Scoring plays may be reviewed by replay assistant, not coaches’ challenge


Coaches may no longer have the option to throw a red challenge flag after the other team scores a touchdown, as the NFL is considering a proposal to take instant replay on scoring plays out of the hands of the coaches, and have the replay assistant review all scoring plays.

The NFL’s Competition Committee revealed today that it is recommending that NFL owners adopt a change in instant replay, so that any scoring play — touchdown, field goal, extra point or safety — is automatically reviewed upstairs by the replay assistant. If the replay assistant thinks the call on the field was questionable, he will signal to the referee to review the score.

So all scoring plays would be treated the same way that the last two minutes of the game are treated, with respect to instant replay: Reviews by the replay assistant only, and no challenges.

The Competition Committee is also proposing elimination of the third challenge, which coaches are allowed to use only if they win their first two challenges. The Competition Committee believes that the third challenge wasn’t successfully used often enough to make it worth the times it delayed the game.

45 responses to “Scoring plays may be reviewed by replay assistant, not coaches’ challenge

  1. The NFL needs to have a TV Ref…

    What I mean by that…

    I have been to several games, and have watched many more on TV. The live game and the televised game do NOT match up at all. They discuss things on TV that the people at the games would shake their head at.

    So, a TV Ref would greatly enhance the product of the NFL. Not a TV ref looking at the slow-motion replays. A TV Ref watching the real-time televised feed only.

  2. Stupid. Human Error makes the game exciting. Bogus calls like pass interference that shouldn’t be called or holding it makes the game suspenseful. A coach only should have this ability so the coach can either regret that he did or did not challenge the play.

  3. The league should give each team 1 challenge each half and they should get to use it until they lose a challenge. But I should be smarter and realize that a league that can’t figure out how to divide 9 Billion dollars probably doesn’t know how to distribute challenges either.

  4. If they don’t want to delay the games then how about they don’t do 5 minute TV timeouts every time the clock stops. That is the most annoying thing in the world.

  5. All questionable scores should have been automatically reveiwed years ago. This still won’t change the issue about quick whistles or refs that assume the ball crossed the goalline because they couldn’t actually see it.

  6. If that rule were in effect last year, the Andrew Quarless touchdown against the Vikings would have been overturned, the Packers would have lost, and they wouldn’t have made the playoffs. So all Packer fans should be against this rule change.

  7. All the NFL coaches (besides Chan Gailey because the Bills don’t score) have a collective sigh of relief.

  8. In a case where there is a review on a questionable touchdown resulting from a running play where a team has no more time outs, and time is winding down, what happens if the team is found not to have actually scored on the play? Of course the clock will be stopped for the review, but does the team get to line up on the ball and run another play though time would have expired? Or is there a time run off?

  9. Give the teams as many challenges as they have time outs. If the plays that are challenged are overturned why have the team challenging get penalized (i.e. lose a challenge). It is all about getting the right call anyway, right?

  10. Getting the call right is the most important factor, so I’m all for this rule change. However, don’t just stop there – Having 1 replay assistant in charge of the decision seems foolish, especially without knowing if he has any biases. Why not have Mike Periera also involved or a small committee to make the decision? If you want the call to be correct, let the same person(s) make all of the calls – it would provide consistency and transparency.

  11. A third challange awarded (if having won the first two) is entirley appropriate.

    Basiclly, if a coach demontrates that the zebras blew a call TWICE, he gets a third chance to correct them again. Sounds very fair to me…

  12. This kind of sucks because it takes out the whole strategy of using challenges.

    It basically takes away situations where a coach used both his challenges on stupid plays, and allows him to still challenge a potentially game winning score. There’s nothing better than knowing that the opposing team can’t challenge your TD, because their coach is an idiot.

    Why even have refs if they are never going to trust their decisions on the field? Why don’t we get ACTUAL refs and stop paying Lawyers six figures to spend 3 hours on Sunday calling stupid calls. The refs this year were awful!

  13. NFL is caving in on itself.

    WWNFL here we come. Why don’t you just change ALL the rules EVERY year.


    Used-to-be-lifelong fan of the Sport.

  14. 12strikes raises a good point – does the automatic review happen for scores only, or does it also include questionable calls in which the call on the field is “No score” and the ref thinks maybe he did score? or do coaches have to challenge if they think they scored but the call on the field is “No score”?

  15. Eliminating the 3rd challenge is the dumbest thing I’ve heard yet by this committee. They need to get rid of the challenge limit if successful. Coaches should have unlimited successful challenges. The limit should be “2 strikes” and you’re done challenging, but if your challenge was successful you shouldn’t be punished just because the officials have blown more than just a couple calls for your team. You should be awarded an additional challenge for each one you get right. There is nothing wrong with a slight delay to the game when the right call is the result.

  16. Also, I think a rule change should be made that the ref who made the call should NOT be the one reviewing it EVER. It should be a ref up in a booth on every challenge.

    Most of the time I feel like their egos won’t allow them to overturn thier own call. I’m sure other fans can agree with me on this.

  17. I only have one problem with that: each game would have their own replay assistant upstairs, which means that you have the same problem with the refs down on the field–inconsistency.

