NFL to allow replay for pass interference

After the controversial no-call pass interference in the NFC championship game cost the Saints a spot in the Super Bowl fans were calling for penalties to be reviewable. On Tuesday, the owners approved a change to allow flags and missed penalties to be reviewed. Coaches will have the same amount of challenges with two and a third if both are correct. This will prevent a bad call from ending a team’s chance at a championship. An issue with the NFL is bad penalties and no-calls. Fans complain over bad calls especially during big games. This will hopefully help with the penalty issue in the NFL. One issue is that this will show there is a ton of bad calls by officials. It is possible it could expose the officiating of the NFL as sub-par. This will lead to the outcry for more reviews on penalties, which leads to more downtime for replays. As of right now, we don’t know about the process with reviewing the penalties. Is it going to be for clear penalties or are they going to be on calls that could go either way? Fans will be angry if they are going to call a penalty for a play that isn’t clear after the replay. It is very likely that it will be like the “what is a catch” issue with replay review. During its first season we will see questionable calls on penalties after replay because refs are not hundred percent sure on how to approach the review process. It will take a while to get the reviews of flags to reach the expectations of fans. Are teams going to be like managers in baseball, where they challenge small things like thinking the players foot was less than an inch off the bag when they were tagged. Is a coach going to say there is pass interference on a play with some contact? One issue with this change is at the end of close games there will be reviews for any play with a questionable flag or no-call. If there is a failed fourth down conversion or turnover the play will be reviewed in the hopes of a penalty being called after the review. It would be annoying seeing that at the end of every close game especially when there is not anything that can be called a penalty. This will increase the length of games. They should have an official in the booth to help with reviewing penalty like how they do in college football. This will allow for reviews to take less time. During the last two minutes, it would make it quicker and easier to determine what plays should be reviewed. It would make the review process in general better.

In the end, the sole purpose of this rule change is to make sure you don’t have a missed penalty that cost a team a chance to win a championship. I like this decision because it can lead to better officiating from the refs. It also will prevent a bad call resulting in a disappointing end to a great game. I hope they figure out the right way to do it to make fans happy. Unfortunately, this will take time for the league to figure out and will lead to more complaints from fans initially.


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