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NFL may expand replay, automatically review all end zone plays

Bill Leavy AP

For the second consecutive offseason, the NFL may be ready to expand its use of instant replay.

Last offseason, the NFL changed the rules so that all scoring plays were automatically reviewed by the replay assistant, who then paged the referee and told him to halt the game and review the play if the ruling was close enough. This offseason, the NFL may change the rules again so that not only scoring plays but also plays in the end zone that aren’t ruled a touchdown or safety on the field get reviewed.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Rich Eisen of NFL Network that the league’s Competition Committee will review the matter this offseason.

“Whether you scored or you didn’t score, should we review that automatically?” Goodell said.

Goodell noted that there were some key plays during the 2011 season on which a player was ruled not to have scored on the field, and that when replays appeared to indicate that he had scored, that player’s team couldn’t challenge because it had already used its challenges.

For instance, in Week 17 in Green Bay, Lions receiver Titus Young caught a pass in the end zone and got both feet down for a touchdown, but the official on the field wrongly believed Young only got one foot down and ruled it incomplete. The Lions had already used their challenges and couldn’t get the play overturned on replay. Under the new proposal, that play would be automatically reviewed.

Goodell added, however, that he is concerned about adding additional replay reviews slowing down the game.

“You don’t want to disrupt the pace of the game,” Goodell said.

So the question facing the Competition Committee will be whether the NFL can find a way to get more calls right, without taking any longer.

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55 Responses to “NFL may expand replay, automatically review all end zone plays”
  1. commandercornpone says: Feb 3, 2012 12:53 PM

    been saying this for awhile. seen a lot of calls where they incorrectly deny a td. and the aggrieved party can do… zilch.

  2. suhnami says: Feb 3, 2012 12:55 PM

    love how the lions are at the center of almost every controversial/incorrect play call that costs them the game and becomes discussion as part of possible rule changes at the end of every season….any people wonder why lions fans think the nfl WANTS them to lose

  3. albanyhawker says: Feb 3, 2012 12:55 PM

    The refs need to be instructed to error on the side of the “pace of the game.” In other words, if the ball pops out, don’t blow the whistle because you think the runner was down. Let the play come to a natural conclusion so in case they are wrong, the recovering team is not penalized for an official’s error.

  4. albanyhawker says: Feb 3, 2012 12:56 PM

    P.S. as a Seahawks fan, I applaud your use of Bill Leavy’s photo as the poster boy for over-, and in some cases just down right bad officiating

  5. whatnojets says: Feb 3, 2012 12:57 PM

    “You don’t want to disrupt the pace of the game,” Goodell said.

    Then limit the amount of commercials during the game!

  6. bleedgreen says: Feb 3, 2012 1:00 PM

    Its simple really. You have a dedicated replay guy in a booth watching the plays that need to be replayed. When something’s close he can rewind and look from the different angles IMMEDIATELY. Like, before the player even gets off the ground. If its that close that the officials get together an talk, thats even more time to decide and he can radio to ANY of the guys on the field and say good, no good.

  7. benihanagt says: Feb 3, 2012 1:00 PM

    They could just have a replay official upstairs instead of the dog and pony show of the official going under the hood.

  8. psuravens19 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:02 PM

    Personally, I think the NFL should have their replay system the exact same way as College. Everyplay is reviewable and there is a team of “Review Officials” in the booth reviewing the play and not the on field official.

    It won’t happen, because the NFL is to stubborn to take an idea from the college game.

  9. timtheenchanter1 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:03 PM

    You should also get to keep using challenges as long as you win them.

    If the refs keep screwing up and you keep proving that they are incorrect, you should not be penalized.

  10. 13fitzj says: Feb 3, 2012 1:03 PM

    “You don’t want to disrupt the pace of the game,” Goodell said.
    Ya think!?!?!?

  11. fijabbersman345 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:05 PM

    “You don’t want to disrupt the pace of the…..” Goodell said, shortly before the beginning of an 8 minute commercial break.

  12. alltee says: Feb 3, 2012 1:05 PM

    the only person in the world that is worried about slowing games down is roger goodell

    the rest of the world is concerned with getting the calls right

    10 more reviews a game would probably add up to an average of 15 minutes, if your so worried remove 2 commercial breaks, goodell doesnt seem to be worried about the game slowing down when it comes to money in his pocket

    GET THE CALLS RIGHT!!

