NFL owners voted Tuesday to allow replay reviews on pass interference calls as well as non-calls, Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Coaches will now have the opportunity to challenge pass interference calls or non-calls outside of two minutes of each half, while the booth will automatically review any close calls inside of two minutes.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, both offensive and defensive pass interference calls will now be challengeable. (Bleacher Report)
Everyone and their mothers are freaking out because the NFL agreed to a new rule that will allow teams to challenge pass interference calls. People are outraged that this is going to totally change the game of football.
It is definitely strange that one blown call in the NFC Championship game that cost the New Orleans Saints a chance at the Super Bowl is enough to change the officiating. There are blown calls every week. There’s human error in sports. It happens.
So it’s understandable that people are questioning why suddenly now there is an overhaul of the rulebook after one big mistake, especially when it comes to pass interference, a call that changes the momentum and radically shifts field position.
At first, yes, the idea of making pass interference reviewable sounded like nonsense. There is so much contact between corners and receivers that go uncalled and SHOULD go uncalled because that’s part of the game.
Imagine actually playing cornerback in the NFL. The wide receiver knows when a play is called for him. He is running right at/past you. He is in complete control of the posession.
As a cornerback, you have no idea when the ball is coming. You have to backpeddle/chase your receiver. You have zero control. Sometimes, reaching out and pushing the receiver in front of you is the only way to gain leverage in a situation in which you have no authority.
Giving coaches the ability to challenge pass interference makes a cornerback’s job even more impossible and it gives teams the chance to take advantage of small ticky tack fouls that might occur and use that to advance the ball 30, 40, or 50 yard chunks at a time.
But here’s what everyone is getting wrong about these new pass interfernce rules:
First of all, the rule is only in place for one year so if it truly does alter the game too much, it’ll be gone next year and we’ll all look back at the 2019 NFL season like ‘hey, remember when Tom Brady won the Super Bowl but only threw for 48 yards because the Patriots got all those pass interference calls? That was weird, right?’.
Second, and most importantly, let’s stop acting as if you’ve never seen an NFL game before.
A coach is going to throw a challenge flag at a close pass interference missed
We always freak out over the expansion of replay but we always forget that they NEVER flip calls unless there’s irrefutable evidence. So yes, unfortunately some egregious missed calls will be reversed, like the pass interference play in the NFC Championship game.
But most of these challenges will result in the play standing and your team wasting a time out. Nothing is changing. If anything, the officiating is becoming more accurate. Oh no.