The last time a major officiating error wrongly awarded a team a touchdown in a close game on national television, the NFL acted swiftly. Now the NFL may act swiftly again.
When the replacement officials gave the Seahawks a bogus touchdown to beat the Packers in Week Three, the NFL responded by ending the referees’ lockout. On Thanksgiving, the regular officials (who looked a lot like the replacements) gave the Texans a bogus touchdown against the Lions, and the NFL may respond by changing the rule that prevented that touchdown from being reviewed and overturned.
NFL executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson told Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show that the league could review the rule that says the referee will not review a scoring play if a coach throws his challenge flag. Anderson said it’s even possible that the rule could be changed during the season, instead of waiting until after the season.
“I think there’s some sentiment, Mike, that that may be too harsh,” Anderson said. “To not be able to review in those circumstances may be harsh, because at the end of the day the review process is intended to get it right.”
This is a rule that needs to be changed: Although Lions coach Jim Schwartz was foolish to throw his red flag on the Texans’ bogus touchdown, because the rules state that all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, it’s even more foolish that the NFL punishes coaches who ask for a review by taking away the very review they asked for. The sooner the NFL gets rid of this ridiculous rule, the better.