  13. goawayeverybody says: Feb 3, 2012 1:07 PM

    This is a very good idea. The Detroit Lions got totally screwed against Green Bay in Week 17. It was non-reviewable because it wasn’t called a touchdown on the field, even though the replay showed it was clearly a touchdown.

    And for those of you complaining about “disrupting the pace” of the game, go watch college football for a while. Each game lasts four hours because they pause the clock after every play!

  14. bigdaddydooko says: Feb 3, 2012 1:07 PM

    I really wish the NFL would adopt the same replay rules as College. The NCAA has the entire process down pat. Put a replay official in the booth. Unlimited replays. The play should only be looked at a couple times. If it takes more than that, then it’s not conclusive enough to overturn.

    I find it funny that the same league that has no problem having a TD, commercial, kickoff, commercial, is concerned with slowing the pace of the game down.

  15. antalicus says: Feb 3, 2012 1:07 PM

    They have to do this, it only make sense. If anything is slowing down the game its the rate in which they determine if a play is good or not while us watching on TV can for the most part figure out pretty quick with the announcers breaking it down.

    They should do this and also add another official in the box watching live game footage that the fans see and it wouldn’t disrupt a thing.

  16. suicidalionsfan says: Feb 3, 2012 1:08 PM

    messing with disrupting the pace of the game should be SECONDARY to getting the correct call !

  17. suhnami says: Feb 3, 2012 1:08 PM

    pretty simple way to fix it…if it’s close call it a TD then it will be reviewed regardless.

  18. 2sausage11 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:09 PM

    I think the refs over think now and don’t trust their eyes. The mind set is lets see if they callange then we can make it right. then its still 50/50 they get it right

  19. antalicus says: Feb 3, 2012 1:10 PM

    If only they had time to do this to plays in the redzone too. I remember when Joe Webb was playing the Lions and almost made a huge comeback but it was ended by a facemask fumble that was not reviewed.

  20. smellslikekuka says: Feb 3, 2012 1:14 PM

    Why not make it like the NHL where at NHL headquarters they review the goalsand then send the word to the referee.

    This eliminates the ref having to run over and watch the replay every time or atleast cuts back significantly.

  21. jusford says: Feb 3, 2012 1:22 PM

    If you want to speed up the game:
    1) Limit Ed Hocholi’s (sp?) length of explanation to 10 words or less.
    2) Get rid of the replay hood and make the calls from the press box.
    3) Eliminate going to commercials after the kick return (yes this impacts commercial revenue).

  22. bearsstillsuck says: Feb 3, 2012 1:23 PM

    Get rid of replay altogether; human error is part of the game.

  23. marinofreakout says: Feb 3, 2012 1:24 PM

    any play resulting in a penalty of 15+ yards or more within 2 minutes of the conclusion of either the half or 4th quarter should be reviewable. yea you dont wanna slow the pace of the game down and bring attention to the absurdity of all the gamechanging “late hits”/”roughing the passers”/”unnecessary roughness” but nothing brings attention to them more than a blown call that changes the outcome of the game. At the very least pass interference flags that place the ball at the spot of the foul should be reviewable within 2 minutes.

  24. rooney24 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:28 PM

    I would be in favor of that change. I think they should use the same procedure for all turnovers as well. Those often have as much or more impact on outcomes than the plays near the endzone.

  25. Soulman45 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:30 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS have to beat the other teams and the REFS not a easy job but they are begin to do it.
    Super Bowl
    Next Year

  26. knowerofallthings says: Feb 3, 2012 1:35 PM

    The coaches have challenges they can use; that should be sufficient. Just because one dumbass coach used up his challenges does not mean we should all suffer through unneeded delays. Don’t do it!

  27. unitedstateoftexas says: Feb 3, 2012 1:35 PM

    Oh, so this is how they plan to squeeze out the last drop of ad revenue.

  28. whatnojets says: Feb 3, 2012 1:35 PM

    Currently, the terrestrial television networks CBS ($3.73B), NBC ($3.6B) and Fox ($4.27B) — as well as cable television’s ESPN ($8.8B) — are paying a combined total of $20.4 billion[1] to broadcast NFL games as per the current contract that ends in 2013. From 2014 to 2022, the same networks will pay $39.6 billion for the same broadcast rights

  29. contract says: Feb 3, 2012 1:36 PM

    We’ll just call it the Lee Evans rule.

