2019 NFL: Rule Changes

dcmissle

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Why can't it still be a judgment call, just with the assistance of replay? The entire goal here is to eliminate obvious, blatant mistakes. If the ref takes a look and judges it to be PI, they throw a flag; if he judges it not to be PI, he doesn't. Just because they are using replay doesn't mean they have to go frame by frame, or by the letter of the rulebook, IMO.

I can't believe I am defending the NFL so much on this, but I just feel like these issues are being overblown and will sort themselves out, like @nattysez articulated a few posts up.

What’s next, holding and if not, why not?

*If the tight end or tackle had not held, the rb would not have cleared the edge and scampered in for a TD.*

Most of us share the goal. The problem here is taking a quintessential judgment call and imposing another level of judgment.
 

tims4wins

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What’s next, holding and if not, why not?

*If the tight end or tackle had not held, the rb would not have cleared the edge and scampered in for a TD.*

Most of us share the goal. The problem here is taking a quintessential judgment call and imposing another level of judgment.
Maybe it will be. PI is on the table because the field position ramifications are enormous.
 

dcmissle

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Maybe it will be. PI is on the table because the field position ramifications are enormous.
Then we’re into brief-opposition-reply brief- sur-reply brief territory — as a poster noted above — and color me gone. There is holding on every fucking play.
 

tims4wins

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Then we’re into brief-opposition-reply brief- sur-reply brief territory — as a poster noted above — and color me gone. There is holding on every fucking play.
Again, challenges are limited, and I get the sense the league doesn’t want every play in the last two minutes under review. They just want a way to correct egregious errors. I don’t think this is nearly the catastrophe that everyone is making it out to be, as much as I enjoy seeing the league fall flat on its face.
 

dcmissle

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Again, challenges are limited, and I get the sense the league doesn’t want every play in the last two minutes under review. They just want a way to correct egregious errors. I don’t think this is nearly the catastrophe that everyone is making it out to be, as much as I enjoy seeing the league fall flat on its face.
A play goes for a TD in a one score game with 2:01 left on the clock. What happens?
 

dcmissle

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Fine, challenge that they committed OPI (which is the only option right now). They lose a timeout and hurt their chances at driving to tie or win it. So?
Not letting you off that easily. You acknowledged that holding calls are probably next.

It’s not this or that little rule — it’s the trend.

We’re allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good enough, and we’re empowering talking heads who think they are lawyers, sucking the joy out of this sport.

It’s not just football. It’s everything. If anything bad happens to me, if a bad break goes against me, goddamit I should file a lawsuit. Sports should represent a respite from this shit.
 

tims4wins

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Even if they open it up to all penalties, there can only be 4-6 challenges a game, max, for penalties. I just don’t see it as a huge deal.

Edit: and it wouldn’t be hard to make the rule read so that if you are challenging a non-call, you have to specify which player. So you couldn’t just challenge that someone somewhere committed a penalty. You’d have to say “76 was holding” or “82 committed OPI”.
 

djbayko

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Seems like this is going to make challenges a heck of a lot more valuable and will materially change the way coaches use them. Plays that would have normally merited a challenge flag will be passed, and no coach will want to be without a challenge flag on the last drive when there's a 40 yard bomb.

I'm glad we have the coach who will best adjust to these new rules.
 

Jnai

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Hail Marys at the end of the game are going to be a complete cluster. Most of those plays involve significant PI on both sides.
 

wilked

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Go to about the 4 min mark here (Fail Mary play). Assume for a min that they call that an interception. Does 14 on Seattle get interfered with? He got swarmed by about 4 Packers guys and was never given a legitimate chance at catching it. If an interception, do you instead give Seattle the ball at the 1 with one final play?

I haven't seen anyone comment - am curious, do you think 14 was interfered with here? The rule as written is "It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball."

I think there is no question the Packers hindered his opportunity to catch the ball, he was basically crushed from all sides. At the same time I don't throw that flag if I'm a ref as the rules for a hail mary are understood to be different.
 

tims4wins

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I haven't seen anyone comment - am curious, do you think 14 was interfered with here? The rule as written is "It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball."

I think there is no question the Packers hindered his opportunity to catch the ball, he was basically crushed from all sides. At the same time I don't throw that flag if I'm a ref as the rules for a hail mary are understood to be different.
I don’t think so. And if anyone committed pass interference it was 81 on Seattle. That is clear OPI that I would flag. 2 handed shove in the back, and forces the defensive player to fall.

Edit: I don’t see where you see 14 getting interfered with at all. Defenders have a right to go up for the ball too. No one holds him down, pushes him, or otherwise impedes him.
 

wilked

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I don’t think so. And if anyone committed pass interference it was 81 on Seattle. That is clear OPI that I would flag. 2 handed shove in the back, and forces the defensive player to fall.

