NFL offers explanation on new pass interference review rules

Replay review in effect only for 2019 so far

Chris Miller
June 20, 2019 - 1:04 pm

The NFL today announced its competition committee unanimously recommended that the new pass interference review rules be in effect for the 2019 season only.

It appears the league wants to give the rule change a trial run before making any longer-lasting changes.

The league also said stoppage during the final two minutes of a half and during overtime to review a pass interference call or non-call will require "stricter criteria than other reviewable plays." The NFL said this is to avoid excessive game stoppages.

Coaches will be able to use their challenges if it's during regulation and not during the two minute warning.

The rule change came about in part from game officials' failure in the NFC Championship game to throw a flag on L.A. Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for a pair of fouls late in the game: pass interference and helmet-to-helmet contact when he hit Saints receiver TommyLee Lewis while the pass was still in the air. With less than two minute to go and the game tied, the automatic first down would have let the Saints take most of the remaining time off the clock before attempting a game-winning field goal.

Instead, the Saints kicked a field goal to take a three-point lead, but the Rams had more than a minute after the ensuing kickoff to tie the game. Los Angeles ultimately won the game in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl.

At Super Bowl LIII, the Rams managed only one field goal and lost to the New England Patriots 13-3, in the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history.

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