Through nine weeks, replay review overturns PI calls and non-calls nine times

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The one year (and perhaps only one year) pass interference replay-review experiment has resulted in limited reversals of calls and non-calls made on the field.

According to the league, 63 total replay reviews of pass interference calls and non-calls have occurred through the first nine weeks of the season. Of those, only nine decisions made on the field have been overturned by senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron and/or his lieutenants.

For offensive pass interference, 26 reviews have occurred. Of those, 11 were reviewed after rulings on the field of OPI. On 15 occasions, a non-call of offensive pass interference was reviewed.

As to the 11 reviews of OPI rulings, eight were initiated by coaches and three came from the automatic review process. Nine were upheld, and two were overturned. No coaches challenges of OPI rulings have been successful; the two reversals came from the automatic review process.

Regarding the 15 offensive pass interference not called on the field, 12 came from the coach’s challenge and three were initiated by the automatic process. Twelve rulings on the field were upheld. Of the three that were overturned, two came from the automatic process and one from a coach’s challenge.

For defensive pass interference, 37 reviews have occurred. On 11 occasions, a ruling of DPI on the field was reviewed, with 10 coming from coaches and one coming from the automatic process. None of the rulings on the field of DPI have been overturned.

Another 26 non-calls of defensive pass interference have been reviewed. Coaches have initiated the process 23 times, with four of them successful. An automatic review has happened three times, with no reversals.

The overall success rate for coaches’ challenges of pass interference calls and non-calls stands at 9.4 percent, with 53 challenges and only five reversals.

As to the automatic process, no reviews of defensive pass interference calls or non-calls have resulted in a reversal. For offensive pass interference, the automatic process has a 66.7-percent success rate, with four of six resulting in the ruling on the field being changed.

It’s no surprise that the success rate for red-flag challenges from coaches is so low. Riveron, either on his own volition or (more likely) at the behest of someone higher than him in the league office, has applied a much higher standard than the one he intended to use, based on things he told teams and media before the regular season began. And yet coaches still throw their flags, confident that the replay angles will show clear and obvious visual evidence that contradicts the decisions made by officials — even though Rivenon rarely utilizes the standard he had intended to use.

Some coaches, like Jon Gruden of the Raiders, have vowed to keep throwing the red flag, reluctance of Riveron to act be damned. As a result, it’s still unclear how clear the evidence much be in order to trigger a reversal, making the entire process a crapshoot that produces much more crap than shoot.

The situation virtually guarantees that replay review for pass interference calls and non-calls won’t be used by the league in 2020 and beyond. The question then becomes whether the league will devise some other procedure for preventing another Rams-Saints debacle.

And that’s really the overriding story. Regardless of how replay review will, or won’t, be used for pass interference calls or non-calls, the on-field officials are doing a poor job of spotting interference in real time and at full speed.

It’s possible that it’s always been this way, and that the availability of replay review has made it more noticeable.

That reality makes the entire process even more of a failure. Thanks to the inability of the officials working the NFC Championship to spot one of the most egregious failures to call pass interference in the history of the league, everyone now notices much more clearly and obviously the various failures of officiating when it comes to spotting pass interference — even if the replay review process is doing much too little to cure them.

25 responses to “Through nine weeks, replay review overturns PI calls and non-calls nine times

  1. They put this in play to say, “hey we did something about it” to appease the ENTIRE football world. Next season it’ll go to booth review only. They’ve already demonstrated the booth review is more successful than the red-flag challenges. It stinks, because technology allows them to actually get it right without putting the onus on the coaches. But hey..NFL man. They do what they want.

  2. It’s no big deal. This rule is in place to prevent the controversy that happened in the Saints/Rams playoff game from happening again. That’s it. If something like that happens again, gets reviewed, and they don’t correct it, then you can panic.

  3. This is ridiculous. A billion dollar industry and this is the best they can do?! Bad calls that stand constantly, like they’re scared of hurting the ref’s feelings by overturning them. Embarrassing!

