This past week was the annual league wide NFL Owner’s meeting, where all team owners and some coaches meet to discuss potential changes to the game or rule changes for the upcoming season. Specifically, there was a major rule change when it was announced that pass interference penalties, called or not called on the field, can now be reviewed/challenged by a coach unless it is inside of the last two minutes of each half. This is a huge rule change and the first time we’ve seen a rule proposed that could have this big of an impact on the game. Of course, this comes from the NFC Championship game that took place this past January between the Saints and the Rams, where many would say we saw the worst no-call for pass interference in NFL history.
As far as what I think about this penalty, I think it is more bad than good. I do think it is a good rule change because it will allow for the right call to be made on what can normally be a game changing penalty. However, I see a lot of negatives to it. Think about it, more reviews? Reviews always seem to take forever and now that more are gone be added how long will NFL games run for? League officials said it shouldn’t add much more time but I find that to be a false promise or just a straight up lie. If this rule is used how I think it will be used, then I’m thinking there will be at least another 30 minutes added to game length for TV airing. This can cause scheduling problems with the NFL as they may have a lot of games overlapping on air time, which can effect their ratings and overall, their $$$. Another negative I see here is that this review power can be taken advantage of now. For instance, a lot of what I’ve been hearing is how teams are just gonna run a Hail Mary and easily manage to get a pass interference call and if there’s no call, they just need it to be reviewed for it to overturned. This can cause a ton of problems with the end of games and can have some teams winning games they had no business winning.
From my perspective, I think this could either be one of the best or one of the worst rule changes the NFL has made as of late. To be fair however, we all said the same thing when they made extra point attempts 33 yards instead of 20, and it turned out that the new extra point rule is better and makes the game more competitive.