Roger Goodell Says Pass Interference Replay Reviews Are Going as NFL Expected

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints' Tommylee Lewis during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game in New Orleans. The non-call on the play involving Rams Nickell Robey-Coleman in the NFC championship game cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl. (Or, at least that's how they see it in New Orleans) After taking tons of flak, then admitting the call was wrong, but doing nothing to alter the outcome of the game, the NFL rule-makers met a few months later and declared pass interference would now be reviewable.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Some NFL fans may be frustrated with the officiating and new pass interference reviews through six weeks of the 2019 season, but league commissioner Roger Goodell said things are going according to plan. 

"I think it's settling out where we expected," Goodell said of the new reviews, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

The NFL Competition Committee unanimously recommended the rule change this offseason following the outcry that stemmed from the Los Angeles Rams' 26-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints in last season's NFC Championship Game.

New Orleans would have been in position to run the clock out and kick the winning field goal in regulation had officials thrown a flag on an obvious pass interference by Nickell Robey-Coleman, but the penalty was never called. The Saints had to settle for a field goal on the ensuing play, which gave the Rams enough time to force overtime with their own field goal and eventually win.

Despite Goodell's comments, pass interference replay reviews don't seem to be working. At least not for the coaches who initiate them.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reported on Friday that coaches were a mere 1-of-21 in pass interference challenges since Week 3 and just 7-of-40 during the 2019 campaign. Those who have risked challenging potential pass interference plays—even the ones that appear obvious to viewers—have often found themselves down a challenge and timeout.

Seifert's report came out before the end of Week 6, but officiating was once again in the spotlight during the Green Bay Packers' controversial victory over the Detroit Lions on Monday.

Lions defensive end Trey Flowers was whistled for two phantom hands to the face penalties that extended Packers drives and ultimately allowed Aaron Rodgers and Co. to complete a comeback that swung the standings in the tight NFC North.

While officiating and the frustration that comes with it has been a major focus this year, Goodell apparently doesn't see an issue with the replay reviews.


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