The first full week of 2019 preseason games have been played, and the 16 Week One contests included 16 replay reviews of calls and non-calls of offensive and defensive pass interference.
Based on a review of the official NFL game books for the games played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, 14 replay reviews happened via coach’s challenge and two were initiated by the replay official. Of the 14 challenges, only one was overturned; in the Jets-Giants game, a 33-yard penalty was imposed on the Giants after Jets coach Adam Gase challenged a non-call of defensive pass interference.
The two challeneges initiated by the replay official happened in the same quarter of the same game (Bengals-Chiefs), when replay official Darryl Lewis called for a review of potential defensive pass interference right after the two-minute warning (the non-call was correctly overturned) and potential offensive pass interference roughly a minute later (the non-call was upheld, even though it shouldn’t have been).
Two of the challenges related to offensive pass interference, and 12 involved defensive pass interference.
With 48 preseason games still to be played, more challenges will be needed in order to help the league office better understand the nuances, realities, and potential unintended consequences of the new replay procedure before commencing the games that count. The league should ask coaches to throw flags more often over the next three weeks.
It already should be clear that the availability of replay review will have a significant potential impact on the game, with senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron having the power to impose massive changes in field position.