  30. golfnutt67 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:45 PM

    The refs need to be instructed to error on the side of the “pace of the game.” In other words, if the ball pops out, don’t blow the whistle because you think the runner was down. Let the play come to a natural conclusion so in case they are wrong, the recovering team is not penalized for an official’s error.

    ***************************************

    One of the best post I’ve read on this site this is spot on!

  31. georgebrett says: Feb 3, 2012 1:52 PM

    Best way ever would be to have an office in a remote location say NYC. Have a group of people that sit and watch ALL of the games but say each game has 3 sets of eyes on each game. As soon as they see a possible missed call or whatever, they BUZZ the head ref on that field to halt play. ALL of the people in that room review the play and vote and the decision is automatically sent to the head ref.

    This would work for many reasons

    #1, there would no longer be coaches challenges but rather all would be done in the remote location

    #2, head ref never has to leave the field which in itself takes time

    #3, all plays are reviewed by the same people which means every play will be scrutinized the same way in all games.

    The NFL in a multi-billion dollar industry, you’d think they would want to get it right.

    I would also put video cameras on every refs hat so what they see and call or lack there of can be seen weekly after the games.

    I would also make the refs full time employees so they can do these things every week.

  32. kinguga says: Feb 3, 2012 1:56 PM

    I don’t know about most of you, but I’ve never cared about how long a football game lasts. I love football. I also like to see officials make the correct calls.

  33. deeeeetroit says: Feb 3, 2012 1:57 PM

    almost non of these comments have thumbs down… finally a topic we all feel the same about!

    soooo how about them polotics

  34. deconjonesbitchslap says: Feb 3, 2012 1:58 PM

    haha. this has nothing, absolutely NOTHING to do with the game.

    this is for commericals. more replays, more commercials. more $

    soon, you’ll be reviewing every single first down play. it’s like the government: a program starts small, and before you know it, it’s half the budget.

  35. bobhk says: Feb 3, 2012 2:03 PM

    A bit late for the Ravens tho, who would have been in the superbowl. (not a ravens fan)

  36. 97tahoe says: Feb 3, 2012 2:09 PM

    With so much at stake in every game, you would think the NFL’s first priority would be to get the call right. If that means the game is alittle longer, so be it.

  37. blaz0037 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:17 PM

    Its simple really. You have a dedicated replay guy in a booth watching the plays that need to be replayed. When something’s close he can rewind and look from the different angles IMMEDIATELY. Like, before the player even gets off the ground. If its that close that the officials get together an talk, thats even more time to decide and he can radio to ANY of the guys on the field and say good, no good.

    ———————————-

    Its simple really, thats not possible. View all the angles before the player gets off the ground? smh.

  38. kevpft says: Feb 3, 2012 2:19 PM

    I don’t think the fix has to be complicated. How’s this:

    – The current number of team-initiated challenges stays the same.

    – All end-zone plays are reviewed if either team requests it, at no cost to their number of challenges. (Might be almost as many reviews as the automatic-review system, but would probably be fewer.)

    – Nothing in the game cannot be challenged. (We all know how ridiculous it is that some blatantly wrong calls can’t be challenged due to an arbitrary rule.) Due to not having any extra challenges, this would not increase the net number of challenges in a game.

    – Beyond that, any additional reviews would have to be initiated by the officials.

  39. blaz0037 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:25 PM

    We’ll just call it the Lee Evans rule.

    ——————————–

    Sorry to break it to you, but that wasn’t a touchdown. You have to maintain possession of the ball.

  40. blaz0037 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:29 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS have to beat the other teams and the REFS not a easy job but they are begin to do it.
    Super Bowl
    Next Year

    —————————–

    Tell your coach to be smarter about his challenges. Its that simple.

  41. blaz0037 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:39 PM

    - Nothing in the game cannot be challenged. (We all know how ridiculous it is that some blatantly wrong calls can’t be challenged due to an arbitrary rule.)

    ————————————-

    oh how young and naive some can be. Some calls cannot be reviewed because they cannot retroactively go back and “unblow” the whistle.

    ya get it? its not possible.