    1) Make refs full-time employees
    2) Simplify the rule book
    3) Add a sky judge to QUICKLY fix common sense calls

    The standard should be to “get things right” not “we’re going to leave incorrect calls stand unless it’s completely outrageous” (the current protocol).

    It simply isn’t that difficult.

  4. What a joke. We don’t want the rule so we’ll just ignore it. I’ve never been one who believes the NFL fixes games. This year, with these non reversals of pass interference makes me question my stance on the issue.

  5. I think coaches are still throwing the red flag to stubbornly say to the officials, “I don’t care if you won’t change your mind, look at it again.” Perhaps they hope they’ll earn a make-up call.

    As to officiating at large, I can’t remember a time that it’s ever been worse. It’s truly pathetic.

  6. The same would apply to “holding” on the linemen, if allowed to be challenged. The subjectivity element is hard to solidify. I think it’s impossible to get perfect and the league needs to get rid challenges that rely heavily on subjectivity.

  7. Get rid of replay all-together. All too often they still make the wrong call after review. If we’re still going to have bad calls, might as well shorten the games by 15-20 minutes.

  8. If I’m an owner and I got burned on a non-reversal that cost me a game, there would be heads rolling down Park Avenue. It’s bad enough to diss a coach’s challenge, but the replay official in the booth? He/she IS an official as much as the zebras on the field. To have those replay requests denied means someone in the office is intentionally sabotaging the experiment, and an explanation is required as to why.

  9. “Some coaches, like Jon Gruden of the Raiders, have vowed to keep throwing the red flag, reluctance of Riveron to act be damned”

    Yes coaches, please continue to throw the red flags which hi-lites what a farce this has become. Game after game where officials just ignore the video evidence. Can’t wait to see what happens if the officials use this same standard deep into the playoffs. Has the NFL not thought that far ahead and anticipate the fan outrage if one of these brutal non calls occurs during the AFC or NFC Championship game. What a complete joke. It amazes me how the NFL thinks this is good for the sport. Did they learn nothing from the Rams/Saints embarrassment?

  10. I’m sure others have said it before and I’ll say it too. PI Review is being killed on purpose by the league. Too many obvious challenges have not been overturned. The league offered this up after last year to placate but have no intention of using it long term.

  11. Been thinking of the best way to put this. But this is all I got….

    The NFL is a complete joke.

  12. The NFL has once again found a way to ruin something that should be so easy. They are now taking in to account the “intent” of the players when reviewing slow motion. Rules should be black and white.

    Its clear the NFL is officiating this from a position of spite.

  13. >>No coaches challenges of OPI rulings have been successful;

    That pretty much says it all.
    Its a sham.
    I still don’t understand how revenue continues to grow when the NFL does such a bad job during game time.

    Maybe its the betting?
    Maybe a lot of growth is from people watching the Red Zone.
    I find NFL games far less enjoyable to watch now compared to 10 years ago.

  14. I’ve seen 3 in Giants’ games and all 3 were blatant. NADA.

    You have to be an IDIOT to see this all sabotage. No conspiracy theory. Way too obvious. Most coaches are holding on to the flags and are now only using them when it’s do or die.

    Giants WR (I forgot who) had one arm held completely down as he went up for a pass. Really? Beyond obvious. The reason for the rule. Blatant foul missed by a bad angle from the ref. They only want blatant, as in brain fart calls like the Saints? I guess so.

    And the above poster is correct. What happens when someone gets arm barred in a playoff game?

  15. e have seen way to many plays where no one knows what is pass interference, offensive or defensive. Continues to lessen the game with the call non calls by the officials and which officiating crew is on the field

  16. I don’t care for the system, nor how Riveron measures the plays being challenged. But it is what it is until standards are changed, and there is no excuse for coaches poor decision making in utilizing their very tiny challenge/time out currency. Coaches who stubbornly challenge plays they know they will not be overruled, burning valuable challenges and time outs expose themselves as poor game managers and deeply psychologically flawed and selfish human beings who should not be put in charge. Simply put, NFL gms/owners deserve what they get when they don’t hire adults to manage adults.

