This offseason will be looked at as a massive win for players and coaches, the NFL came to a conclusion on the pass interference rule that stirred up the majority of the playoffs. Truthfully, it shouldn’t have taken this long for the rule to be implemented, but that’s for another day.
Most of you will remember the final two minutes of the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints NFC Championship game that, arguably, could have ended very differently. Tommy Lee Lewis was blatantly interfered with on 3rd down late in the fourth quarter by Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman. The Saints ended up settling for a field goal on the drive.
Late in the same game during overtime, Michael Thomas was obviously held on the play by Josh Johnson that was no-called. The Rams would eventually take over and the rest was history.
Now the league had a decision to make on whether or not the play should be reviewable. Proponents of the rule cite the NFC Championship Game as the most obvious piece of evidence, but all throughout the 2018 season costly PI calls cost teams yardage, possessions and eventually ball games. All was not lost however as a final verdict has been reached and players and coaches alike rejoice. Here’s a clearer breakdown of the rule as told by ESPNs Kevin Seifert:
”As a result, coaches will be able to challenge pass interference calls or no-calls up until the two-minute warning of either half. In the final two minutes of each half and in overtime, on-site replay officials will be responsible for stopping the game to review pass interference, as they are for all other reviewable plays.”
This, I think, is great news. Think about it. The wide receiver/cornerback football match-up is only one in the sport where both positions are consistently moving full speed. Not like in the trenches where you’re engaged long enough with another player to notice a foul. Cornerbacks all too often get away with being hands-on with a receiver well beyond 5 yards. At the same token, receivers take advantage downfield using subtle push-offs to create space. So this won’t effect one side of the ball more than the other. All in all, solid deal.
Sources: ESPN, CBS Sports
Cover photo credit: Associated Press