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Friday open thread: Should pass interference be reviewable?

Is it time to add pass interference into a reviewable play?

NFL: NFC Championship Game-Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, we discussed the merits of changing in the NFL overtime rules after the New England Patriots scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the extra quarter, preventing Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs a chance at redemption. 77 percent of you said yes, the NFL does need to alter their overtimes rules.

But that was only the second-most controversial moment of the conference championship games over the weekend. Despite the Saints having chance after chance to close out the Rams at home, focus after the game honed in on an admittedly horrible non-call. Drew Brees lofted a third-down pass to Tommylee Lewis, and before Lewis could make an attempt on the ball, he was leveled by a Rams defender. A pass interference call—which was 100 percent warranted here—would’ve almost certainly won the Saints the game, but the call was never made.

This has led to many complaining about the current state of pass interference. Mainly, many want to see pass interference become reviewable. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Should pass interference be reviewable in 2019?

My answer: No. I’ve stated this multiple times, but the last thing this sport needs is to make something that is inherently subjective subject to review. Many will claim to just save pass interference review for obvious calls, but how often does that actually happen? What happened to the Saints on Sunday was blatant, and while we all like to complain about the refs, it usually doesn’t get that bad.

And think of all the subjective things that will still be nearly impossible to determine upon review. Was the ball catchable? Was the contact enough to prevent a chance at a catch? Was it intentional or accidental contact?

Barry Petchesky of Deadspin really put it perfectly in his column “Football Needs Blown Calls.” Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly true:

Most pass interference calls are less immediately clear—they are, in every sense of the term, judgment calls. On how many pass plays would a close examination reveal mutual handfighting, or a little push-off by the receiver, or even just minimal contact that violates the letter of the law but not what we currently consider its spirit? On most of them? Would officials be able to reverse a DPI call into an OPI? Would they be willing?

When the NFL made a catch reviewable, everyone assumed it would be a simple solution to a persistent problem. But what ended up actually happening was that we dissected a catch so intricately that the NFL rulebook-to-death’d trying to explain the unexplainable. Do we really want to start expanding the definition to pass interference to try and make something that will always be gray into a convoluted mess in an effort to try and make it black-and-white?

I know the CFL has reviewable pass interference right now, and I know it supposedly “works,” but can you really say for sure that it will hold up to the scrutiny of a much-more publicized NFL?

Try as you may, officiating will always be a little subjective. It sucks for the team when that subjectivity goes wrong, but trying to make an inherently flawed system perfect will only further complicate things. Just deal with it.

Your turn.


Should pass interference be reviewable?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (222 votes)
  • 40%
    (148 votes)
370 votes total Vote Now

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