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Wednesday open thread: Do you approve of the NFL’s decision to make pass interference reviewable?

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, NFL owners voted 31-1 for the extremely impactful rule change that will now allow pass interference—whether it was called by an official or not—to become reviewable upon replay.

As we all know by now, the rule change was in response to the NFC Championship game, in which (now Lions) receiver Tommylee Lewis was blasted by a Rams defender before the ball got there, but no penalty was called. Under the new rule, that play would be reviewable by coaches—although the play happened within the last two minutes of the game, so it would have to be a booth review in this specific situation.

This rule is bound to make a huge impact on the game, and many fans seem to be happy that one of the more frustrating penalties is now subject to review.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Do you approve of the NFL’s decision to make pass interference reviewable.

My answer: No. HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO.

I’ve already spoken about this in length, and if you want to read my full argument about this topic, you can read it here.

Here’s my short version. Making a call that is subjective and far from black-and-white is both a waste of time and a slippery slope. You can slow down anything upon replay and make it look like whatever you want.

Sure, replay may fix obvious situations like the one in the NFC Championship game, but how often do those kind of blatant mistakes actually happen? Now compare that to situations in which it might be pass interference, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just handfighting or other situations in which both players were guilty of it. Regardless, we’re going to see an increase in reviews because wide receivers are going to come screaming to their head coaches on every other play. And coaches are going to challenge pass interference plays more because the reward is potentially so high given that it’s a spot foul.

That’s going to result in one of two things: either an increased in pass interference calls or an increase in wasted challenges. Either result, in my opinion, is bad. Pass interference is the most impactful penalty in the game, given that it is a spot foul. So more PI calls means that the refs will have more influence over the game—something I’m sure we can all agree is a bad thing. And no one wants more challenges in the game to slow things down. In 2017, there were only 182 coaches challenges—or an average 0.71 per game (0.36 per team per game). It’s hard to imagine that number will stay anywhere near that low now that pass interference is reviewable.

I hate this rule.

Poll

Do you approve of the NFL’s decision to make PI reviewable?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Yes
    (420 votes)
  • 42%
    No
    (311 votes)
731 votes total Vote Now