Edit: I don’t see where you see 14 getting interfered with at all. Defenders have a right to go up for the ball too. No one holds him down, pushes him, or otherwise impedes him.
I hear you. So put another way, you would expect the replay officials (booth challenge) to award an OPI and give GBP the win, yes?
 

wilked

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I’m no ref but that’s what I see on the replay.
And on a practical basisi suppose you would have to assign one booth referee to evaluate catch versus interception and the other to evaluate pass interference
 

tims4wins

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And on a practical basisi suppose you would have to assign one booth referee to evaluate catch versus interception and the other to evaluate pass interference
See now this is a good point. Replay can be hard enough on catch/no catch but adding the penalty element may mean more bodies needed.
 

CFB_Rules

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Why can't it still be a judgment call, just with the assistance of replay? The entire goal here is to eliminate obvious, blatant mistakes.
That sounds good, until you realize that current NFL replay model is already only supposed to overturn "clear and obvious" errors.
 

CFB_Rules

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I haven't seen anyone comment - am curious, do you think 14 was interfered with here? The rule as written is "It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball."

I think there is no question the Packers hindered his opportunity to catch the ball, he was basically crushed from all sides. At the same time I don't throw that flag if I'm a ref as the rules for a hail mary are understood to be different.
The official ruling from the NFL officiating department (not the replacements, but the NFL VP of officiating) on this play was that the ruling of joint possession and touchdown for the offense was correct, but the play should have been brought back for OPI.

Make of that what you will.
 

tims4wins

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That sounds good, until you realize that current NFL replay model is already only supposed to overturn "clear and obvious" errors.
What do you think about the idea that, for penalty replays / challenges, the replays all have to be at full speed?
 

Harry Hooper

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What do you think about the idea that, for penalty replays / challenges, the replays all have to be at full speed?
One problem with that is the NFL looks silly when tv shows slo-mo replays that feature a bad call or non-call.
 

BigJimEd

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One problem with that is the NFL looks silly when tv shows slo-mo replays that feature a bad call or non-call.
Yeah this is why they used replay to begin with. The standard shouldn't be "close enough."

Catch in the corner of end zone, called a TD. TV freezes the replay clearly showing a shot where receiver is out of bounds without possession.

Full speed replay official think he's probably out but not quite sure so call stands.

Fans, players and coaches are not going to be happy. Basically back to where it started without replay.
 

Dollar

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One problem with that is the NFL looks silly when tv shows slo-mo replays that feature a bad call or non-call.
What if the broadcast could only show the slo-mo replay after the play was confirmed, so that people watching the game are seeing exactly what the ref is seeing as the review is happening? After that, if the call is wrong, everyone can say "oh well, at the time the call made sense. Nobody's perfect."
 

mwonow

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What if the broadcast could only show the slo-mo replay after the play was confirmed, so that people watching the game are seeing exactly what the ref is seeing as the review is happening? After that, if the call is wrong, everyone can say "oh well, at the time the call made sense. Nobody's perfect."
I believe the far more likely reaction would be "why the f&^%! didn't they show the booth dudes this slo-mo replay that clearly demonstrates that the call was wrong?!?"
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The official ruling from the NFL officiating department (not the replacements, but the NFL VP of officiating) on this play was that the ruling of joint possession and touchdown for the offense was correct, but the play should have been brought back for OPI.

Make of that what you will.
Bugs me to this day that MNF gets all the credit for bringing back the real refs when the night before was, start to finish, maybe the most poorly officiated game most of us have ever seen. Charles Pierce wrote a column the next day calling it The Breaking Point of the lockout. Then Monday happened.
 

tims4wins

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Bugs me to this day that MNF gets all the credit for bringing back the real refs when the night before was, start to finish, maybe the most poorly officiated game most of us have ever seen. Charles Pierce wrote a column the next day calling it The Breaking Point of the lockout. Then Monday happened.
Yeah that SNF game was an abomination. Pats got screwed every which way.
 

soxhop411

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Looks like there may be a rule change to the rule change:

Apparently the NFL might tweak the PI rule to require a coaches challenge to review PI in the last two min, rather than the refs being buzzed by the booth/NFL.

 

CFB_Rules

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"The competition committee plans to exempt Hail Mary plays from being reviewable by replay for pass interference."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/22/nfl-wont-change-its-overtime-rules-despite-chiefs-push-both-teams-get-possession/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ceff16f40009

I'll be interested to see how they define a Hail Mary. Is it any play at the end of the game? Any play from > a certain yard line? I can't wait to hear from one of the TV rules analysts:

"If they had snapped from the 29 that blatant PI on the last play would be reviewable, but since it was from the 30 the game is over."
 

snowmanny

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That is very weird. If you are down by 5 with 1:45 left and no timeouts remaining, 4th and 1 from the oppo 40, and you pull a Dan Marino and go for a touchdown with 1:1 coverage down the sideline...is that a Hail Mary?

If not, which of the factors would have to change to make it a Hail Mary? Longer distance? Less time? More players in the end zone?
 

DrewDawg

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Are you saying that, in order to clarify things, the NFL is making it more confusing?

GTFO!
 

