Starting in the upcoming NFL season, offensive and defensive pass interference calls can now be reviewable. Non-calls for pass interference can be challenged as well. The rule will be implemented in the first 28 minutes of each half and the final two minutes will be a booth review.
It was only a matter of time the league would allow these type of plays to reviewed especially after the no-call in the last NFC Championship game between the Saints and Rams. The play took place in the final two minutes with the game tied 20-20 with the call going in the Rams favor. The Rams ended up winning 26-23 with a field goal in overtime.
The Commissioner’s Take
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the current issue and stressed the fact on getting the plays right. The new rule change will be treated as a trial run. After the 2019-2020 season, the replay rule will be re-evaluated.
The NFL owners expressed their opinions on having the pass interference call reviewed and the results showed. Out of the 32 owners in the league, 31 of them voted in favor of the rule change. The only team to vote against was the Cincinnati Bengals. Goodell spoke about how the no- call in the NFC game is the driving force for the teams, coaches and owners to speak out on reviewing pass interference plays.
The Future of Replay
With this new rule in place for next season, the future of replay has broadened. This can ultimately lead to more changes in reviewing plays and what constitutes for a review. Coaches will still be granted two challenge flags per game which were the same amount used last season. The rule will also expand on automatic replay reviews. This will be used to take account of scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul.