Twice this year, the league office has taken away touchdowns from Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins under circumstances that shouldn’t have resulted in a reversal. And while it’s definitely an issue with them, Seferian-Jenkins has come to the conclusion that it’s him.
“Odds are, it will never turn for me,” Seferian-Jenkins said Friday, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “It’s never going to turn if we’re going off odds. Honestly, they’re bang-bang plays. The refs, they made the call on the field: Touchdown. The people in the official [replay review] box made a different call. Everyone’s got jobs, and no one’s perfect.”
But those who handle the replay reviews should be much closer to perfect than the people who are making decisions in real time, since the replay process provides an opportunity to reflect on multiple angles before deciding whether clear and obvious evidence exists to overturn the ruling on the field.
The problem for Seferian-Jenkins, and for the league, is that the process is finding clear and obvious evidence where clear and obvious evidence doesn’t exist. Three times this year (at least), the new procedures that give final say to the league office have resulted in a clear and obvious — and entirely avoidable — error.
Whether it happens next to Seferian-Jenkins or to someone else, it’s a problem for the league. Unlike plenty of the other problems the league currently faces, this one should be fairly easy to fix.