Expanded Replay in 2019??

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In the two months since the NFC Championship Game, the pass-interference-that-wasn't has overshadowed almost everything, with even a top NFL executive admitting that the blown call late in regulation that helped send the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl took a bit of the air out of what had been one of the league's most exciting seasons.

In the coming days, team owners could try to minimize the chances that it ever happens again.

At the NFL's Annual League Meeting, which starts Sunday and continues through Wednesday, owners will consider whether to expand replay to allow pass interference -- and perhaps even roughing the passer and defenseless player fouls -- to be reviewable. In the past, owners have been reluctant to make judgment calls reviewable. But the league's own data shows that defensive and offensive pass interference account for the most officiating errors on impactful plays. Defensive pass interference accounted for 70 percent of fouls with the largest impact on a game-winning chance in games from the 2016 through 2018 regular seasons. Of the 50 biggest incorrect calls made during that span, 24 were defensive pass interference. Offensive pass interference is the most common mistaken non-call.

"The goal is to correct clear officiating errors on impactful plays," said Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, in an interview with NFL.com earlier this week.

Owners will be asked to separately consider whether to just allow pass interference to be reviewable or to allow pass interference, roughing the passer and defenseless player calls to be reviewable. The rest of the replay challenge system would remain the same, with final decisions on challenges being made at the officiating command center at the league's headquarters in New York. If anything is approved, it will be implemented for one year and then reviewed after the season. The proposals are the result of weeks of meetings involving the Competition Committee that began shortly after Super Bowl LIII.

Vincent said there is a strong sentiment that change is needed after the high-profile mistake in the NFC Championship Game. But Vincent and one member of the Competition Committee said that there remains no appetite for allowing review to address non-calls, meaning that even if these rules had been in place for the NFC Championship Game, nothing could have been done to address the missed pass interference call that started the controversy.

"That's part of the business," Vincent said. "We're going to miss some of those."

That play, though, has clearly been the impetus for expanding replay now. Several teams have proposed expanding replay in previous years, but the Competition Committee has long been concerned with allowing judgment calls to be reviewed and with whether that would slow the game down. But Vincent said there have been game-changing -- perhaps life-altering -- mistakes made, and it is clear that the league is mindful of the firestorm that erupted after the NFC Championship Game as it considers its options. Vincent sounds convinced that owners cannot leave the meeting without making a change, with the data on pass interference mistakes being persuasive.

"Our credibility is on the line," Vincent said of the Competition Committee and the league. "For us to say, 'It's OK.' Nah, that's not where we are. For the commissioner's office and the committee to come out with nothing? You have to."

The committee briefly considered adding a "sky judge" after the idea surfaced during meetings with coaches at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. That idea -- which would have added an eighth member to the officiating crew with the power to overturn a limited scope of calls or non-calls on the field during limited stretches of the game -- has generated little support. One of the big concerns: Where would the league find all those extra officials, who would have considerable power?

Vincent, though, believes the most significant rules change that will be made in Arizona will be the complete elimination of blind-side blocks. The league's data shows that 63 percent of concussions from punts and blocks are caused by blind-side blocks, and the Competition Committee believes their elimination is a significant safety advancement and a considerable change in the culture of the game.

Two rules proposals from teams that have generated fan discussion will be discussed.

-- The Kansas City Chiefs' proposal to change overtime to mandate each team get a chance to possess the ball has not generated much support from the Competition Committee. The league's data also indicates that the result of overtime is not as tilted to which team wins the coin toss as is commonly believed. In the last seven seasons, only 20 percent of overtimes have ended on the opening drive. And since overtime was shortened to 10 minutes in 2017, the receiving team has won 48.4 percent of the time, with the kickoff team winning 45.2 percent of the time. Under current rules, each team gets a chance to possess the ball once unless the team that wins the toss scores a touchdown on the opening drive -- which, of course, is how the Patriots beat the Chiefs in the AFC title game.