  42. ravenunitas says: Feb 3, 2012 3:27 PM

    Sorry to break it to you..but it was a touchdown.

  43. LoCoSu@%s says: Feb 3, 2012 3:42 PM

    So the NFL wasnt smart enough to think thru end zone scenarios and figure out that a non-TD call should also be reviewed?
    Are they that inept that they cannot follow thru the consequence of one rule change and ensure it doesnt cause another?

  44. suhnami says: Feb 3, 2012 3:42 PM

    blaz0037 says: Feb 3, 2012 2:29 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS have to beat the other teams and the REFS not a easy job but they are begin to do it.
    Super Bowl
    Next Year

    —————————–

    Tell your coach to be smarter about his challenges. Its that simple.

    ——————————————-

    Did you even watch the game??? There were 2 fumble/turnover calls called against the Lions, highly controversial and both would have resulted in turnovers had he not challenged them. Neither of them should have been called fumbles as they were on the field.

    The Schefler fumble clearly shows him down by contact and was overturned. The fumble by Logan, by most, appears as though he was down by contact but the play is blocked because of the camera angle resulting in not having sufficient evidence to overturn and was upheld.

    Both challenges were of critical importance to this game, both warranted, and both smart decisions by Schwartz.

    The fact that he had THREE calls called against the Lions under 24 minutes into the game…ALL THREE should have been called the opposite of what they were on the field (the 2 fumbles and TD catch). Can’t blame Schwartz for his use of challenge as no team has 3 blatant miss calls going against them at 6:07 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

  45. deadeye says: Feb 3, 2012 3:48 PM

    Common fricking sense. All scoring plays are reviewed. The first time I heard that rule I asked, “What about plays that didn’t score but were close enough to possibly be wrong?”

    It amazes me how stupid the league can be with simple things like this.

  46. time2speakup says: Feb 3, 2012 3:49 PM

    Integrity of the game Roger. That is all that is or should matter. If it takes some minutes longer due to a review to get things right, so be it, Brother. It’s sorta mind boggling to me that Goodell would even offer that as any type of deal breaker or point to ponder. Each player on each team is trying so hard, help’em out already!

  47. rcali says: Feb 3, 2012 4:00 PM

    “You don’t want to disrupt the pace of the game,” Goodell said.

    So the endless amount of tv time outs doesn’t disrupt the pace of the game? Again, Goodell thinks we are all stupid.

  48. kadeeu says: Feb 3, 2012 4:03 PM

    This incremental approach to adding review scenarios is ridiculous. Change to the college process, but Roger is too stubborn and ego driven to do it.

  49. descendency says: Feb 3, 2012 4:22 PM

    Every play should be reviewable as is the case in college football.

  50. mjkelly77 says: Feb 3, 2012 4:37 PM

    The ref had money on the Packers and figured the Lions were making too much of a game of it. Lions might have ended up winning that game without that bad call.

  51. patriotinvasion says: Feb 3, 2012 4:40 PM

    Does anyone know why comments that contain no profanity just randomly get deleted from posts on this site? Like, is there some geek at NBC manually deleting comments he doesn’t like or something? It makes no sense….

  52. mjkelly77 says: Feb 3, 2012 4:42 PM

    Automatically run the commercials during the reviews and other natural stops in play action.

  53. rao50858 says: Feb 3, 2012 6:03 PM

    Stop all of this review nonsense. Half of the scoring play reviews would show two offensive linemen holding or other penalty that seems to be randomly called. These have as big or bigger impact on the game.

  54. txtuff says: Feb 4, 2012 6:47 AM

    I’m I the only one that sees a problem with this? The Lions didn’t get that TD because the coaches wasted their reviews on plays they should not have reviewed! That’s bad coaching as much as anything else. As a coach you hold on to that flag unless you know the play will be turned over, you don’t just throw a red flag because you hope you will get lucky. The teams also have review guys upstairs, if they can’t get good info down to the coach then fire them. At this rate the NFL should just take the red flags away from the coaches and review everything if they keep this up.

  55. detroitcityryda says: Feb 4, 2012 11:25 PM

    Finally good thing , the lions should have been
    11-5 last year but next year we will dismantle the packers at lambau it’s our time .

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