The NFL appeared to change its standard for overturning calls in instant replay in 2017-2018, with head of officiating Al Riveron seeming to stray away from the “indisputable” standard in the regular season only to return to it in the postseason. One of Riveron’s predecessors believes the commissioner was behind that.
Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said on the Talk of Fame podcast that from his conversations with people around the league, he thinks there were teams complaining to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about Riveron being too quick to overturn plays on instant replay, and Riveron adjusted accordingly.
“I talk to enough coaches and enough members of the competition committee that they weren’t happy, and so I think the word trickled to Goodell and Goodell probably sat down with Alberto, who he has a great amount of respect for, and just said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to realize you need to make an adjustment. You’re being too technical,'” Pereira said.
The Eagles may have benefited from that change in approach: Corey Clement‘s touchdown catch was a very close call on which he may not have had full possession of the ball with both feet down, but Riveron decided to stay with the call on the field. During the regular season, that might not have been a touchdown.