. On the other hand, Woodson should have gotten a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty for taking that bow on the INT. One of the top corners in the league playing for the reigning Super Bowl champs taking bows for intercepting a rookie QB in his first game?? Totally classless.

  43. i love how everybody looks at his lack production this year to the assumption that he is or isnt using HGH not the fact that him and bj are geting double teamed while no one is else getting to the passer, watch the game you clowns

  44. I have not interest in the Packers, and didn’t watch the game to see if it was a blown call or not. I am wondering, though, if refs get fined/disciplined when they blow calls like this? It would seem only fair that if a player can get fined for a dirty hit when there was no roughing penalty called on the field, a ref should be able to get fined if he calls a roughing penalty on a clean play.

  45. HUGE Viking fan here. Love or hate them, I root them on.
    Didn’t waste much time reading the poster drivel that accompany these stories.
    That being said. It was a clean hit. Totally bogus, blown call. The vast majority of Packer faitful are not complete simpletons (as most Viking faithful are not as well) and deserve a head nod on this debate.
    That cat (Matthews)is a man. He blew Ponder up and it was nothing more than a clean smack down.

  46. tiffpats4eva says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:30 PM
    It’s been forever since we have seen the Clay Matthews celebration in Wisconsin.

    I wonder why the drop off? Hmm.

    ________________

    Because the Pack miss Cullen Jenkins a TON.

  47. Matthews is a great player, but i do love watching all these packer fans clamering to defend him. I should be bashing him, considering I just came from a Rodeo Allen article on espn in which packer fans were throwing out the dumbest comments ive seen in a while. skol

  48. One of the top corners in the league playing for the reigning Super Bowl champs taking bows for intercepting a rookie QB in his first game?? Totally classless.

    ————————————————–

    You know what’s totally classless? Saying “totally classless” or “classy” or “stay classy”….

  49. Isn’t there supposed to be a 2-step rule when it comes to roughing the passer? As in, if the defender takes two steps after the QB releases the ball and still hits the QB full-force, then it’s roughing…

  50. Yeah clay Matthews production being down is all because he had to stop using HGH….really? It couldn’t possibly be because he gets double and triple teamed.

  51. Wow! Some of the comments on here is just horrendous! You got Mathews hit being the subject, and it still goes off topic. Yeah it was a bad call and it didn’t have an impact on the game because he still completed it for a first down anyway! But there was bad calls throughout the game or no calls. Another bad call that was in GB favor was one of the PI calls which the ball wasn’t even catch-able! But like I said it was on both sides! One thing is being called silly because Clay Mathews is better than any defender on the Vikings? Really? If he is better then why is Jared Allen leading in sacks? I know that teams concentrate around him, but being a great player wouldn’t hold you back! Want an example? Look at your same defense and tell Woodson that they plan for Mathews and that is why he is not leading in stats or having monster stats! I am pretty sure that teams also gameplan for Jared Allen and Woodson themselves! Like it or not, Mathews is having an impact needless to say, but his numbers are down and like I said the old man in #21 is still producing and in my honest opinion is the best CB in the game and I am a Vikings fan to say the least!

  52. – bjorntorock, smoothjimmyapollo, packfan1 -tard, and everyone else who keeps falling back on this…

    Once again – hurries, knockdowns & pressures are NOT an official league stat! Each team keeps their own count and different teams judge and measure these things differently; meaning some teams may be more generous with their evaluations than others. He leads the league in nothing! And packfan1 what is an “explosive play against the run”?

    @ jarrman –

    While Matthew’s realtives were great, Clay was nothing in high school and nothing special @ USC until he suddenly started putting on a lot of muscle mass. Word around LA was USC players were enhancing their bodies, and Matthews & Cushing were among them. Thus the connection.

    The call was bad, but I think at full speed maybe it appeared Matthew’s lifted Ponder up and drove him to the ground. Matthews actually did a great job of avoiding falling ontop of Ponder. He shouldn’t have been fined and appropriately wasn’t.

  53. What a bunch of whiny nags….. So Matthews sacks are down this year, big deal. The same thing happened to Allen in the first half of last year, too (although Packer fans flooded this site with posts calling him washed-up and overrated….I’d say you’re getting your own crap flung back at you) I’m sure those numbers will pick up in the second half and he’ll finish with a respectable total. But in the meantime, quit with the crybaby excuses. “Oh, he’s getting double-teamed” “He’s being asked to play in coverage” (yeah, because every team uses their best pass-rusher in coverage a majority of the time…) And this gem…
    bjorntorock says:
    Oct 28, 2011 4:53 PM
    you guys are idots. matthews leads the league in pressures and hits which is the most important stats. not sacks!
    Wow, I didn’t know it was more important to ALMOST get there. Is it important to keep good pressure on a QB, even if you don’t get the sack? Yes. But MORE important? Come on…..

