After a one-year flirtation with pass interference challenges didn't really solve anything, the NFL is expected to end the experiment.
Pass interference replay "almost certainly will not be extended", according to a report Monday from NFL.com's Judy Battista:
Competition Committee continues to discuss rules ahead of still-on-schedule meeting at end of May, when votes would take place. PI replay almost certainly will NOT be extended, according to one person familiar with conversations.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) April 6, 2020
This isn't terribly surprising. The rule was put in place largely because Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints complained very loudly after an enormous missed call in the 2018-19 postseason.
That crucial uncalled pass interference, you might recall, was committed by new Eagles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman:
The 2019 regular season allowed coaches to challenge pass interference calls, either called or uncalled, but the results were a mixture of underwhelming and frustrating.
Eagles fans probably remember this very obvious Avonte Maddox pass interference that wasn't called, was challenged by Packers coach Matt LaFleur, and then still wasn't called:
That was insane.
"The cumulative effect of the misses, plus the replay spotlight on these misses, has really taken its toll," former NFL ref and current NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay told the New York Times last November.
The line for what constitutes pass interference was shown - as football watchers already knew - to be an indistinct and ever-moving line, and the ability to challenge the calls just created one more layer of aggrivation.
If the league does indeed remove the rule, it will be a victory. Fans, players, and coaches will still yell about missed pass interference calls - but at least they won't have to do it twice.
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