Super Bowl’s game-winning touchdown underscores importance of embracing technology

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As the Chiefs moved toward what became the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LIV, things got very interesting. Facing third and goal from the five, questions already were swirling regarding the possibility that the Chiefs would opt to tie the game at 20 with a field goal or to go for the touchdown on fourth down.

Thanks to a catch and run from running back Damien Williams, the fourth-down dilemma became moot. Making it moot was the decision by the officials that Williams had gotten the ball to the front of the end zone before stepping out of bounds.

Replay evidence was inconclusive as to whether the ball broke the plane before or after Williams stepped out of bounds. Thus, whatever the ruling on the field, it wouldn’t have been overturned by replay review.

But is that the best way to make decisions like this? Appearing last week on PFT Live as an ambassador of Zebra Technologies, Saints coach Sean Payton mentioned the things that can be done to make questions like whether the ball crossed the plane before the foot landed out of bounds objective and undeniable. In our view, the only question is whether and when the NFL will spend the money to fully and completely embrace these opportunities.

As said every week during the opening of The Six Million Dollar Man (yeah, I’m old), “We have the technology.” And with that technology the NFL can rebuild an officiating function that still relies excessively on the frailties of the naked eye and two poles and 10 yards of chain link.

9 responses to “Super Bowl’s game-winning touchdown underscores importance of embracing technology

  1. Based strictly on the way the super bowl was officiated, the league wouldn’t need to make any changes. I thought it was a perfect blue print for how to call a game. Video replay supported every call. But regardless of the super bowl, there is no way to officiate football games without utilizing technology. They have a ton of room for improvement. I would turn it over to an independent organization. The NFL just doesn’t seem to want the players controlling the outcome of most games. I don’t know why, but it’s obvious.

  2. Every time a call like Damien Williams’ touchdown needs to be made, and there’s no replay where the camera is positioned exactly on the goal line from the sidelines, I go apes–t. Why on Earth can’t the NFL make sure that there are cameras at all four corners, right on the goal lines? It’s an easy fix!

  3. The evidence to date is the NFL will not give up the ability to control the outcome of any game. Totally fair and objective officiating impairs their ability to control.
    Do the math.

  4. It’s interesting that as technology has become more prevalent in the game, so have controversial calls.

  5. <<>>

    I don’t know about apes-t. However, I really don’t understand why the pylons don’t have a 360 degree camera. Especially in the Superbowl!!!

  6. Does a 4 point loss make Niner fans feel better?

    Oh, but that was only 3rd down. So if he didn’t score and the Chiefs take the FG, then it’s a 7 pt game.

    So does a 7 pt loss make Niner fans feel better?

  7. Crap like this is starting to make the XFL more and more interesting. I wonder if they can get it right. I’m betting their continued existence depends on it, and they will.

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