    And enough with the 7-0 crap. That’s about the offense. The defense is 27th in the league and 31st against the pass. Clay Matthews and the rest of that defense are doing very little to contribute to the record aside from having the league high in picks. Is he on HGH? I’ll believe it when he tests positive. Until then, I am going to go with the theory that the Packers defense just isn’t as good as you thought it was.

  54. Philip Rivers suddenly sucks this year so it’s obvious he stopped using HGH. Chris Johnson must have stopped using it, too. On the other hand John Beck has obviously started using HGH because he didn’t lose the ball 6 times last Sunday.

  55. How can you compare Clay Matthews and Jared Allen? They, uh, play different positions. We gonna start comparing numbers between wide outs and tight ends soon?

  56. Zach – there is no comparison. J.A. has 11.5 sacks to Matthews ?? Sorry packer nation, Clay is turning into your average LB; similar to Hawk. The packer defense will cost you a repeat. Too bad, the Pack does have an incredible offense, but the achilles will be their defense. Out in the second round of the playoffs. Oh, I’m calling a loss at SD. Cue the hate…

  57. Miserable, pathetic Vikings fans. They can’t win a title so all they have left is specious attacks. Matthews is still dominating. Sacks are down because he is getting a lot of double teams. He is still disrupting the offense and impacting the games, every bit as much as last year. You wouldn’t know good play if you saw it, you have no reference point for championship football.

  58. Wow, the level of hypocisy & lunacy just keeps growing & growing on this site. Guess that’s why I keep coming back.

    The Pack is 7-0 because their offense can put up more points than their opponents offense. The defense is clearly struggling & hopefully Capers gets it turned around. Not having Jenkins & Collins is obviously affecting them. I’m a huge Packer fan but if this is not corrected I do not see a repeat.

    Deb, you pull for the Steelers & you’re gonna call Woodson classless for a bow? Surprising….

  59. @rulz …

    Yes, his behavior was classless. You want to talk about examples of classless behavior on the field by players on my team, fine. I’ll be happy to hear them. There’s nothing classless about our organization for you to find surprising.

  60. Zach says:
    Oct 29, 2011 9:57 AM
    How can you compare Clay Matthews and Jared Allen? They, uh, play different positions. We gonna start comparing numbers between wide outs and tight ends soon?
    ——————————-

    Fine, compare him to Demarcus Ware instead. Ware gets more tackles, sacks, and FF per game than Matthews does. James Harrison, Tamba Hali, Brian Orakpo, Cameron Wake, etc etc…. Matthews is in the discussion, and with good merit, for the best 3-4 OLB in the league. But the best LB in the league? Not ever close. You have to be a complete Packer homer to rank him above Patrick Willis.

  61. Look at the photo accompanying this post. Ponder still has his arm in the follow-through and Matthews has his shoulder buried in his chest. Great play. Stupid call. No fine means somebody in a position to know better agrees. Just one more reason the old classic cliche works here;….the game was not as close as the score might indicate.

  62. “One of the top corners in the league playing for the reigning Super Bowl champs taking bows for intercepting a rookie QB in his first game?? Totally classless.”
    =======================================

    This is yet another example of comments made by persons unfamiliar with who the Packers really are. Woodson wasn’t mocking the locals as Moss did years ago at Lambeau (an act considered worthy of adoration by Viking fans I might add.) No. He was acknowledging the 25,000 loudly enthusiastic Packer fans attending this road game…the best traveling fanbase in the league. Big difference.

  63. I’m not going to call any team or player classy or classless. They’re football players for goodness sakes. What surprises me is that you found it necessary to do so. That’s all.

  64. I’m not sure that Matthews gets double teamed all that much. He gets clipped quite a bit, but any good pass rusher has to deal with that. He does seem to get held more than anyone else I’ve seen off the edge. Surprised he hasn’t had neck or spine injuries from all the times I’ve seen his head and back get twisted around.
    Woodson taking a bow was excessive celebration? Really? I guess he should have been tossed out of the game for handing the football to a thrilled little girl in the stands then.
    And the two most flagrant “over the top” incidents of interferance which weren’t called both came from Vike receivers preventing interceptions by Packer DBs. Just the way it goes.

  65. They need to start getting these calls right on the field cause 15 yrd penaltys especially at the end of games can determine the outcome and I would hate to see that happen so maybe they can use replay somehow to get it right

  66. @rulz …

    No, I don’t really think Woodson should have drawn a flag–heaven knows the league is throwing too many flags at defenders as it is. But I did think Woodson’s behavior was uncalled for in those circumstances. I’ve criticized our players for being twits in the moment, too. It’s not an indictment of Woodson’s character overall, just saying the gesture was classless.

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