Wednesday, October 21, 2009
NFL Should Expand Replay to Pass Interference Calls
One of the biggest momentum changers in the NFL is the pass interference play. In the NFL, it is a spot foul, so the penalty can be huge. No other penalty on the field can cost you 60 yards ... so, yes, it is quite a big deal.
That's why I don't understand why pass interference calls aren't subjected to review. They use replay to haggle over a few yards -- heck, a few inches at times. Yet they won't use it for a penalty that could cost a team 50 yards.
It's hard for an official to gauge pass interference. The ref is also looking at if the ball is caught, if two feet are in bounds, if there is a fumble, etc. Most of the time, the refs are correct with their P.I. calls, but I've seen enough wrong calls this season to demand a rules change.
I just watched the Short Cuts version of the Saints-Giants game (DirecTV replays games that they package in 25 minute morsels.) The Giants were called on a pass interference call on Marques Colston that was a sham. In live action, it does look like an easy, textbook pass interference. Upon further review, Colston tripped on his on feet and fell to the ground. The defender never touched him.
When Colston got up, he was winking and giggling because he knew there was no foul.
Yet this play cost the Giants about 30 yards. And there was nothing that the G-men could do about it, except send a copy of the tape to the League offices after the game and hope for a "sorry about that" email. By the way, the Saints would turn that bad call into a TD.
The coaches have challenge flags; let them use 'em!
There is a couple flaws with this, though. If you can challenge a pass interference call on the field ... can you challenge when one isn't made? If you think your receiver was interfered with but there was no call, could you challenge that to get the call? I'm not sure on that one yet. Also, if you are going to challenge P.I. calls, then why not holding or late hit calls? Very interesting questions, too.
I've also heard the argument that there should be two types of pass interference penalties. A 15-yard penalty for "unintentional pass interference" ... which is when there is just some incidental contact ... and a spot foul for an "intentional pass interference" when the defender holds, grabs, tugs, pushes with the intent to stop the reception. The issue with that is it is so subjective already that complicating things won't help.
We have replay for a reason.
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 10:38 AM