-- The Denver Broncos' proposal to provide teams with an alternative to the onside kick generated a lot of interest from the Competition Committee, with members believing it could be a fun option for teams, given that rules changes designed to make the kickoff safer have all but eliminated the chance to successfully execute an onside kick. The proposal calls for teams to get the option, a maximum of once per game during the fourth quarter only, of foregoing a kickoff and instead attempting to remain on offense following a score by converting what would essentially be a fourth-and-15 play from its own 35-yard line. If the play is converted, the team keeps possession. If the attempt fails, the other team takes over possession.
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Neither proposal on replay would even have an affect on plays like the one that elicited the calls for action, just allow called PI to be reviewed, which will NEVER be overturned. There is always enough that it won't be clear and obvious that there is no PI.

The same can't be said for the reverse, there are plenty of occasions where it's clear and obvious there was PI that wasn't called.
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If they are all about safety, then they need to get a sky official and that person only be allowed to call down and enforce a penalty that was missed and deals with safety of players (defensive player, hit to head, etc).

If they want to try and correct the blown call every talks about, then allow the sky official to make those type of call with under 2 minutes left in the game. Calls that have a direct impact on the outcome.

Proposals: Love the Broncos idea. Would make for exciting end of game attempts. Onside kicks dont happen anymore and takes away excitement of a team trying to come back and win.
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more commercials, yay
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sammae wrote:If they are all about safety, then they need to get a sky official and that person only be allowed to call down and enforce a penalty that was missed and deals with safety of players (defensive player, hit to head, etc).

If they want to try and correct the blown call every talks about, then allow the sky official to make those type of call with under 2 minutes left in the game. Calls that have a direct impact on the outcome.

Proposals: Love the Broncos idea. Would make for exciting end of game attempts. Onside kicks dont happen anymore and takes away excitement of a team trying to come back and win.


I think the sky official is a non-starter since I think the idea is these people would report to the officiating / rules committee rather than the referees.

I don't think the referee union would allow it.


I do like the broncos plan even if the 4th quarter / 1 time thing is silly and contrived and more difficult to explain than OT rules.

I'd prefer it be permanent and abandon kickoffs. It's a stepping stone like moving back the 1 pt.


Heck, if it's a punt it might even revive the fair catch kick rule assuming they modify it to apply.


I look forward seeing Bill Belichick using it while in the lead to absolutely steamroll someone and everyone losing their mind.
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The Denver Broncos' proposal to provide teams with an alternative to the onside kick generated a lot of interest from the Competition Committee with only one member opposed to it.

Still has to go before the owners but look likes we might have some added fun to 4th quarter
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sammae wrote:The Denver Broncos' proposal to provide teams with an alternative to the onside kick generated a lot of interest from the Competition Committee with only one member opposed to it.

Still has to go before the owners but look likes we might have some added fun to 4th quarter

Might see a lot more comebacks with that in.

Unsure how I feel about it... will need to see it in practice.
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You know your old when you hate every rule change proposal
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endzoneview wrote:You know your old when you hate every rule change proposal


Not saying I like this proposal, but when they changed the onside kick rules the took a pick part out of the game. We use to see teams try onside kicks all the time and be successful at it. Now we never see much success it any. Hopefully this rule change might add more strategy to the game and give teams a chance to make a comeback
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Personally, I kind of hate the idea that a comeback is fueled by a funny play in which you kick the ball.

I like comebacks fueled by fumbles and interceptions.
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just replay the o-line holding non-calls and kill this thing already
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ridiculous

I knew this was going to happen they way Sean Payton wouldn’t stop crying about it
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Teams are still limited in their challenges, so I don’t see this having a huge impact on game flow. Better to get the call right.
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unimsw wrote:Teams are still limited in their challenges, so I don’t see this having a huge impact on game flow. Better to get the call right.

Ruuuuuuuiiiiiiinnnnned!

Yeah, I said the same as you and got mercilessly attacked for it.