Pass interference replay is dead

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After a largely unsuccessful one-year experiment, replay review of pass interference will not return to the NFL in 2020.

Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the rule allowing the league office to use replay to review pass interference was passed for one year only, and there is so little support for passing it for another year this year, that no one is even going to bother bringing it to a vote.

“We’re not going to vote on, because nobody is putting forward, the OPI/DPI review again. So that dies a natural death,” McKay said.

McKay said the NFL tries to limit replay to objective questions like whether a ball touched the ground or whether a player’s foot touched a sideline, and that pass interference is fundamentally subjective.

“We were trying to apply something that we’ve always been fearful of . . . putting a totally subjective play into replay,” McKay said.

And with that, pass interference will now be determined exclusively by the officials on the field, with no review from the league officiating office.

52 responses to “Pass interference replay is dead

  1. The rule allowing the league office to use replay to review pass interference a.k.a. the rule passed ONLY because Sean Payton would not stop screaming like he was being boiled alive.

  2. The idea was good. The execution was terrible. Refs get an F. The league gets an F for not holding the refs accountable.

  3. I don’t think subjective replays like pass interference can be successful considering that the league STILL doesn’t know what a catch is!

  4. What this means is that questionable pass interference calls will skyrocket again. All part of the CONTINUING 40+ year trend to cripple defenses in order to artificially inflate scoring and offensive stats.

  5. The NFL never wanted it to succeed, which is why even on obvious challenges calls were not overturned. They rigged the ‘experiment’.

  6. The solution to the problem it was trying to fix was not worth the unintended consequences. Kudos to the NFL for recognizing the mistake and not compounding it.

  7. The way it was implemented was inarguably poor. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a significant problem. Until they come up with a real solution, games like the Saints/Rams demonstrate little other explanation than the fix is in whether it is or isn’t. They need to find solutions for getting the call right on the field no matter what that takes.

  8. Just get rid of the penalty all together – or only call it when it’s egregious. NFL receivers are really good at embellishing. The risk / reward is so high for them – especially on deep passes.

  9. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not the thing to do. We all saw many clearly bad calls last season, some of which had major impact on critical games, including the playoffs. The system needed work but shouldn’t be abandoned.

    Now were going to have to listen to the cries of aggrieved parties ad nauseum. Even when the calls were clearly right in instant replay, partisans will cry foul. The biggest problem was Al Riverton, not the system he couldn’t operate with any consistency.

  10. There needs to just be a common sense rule in the nfl. Just something with a blanket style coverage that would allow a reversal if there’s an obvious mistake.

  11. cobrala2 says:
    May 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm
    “We couldn’t do a good job so we quit.” is all I read.

    Wasssss, once a man…and I totally agree.

  12. Once again there are those screaming the “rigged” nonsense.

    Until someone can tell us for who, by who and to what purpose ANY game is ‘rigged” I’m not listening.

    And I’m a Saints fan since birth.

  13. xbot5000 says:
    May 7, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Just get rid of the penalty all together – or only call it when it’s egregious. NFL receivers are really good at embellishing. The risk / reward is so high for them – especially on deep passes.

    If pass interference was eliminated, you’d never see a passing TD again… defensive backs would just drag down receivers every chance they could. And using “egregious” as a defining factor would end up the same as we saw last season with the replays – whose opinion of what “egregious” means would be used?

  14. It would have been fine, but they needed to make the evaluation by the same criteria as during the game. The two-tiered approach meant that you were guessing if you challenged.

  15. araidersfan says:
    May 7, 2020 at 1:30 pm
    What this means is that questionable pass interference calls will skyrocket again. All part of the CONTINUING 40+ year trend to cripple defenses in order to artificially inflate scoring and offensive stats.

    I understand what u mean but that rule was TERRIBLE. Too many times obvious calls weren’t overturned and the ones that weren’t obvious were. Horrible idea worse implementation. Im glad its gone.

  16. The NFL needs to look no further than the XFL for a sensible solution. It was interesting to see the replay official review and discuss the decision, and they mostly made sense. How was the NFL so often unable to get it right?

  17. Referees sabotaged it: Regardless of evidence
    1st-3rd week : reverse every call, week 4-17 : reverse nothing

  18. This ‘we was robbed’ rule, though by itself did not ultimately cost NO the NFC championship game, was a Pandora’s Box for which the oft-reviled Mike Brown of Cincinnati was the sole vote against.

    I just hope its death causes restraint in trying to change OT rules.

  19. “After further review, pass interference replay is dead” is a better headline.

  20. Thank God. It was obvious from the jump that the refs weren’t willing to admit their mistakes on these challenges (and it was just dumb to begin with).

  21. ESPN reports that the New Orleans Cupcakes are in an uproar. They now know if they whine about a call that there will be no further review of “go pound sand”.

  22. Personally I think there should never be any pass interference call either for or against the offense or defense. Every man to himself. If the receiver has no talent to catch a pass while being contested, then he deserves no catch. If a defender can go through a receiver and can catch the pass, then the better man won. Period. Trip, knock down the receiver or defender, push off – whatever – let the better man win and let the cupcakes go to the bench whining and crying to their mommy.

