Is It Time For The NFL To Review Pass Interference Again?

Is It Time For The NFL To Review Pass Interference Again?

Is It Time For The NFL To Review Pass Interference Again? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

Saturday night’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders will be remembered for many reasons, one of which was a late penalty call that almost altered the course the game. The play caused much discussion on social media, and despite getting lost in the outcome of the game, may be cause for conversation in the offseason. At the heart of the conversation is one question: Should the NFL make pass interference calls reviewable again? Because after Saturday night, I must admit I was wrong when saying it was a bad idea for the NFL to review pass interference in 2019.

The Raiders were in need of a score late in the fourth quarter on Saturday night when, on a second and six play, a questionable pass interference call moved them halfway down the field from their own 29, to the Dolphins 22. The flag set them up for what should have been the game-winning score, and forced Miami to use their remaining timeouts before Las Vegas settled for a field goal rather than trying to score a touchdown. The 49-yard pass interference penalty, however, was pivotal in a chain of events that helped the Raiders take the lead, and then lose to the Dolphins in the game’s final seconds. 

After the missed pass interference call in the 2018 NFC Championship Game, the NFL added offensive and defensive pass interference calls as well as missed calls to the list of plays reviewable and available for head coaches to challenge. After the 2019 season, a year that proved replay officials were hesitant at best to change judgement calls made on the field, the rule allowing pass interference to be reviewed was scrapped, allowing what happened Saturday night to go unchallenged by Miami. Granted, Miami won, but the game didn’t need to end the way it did.

The more glaring mistake the NFL has made when putting in instant replay and coach’s challenges is the presumption of the call on the field being correct, or at least that there needed to be more evidence to change any call than there does to let the call stand. When it comes to any judgement call such as pass interference, part of what plays into that judgement is the angle that an official has when making the call.  Case in point, is it not uncommon for an official 20 or 30 yards down field to throw a flag when he can see something other officials on the sidelines cannot, but in order to change a call that was made at full speed, those seeing the play from multiple angles are forced to presume the call they inherited from the field is correct.

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To truly make pass interference reviewable, those looking at the play must be looking at it with no preconceived notions; they should look at it as if they were the ones being asked to make the call live, and not “overturning” the call on the field. Sadly, with the NFL having the 2019 season to fall back on, the chances of making missed pass interference calls reviewable again is not likely, and more calls that reward or cost teams dozens of yards like we saw on Saturday night will continue unchecked at the risk of costing another team a win, a playoff berth, or even a trip to the Super Bowl. Until then, split-second judgement calls will always be a part of the NFL, and, for better or worse, dictate the outcome of games.

 

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Is It Time For The NFL To Review Pass Interference Again? | TooAthletic.com

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