Peyton Manning Was Clipped

It doesn't seem to be getting talked about anywhere, but I noticed it on one of the replays of Tracy Porter's interception on Sunday -- Peyton Manning was the only guy with a chance to tackle him and he was shoved to the ground with a two-handed push to the back from Will Smith. (I know, shocking that an OSU player might do something kind of cheap.

First, the video:

If you're looking for it, it's not hard to see at all. Peyton immediately knows it's a pick and starts making a path to intercept Porter, who spent most of the run changing hands, apparently because he couldn't decide which hand to use to showboat with. (To Mrs. Money's everlasting credit, during the replay she says, "Stop switching hands!" And no, she wasn't referring to me. Pervs.)

So here it is frame by frame.

As Porter cuts back and easily makes the lumbering Peyton overrun his intended destination, Smith puts two hands on Peyton's number 18 and leaaaaannnns....

Peyton is heading face-first towards the turf, with Smith attempting to turn left, instinctively trying to distance himself from Manning, whose fall is usually a telltale sign of a block in the back.

Peyton crashes to the ground like a tree and the party is on.

I noticed this in the CBS replay.... in the background as Porter is celebrating, you can see Peyton get up and begin to half-heartedly throw his arms up as if to ask, "Didn't anyone see that?" But he had to know nobody was going to stop the party.

And that brings me to my point -- while I'm fine with the outcome as I wanted to see a Saints victory, it's sort of crappy that a play that could be used as a textbook definition of clipping went completely uncalled because the officials were, what? Just as overcome by the moment as the rest of us? Simms didn't see it, Nantz didn't see it. Or if they did, they chose not to call the officials out about it.

(Had this happened to Tom Brady, Pats fans everywhere would be organizing a protest of the game and demanding the NFL play it over again.)

How might that have changed the game, though? The Saints then have the ball on their own side of the field and the Indy defense is amped with three minutes left to hold them and get the ball back to Peyton. I know, I know, it's over and believe me, I'm certainly not a Colts apologist -- understand that. I just find this to be an interesting tidbit. While so many people are talking about how Drew Brees signing with the Saints altered their history, it's interesting to think about how much a correct call could have altered this Super Bowl.

Every Game Is "Big" From Here On

Drew Brees' Secret To Success