Matt Ryan would have loved the new pass interference rule in 2012. The Falcons still believe 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman interfered with receiver Roddy White on a fourth-down play from the San Francisco 10-yard line with 1:09 remaining.
The 49ers held on for a 28-24 victory in the NFC Championship Game, advancing to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Ravens.
Under the new pass interference review rule going into effect this season, a replay official could have called for a review of the play.
“Geez, yes it would have [helped us],” Ryan told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “It would have definitely helped us. It would have helped us, but the same can be said for a lot of teams throughout the course of history.”
The Falcons still would have needed a touchdown, but they would have had four more downs if the league office had ruled pass interference on Bowman. The Saints can relate after Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman got away with interference against Tommylee Lewis late in regulation of last season’s NFC title game.
“I understand,” Ryan said. “I feel the pain.”
There is concern over the application of the rule, which became official Thursday. The NFL points out that officials will have a higher standard for initiating automatic review for pass interference calls and non-calls than for other reviewable plays in hopes of avoiding excessive stoppages.
The preseason will serve as the test kitchen for the new rule.
“They’ll get it right,” Ryan said. “They’ll get it right at some point. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen with all of this stuff is their intent is to try and get it right. As a player you can respect and appreciate that.”