    One replay assistant may call it a catch for a TD, and in another game, that same play would be an incompete pass, so the real problem never goes away.

    I appreciate the war room in hockey. You have the same group of guys reinforcing the rules which means at least the calls are consistent.

  18. last year, cowboys-packers; 2:13 remaining in first half.. wade phillips calls last timeout thinking “no way i’ll need a challenge before two minute warning. ensuing kickoff, dallas returner bryan mccann “fumbles” a good half a second after his knee hit ground, ball goes to packers nick collins, returned for touchdown with 2:04 on clock, and cowboys cant challenge…

    and THAT is why i support this change

  19. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says:

    If that rule were in effect last year, the Andrew Quarless touchdown against the Vikings would have been overturned, the Packers would have lost, and they wouldn’t have made the playoffs. So all Packer fans should be against this rule change.

    What makes this so great is the fact that it was Childress who blew the call (ask BrINT, that’s not all he blew) and therefore we aren’t necessarily against the rule, if it protects idiots like Col Klink, the longer the better.

  20. Why does the ref have to be the one to go under the hood alone? That is what takes all of the time, having him run off the field and spend 2 minutes looking at replays. If you have a replay official, why can’t he make the call from the booth. He could look at all plays and tell them to stop on the field if he needs to review something. He would then already have seen the play once or twice, and could make a ruling within 30 seconds and send it down to the ref.

    At least make it a group effort. The refs all get together to discuss calls on the field all the time. But when there is a replay review, the head ref has to make the call on his own. Why not let them all get together and review it and get the call right?

  21. Why, why, why what’s obvious to the fan at the game and the TV viewer especially what we see as quite clear cut and obvious they still manage to blow it anyway…yes we know this we see it every game certain players get certain calls…yes QB-A because he’s more popular and on this team gets a roughing the passer call by just whispering in his ear whereas QB-B well he isn’t as popular hasn’t won anything etc., can get the crap knocked out of him and no call…and it goes beyond with holding penalties…

  22. Next they are going to take away the 2 minute warning and then make every kick have to be fair caught and then make it two hand tap on the quarterback and then they are going to make it illegal to go for it on 4th down and so on until all we knew about football is gone and they change the name to Rodger Goodell Ball

  23. This rule is a good idea in theory. But what happens if teams begin running a hurry up extra point unit. Not allowing the booth time to review the touchdown play. I think this new rule will need tweeked a bit through the season.

  24. Challenges should be unlimited.

    It isn’t the coaches fault the zebras keep getting calls wrong.

  25. To eliminate long delays, they should go to commercial after every TD, then come back and kick the extra point. Then kickoff, then go to commercial break. This won’t add or subtract any commercial breaks, and would allow the replay official to review it without wasting any time.

  26. I have a better idea – DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING. Seriously, this sports is a massive cash cow. Why would they keep making modifications? The only change I would be in favor of would be to streamline challenges so the head official doesn’t have to do the whole dog and pony show of walking over to the booth, watching the play, deciding on the ruling, etc. Just have a guy in the booth reviewing all the plays, and should the play be challenged he could quickly uphold or reverse the call on the field.

  27. JimmySmith says:
    Mar 16, 2011 12:20 PM
    tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says:

    What makes this so great is the fact that it was Childress who blew the call (ask BrINT, that’s not all he blew) and therefore we aren’t necessarily against the rule, if it protects idiots like Col Klink, the longer the better.

    Yes, it will protect guys like Chilly from themselves. Of course, it isn’t perfect. They reviewed the Visanthe Shiancoe touchdown in the same game and incorrectly overturned it, as they admitted later.

    Amazing how close the Dynasty Green Bay Packers came to missing the playoffs because of a loss to their biggest rivals during their worst season in a generation.

  28. No reviews at all. It takes too long and stops any momentum a team has established. It seems that all the challenges are done by the defensive team just to slow down the opponents offense. If the officials screw up and miss a call get better officials.

  29. Defensive PI needs to be looked at. It stands alone as the most drastic, game impacting penalty. It also influences game-time decisions, which clearly dillutes the integrity of the game. No one wants to see offenses shooting for PI rather than a completion or a trick play–stuff like that belongs in Soccer.

    I dont see how its any more subjective than a “catch” at this point- so I dont understand why it isnt deserving of the same level of scrutiny.

    15 yards and a stop clock is perfectly fine in my book, but if the NFL wants to go beyond that, it should be a reviewable call–perhaps Defensive PI is reviewable only when a flag is thrown and when it results in a gain of 15+ yards. Or it can even be restricted to the final 2 mins of the half or game. Or endzone calls.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me. Args against it will revolve around saving time, but when you look at the gravity and likelihood of potential harm of BS Defensive PI calls compared to that of other calls that are reviewable, such an argument carries little weight.

  30. “The Competition Committee believes that the third challenge wasn’t successfully used often enough to make it worth the times it delayed the game.”

    -If it wasn’t used often enough, then how could it have delayed the game?

  31. While you’re at it, how about making sure replays are available to both teams in all stadiums – some have resorted to intentionally NOT showing controversial plays to opposing teams in an attempt to delay the red flags…

  32. That would be great but they shouldn’t just limit it to scoring plays but also include turnovers as well.

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