  23. “Just get rid of the penalty all together – or only call it when it’s egregious. NFL receivers are really good at embellishing. The risk / reward is so high for them – especially on deep passes.”

    Need to go back to the way it was before 2005 when Irsay and Polian cried their little eyes out about the mean ol’ Pats secondary beating up their soft receivers.

    Some contact and hand fighting was allowed and receivers actually had to compete for the pass. It was hard to make a catch and the game was far more entertaining. You didn’t get a flag every time you accidentally touched a receiver for 1/10 of a second

  24. Some idiot above said…

    “If pass interference was eliminated, you’d never see a passing TD again… defensive backs would just drag down receivers every chance they could. And using “egregious” as a defining factor would end up the same as we saw last season with the replays – whose opinion of what “egregious” means would be used?”

    You forget that offensive players would also have as much room to push off like Michael Irvin and to make plays they couldn’t by having talent.

    Net-net – there would be a wonderful display of who is the best player – and if weak offensive players can’t hack it, then the defense got one of the intended weakening schemes back to their advantage.

    Let’s just remember the offense still has fake QB’s who get running back protections while faking their passes – the moments that it takes the defender to realize the fake QB is really a running back is an unfair advantage for the offense.

  25. Just make it a 15 yard penalty and automatic 1st down. It didn’t ruin college football.

  26. Thank G-d. Truth be told, the Belichek idea works best – let a team challenge any call it wants to.

  27. I thought there was to be zero contact after five yards… NFL has become a joke.

  28. For my money, they should scrap the whole replay/challenge nonsense. All it does is make the games way longer than they need to be and they still don’t get it right far too often.
    So this doesn’t bother me one bit.

  29. “And just like that, that dumb rule went away. So I went home to Alabama” Forrest Gump

  30. The right decision has been made. Nothing is perfect, but as long as there is a genuine effort to get it right, a fan can live with that. The NFL, like all large bureaucracies, has created too many rules and regulations. Simplification, along with trust in human judgment should lead to an overall better game, where fans spend more time being amazed at great plays, and stop moaning about officiating.

  31. It’s dead because the NFL doesn’t know what PI looks like. They bungled the entire roll out and messed up weekly.

  32. It was asinine from the start. Why is only pass interference reviewable and not holding, if an o lineman holds a guy by the jersey so a QB can throw the game winning touchdown? Isn’t that just as game altering as a PI?

  33. Gamblers are now free to juice the refs without worrying that a rigged call might be overturned.

  34. As expected, they went about it the wrong way. How hard is it to have someone in a booth review flags for obvious blown calls? It could be done seamlessly and nobody would even know they were there until the refs inevitably blow it.

  35. One year, Cutler fumbled, and they called it incomplete.The review, by rule, didn’t give the Chargers the ball.
    One year, Cromartie returned an INT in the playoffs 90 yards against the Colts on the road. Called back on a phantom hole.
    One year, Vick ran for a crazy wildcard TD against the Eagles on the road, called back on a phantom hold.
    One year, The Rams creamed a Saint at the 5, obvious PI, no call, no review.

    I have 10000 more examples, but all NFL fans know the NFL doesn’t want the players determining the outcome on the field, they want the games to create the highest viewing interest.

    As clear as day:
    1. The popular teams get calls ( Pats Packers Steelers Cowboys , and the de jour teams each year )
    2. The famous players get calls
    3. The home team gets calls
    4. The team losing gets calls

    It keeps the game marketable and makes more money.

  36. it amazes me that the NFL is a billions of dollars industry, since the people who run it are often so clueless.

  37. So in effect the refs are getting back their control of who wins a game. Years ago my dad said that the NFL was fixed. I didn’t believe it at the time, but I’m starting to have my doubts.

  38. Both of those Officials and head Ref that blew that call are still in the NFL…still blowing calls!

  39. There was no reason why the NFL officials didn’t call down to the field during the Rams/Saints game to tell the on field officials to throw a flag. This would have prevented the pass interference farce the next season.

  40. Challenging PI is no different than challenging the spot of the football. Coaches lose most of the time when they challenge the spot, so they rarely do it unless they know there’s a good chance they’re right. And they still lose because the evidence needs to be 100% clear to reverse the call.

    Coaches/fans/media couldn’t come to grips with that fact surrounding PI so they started complaining that “no one knows what pass interference is anymore”. Not true. In fact, PI is even more subjective than spotting the football because there is no “measure” for PI. Everyone (fans, coaches, refs) views pass interference slightly different, and making a subjective call reviewable was asking for confusion.

    I’m personally glad they canned it, just so everyone would stop complaining.

  41. The rule got the packers to the NFCCG and that’s all the NFL wanted to do for its 100 year anniversary.

  42. I can’t imagine what the problem was exactly. The league says it was too subjective.

    Too subjective? If a guy mugs another guy and steals his wallet before the ball gets there, its PI. If a guy knocks another guy down before the ball gets there, its PI. If a guy grabs another guys arm and pulls on it before the ball arrives, its PI. If a guys hand brushes another guy, its not PI. If a guy gives a little back rub to a guy that doesn’t interfere with a catch, its not PI.

    So there you have it folks, some guy in his pajamas at home figured it all out. Sadly, a league of sports professionals couldn’t.

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