  17. Just review everything like Belichick suggested. 2 challenges. It looked pretty silly when that guy (from the Eagles? Lions? I forget) almost got his head ripped off on a facemask and everyone missed it. But I guess facemask is not an important penalty call. Only P.I., regardless of yardage it’s the most important penalty in the world. Mmm hmm

  18. There was a OPI reversed in the Vikes Chiefs game. It was a terrible call and extremely obvious that it was wrong and they actually reversed it.

  19. Why all the whining about the new pass interference replay rules? All the critics expressed worry when the rule came out that the game would be slowed down, it would be “over-officiated” and every little touch and bit of contact would be called, etc. In fact, the referees have adopted a policy of only calling the most egregious “obvious” situations and are in the great majority of cases upholding the call made on the field — exactly the opposite of what all the critics said was going to happen with this rule!

    Yet, since they can’t admit that it hasn’t been the disaster that they forecasted, the critics continue to gripe in a blatant case of self-fulfilling prophesy of “I told you this would be bad… this is a huge mistake… it’s going to be a calamity !” The rule was designed to not allow a blatantly missed call (like in New Orleans vs. Los Angeles Rams) to impact a game; giving review powers to the league and extra eyes when it’s obvious the officials on the field missed something.

    Is it working perfectly?? NO. But has it been a disaster or led to all of the things (ticky tack calls, the booth or league office taking over games, slowing down games) that the critics most worried about? AGAIN NO !

    The real way this rule change should be evaluated is this: Is the current rule being interpreted by referees in a way (only overturning the most obvious of pass interference calls) that would have reversed the call in the Saints vs. Rams game? I say “YES” and that was the intent.

  20. The rule needs to be scrapped and so does Al Riveron. He refuses to enforce blatant DPI missed calls yet for some reason has chosen to insert questionable OPI calls(such as the call on Dalvin Cook that was not even called on the field and was a terrible call that removed a touchdown off the board and possibly changed the outcome of the game). The NFL is looking like total clowns in their beloved 100th year celebration. It sucks big time for the fans, but it’s poetic justice for the owners. They deserve all the bad press. They’ve earned it over the years.

  21. It’s not perfect and never will be but I’m happy with how it’s being called and not called. The standard for ANY review is clear and obvious. Florio, one you sited very frequently was a week one interference on Richard Sherman vs Mike Evans. There was interference on Sherman, sure. But Evans also pushed off. And that is VERY common, to have both players interfere. Do we really prefer to have them change it to offsetting penalties than just let the call stand? For that matter, is double pass interference even legal to call in that instance? No one wants that. Saints vs Rams, there was no offensive pass interference. Thus it would have been changed. Clear and obvious. It’s that simple.

  22. terrystown says:
    November 7, 2019 at 11:11 am
    The rule needs to be scrapped and so does Al Riveron. He refuses to enforce blatant DPI missed calls yet for some reason has chosen to insert questionable OPI calls(such as the call on Dalvin Cook that was not even called on the field and was a terrible call that removed a touchdown off the board and possibly changed the outcome of the game). The NFL is looking like total clowns in their beloved 100th year celebration. It sucks big time for the fans, but it’s poetic justice for the owners. They deserve all the bad press. They’ve earned it over the years.
    ____________

    Agree with you. The made up call against Dalvin Cook was less contact than you see on every pass play inside the 10 yard line. But, it helped the beloved Packers get a win, so they called it. Yet, there are receivers having their hands pulled down before the ball arrives, and they won’t call those on challenges. It is starting to look really sketchy, and I am sure it is feeding into any of those that already believe conspiracy theories.

  23. That is good. Potentially 9 mistakes that have no effect on the outcome of the games. Replay challenge should be expanded to include personal foul calls.

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