Pass interference replay review looks to be one-and-done.
In the annual postseason survey taken by the nine-member NFL Competition Committee, teams came out overwhelmingly agent retaining the PI replay rule that was instituted for the 2019 season, NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported Tuesday night.
According to Battista, when asked if they were favor of making the rule permanent, 21 teams said no and eight said yes. When asked if the rule should be extended for one more year, 17 teams said no and five said yes.
While the survey does not officially change the rule, it indicates that the competition committee and the league are trending toward killing the rule for the 2020 season.
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The decision to either make the PI replay rule permanent or to extend it one more year will be put to a vote during the Annual League Meeting at the end of March. For the rule to pass, it would need 24 affirmative votes, or three-quarters of the league. If the survey is any indication, support for the rule is hovering around one-quarter of teams.
So here (likely) lies the pass interference review rule (July 2019 – March 2020). We hardly knew ye, but hardly was enough.
Instituted last summer just for the 2019 season, the rule allows offensive and defensive pass interference calls and non-calls to be challenged, and for pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime to be initiated by the replay official. Calls for such a rule were amplified following the controversial conclusion to the 2018 NFC title game between the Rams and Saints.
The results confused and frustrated coaches and players alike. The standards for overturning or confirming calls were inconsistent and appeared to change midseason.
Of the 100 pass interference calls that underwent review during the 2019 regular season, 24 were reversed. Of the 80 calls that were challenged by teams, just 16.3% were reversed, while of the 20 calls initiated by official review, 55% were reversed.
Next year, it is now likely that zero pass interference calls will be reversed or upheld by replay review.
Also in the survey, Battista reported, teams said quarterbacks are being adequately protected by the roughing the passer rule; teams said the use of helmet was more consistently officiated in 2019; and teams are heavily in favor of allowing the league office to instruct the on-field officiating crew to eject a player for a football act.
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