InstaFace

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"we want defenses to be able to commit PI on hail marys because we don't want game-shifting penalties called on the last play of the game, therefore we're going to give the defense license to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't draw (much) blood, as a foreseeable consequence, and we're sure there will be less annoyance over this"

Meanwhile if they were going to honestly call penalties on hail marys at every point except the very end of the game, it'd be an interesting tactic to try it on offense at other points in the game and just try to Flacco your way into some cheap touchdowns. How many defenses would have the discipline to just honestly play the ball and not interfere?
 

djbayko

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That is very weird. If you are down by 5 with 1:45 left and no timeouts remaining, 4th and 1 from the oppo 40, and you pull a Dan Marino and go for a touchdown with 1:1 coverage down the sideline...is that a Hail Mary?

If not, which of the factors would have to change to make it a Hail Mary? Longer distance? Less time? More players in the end zone?
I'm pulling for the porn definition. You know it when you see it.
 

luckiestman

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"The competition committee plans to exempt Hail Mary plays from being reviewable by replay for pass interference."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/22/nfl-wont-change-its-overtime-rules-despite-chiefs-push-both-teams-get-possession/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ceff16f40009

I'll be interested to see how they define a Hail Mary. Is it any play at the end of the game? Any play from > a certain yard line? I can't wait to hear from one of the TV rules analysts:

"If they had snapped from the 29 that blatant PI on the last play would be reviewable, but since it was from the 30 the game is over."

This is the problem with these fucking guys and their definitions and the culture of litigation that the NFL rule book fosters.
 

bsj

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I’ve always hated the fact that the league takes the challenge power out of the coaches hands when they need it most. Rule should be coaches OR booth can call for review in the last 2 minutes. Coaches can use their challenges early and hope that the booth saves them, or they can hold one back just in case.
 

MalzoneExpress

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I’ve always hated the fact that the league takes the challenge power out of the coaches hands when they need it most. Rule should be coaches OR booth can call for review in the last 2 minutes. Coaches can use their challenges early and hope that the booth saves them, or they can hold one back just in case.
I think the last 2 minute rule was put in because the timeout requirement for challenging complicates end of game scenarios. You need a timeout to challenge because the penalty for a failed challenge is loss of a timeout. Allowing coaches' challenges in the last 2 minutes will change clock management and timeout usage unless a different "penalty" is assessed. Perhaps a 10 yard penalty? And a 10 second runoff if the challenge happens with the clock running? Not perfect, but it might work.
 

djbayko

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I think the last 2 minute rule was put in because the timeout requirement for challenging complicates end of game scenarios. You need a timeout to challenge because the penalty for a failed challenge is loss of a timeout. Allowing coaches' challenges in the last 2 minutes will change clock management and timeout usage unless a different "penalty" is assessed. Perhaps a 10 yard penalty? And a 10 second runoff if the challenge happens with the clock running? Not perfect, but it might work.
But once again, there’s an “OR” in bsj’s prioposal. You don’t have to save a flag and time out for use in the last two minutes, but you can.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Instead of timeouts or penalties, they should give teams like 5 failed challenges for the entire season.

Challenge as many times as you want, as long as you're right. But every time you challenge and you're wrong, you've wasted everyone's time, so you can only do that a few times per year. So don't bother challenging unless a call is really obviously wrong, and/or really obviously important to your season.

This would lead to fewer overall challenges, fewer challenges of relatively unimportant plays, and fewer failed challenges that waste everyone's time. While still letting teams have recourse when a clearly bad call significantly hurts their chances.
 

MalzoneExpress

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But once again, there’s an “OR” in bsj’s prioposal. You don’t have to save a flag and time out for use in the last two minutes, but you can.
Right, but booth reviews take time and I remember several "hurry up and spike it" plays that effectively eliminated a possible booth review. Also, coaches' criteria for challenging are not the same for people deciding on a booth review.

Officiating football is tough. It is not being done as well as many (most) fans would like. High profile missed calls like the missed PI in the Saints/Rams Championship game bring attention to the problem. BSJ's proposal is flawed. So is mine. Maybe Bill is right. Why shouldn't everything be reviewable? I would go even further. Why not allow booth reviews any time during the game? Why not allow coaches unlimited challenges per game UNTIL they get two wrong? Why not provide alternate "penalties" for a missed challenge (the team could decide if it wants to lose a timeout or take a yardage penalty)? Five hour games anyone?
 

bsj

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Right, but booth reviews take time and I remember several "hurry up and spike it" plays that effectively eliminated a possible booth review. Also, coaches' criteria for challenging are not the same for people deciding on a booth review.

Officiating football is tough. It is not being done as well as many (most) fans would like. High profile missed calls like the missed PI in the Saints/Rams Championship game bring attention to the problem. BSJ's proposal is flawed. So is mine. Maybe Bill is right. Why shouldn't everything be reviewable? I would go even further. Why not allow booth reviews any time during the game? Why not allow coaches unlimited challenges per game UNTIL they get two wrong? Why not provide alternate "penalties" for a missed challenge (the team could decide if it wants to lose a timeout or take a yardage penalty)? Five hour games anyone?
coaches can sit on one challenge until the last 2 minutes to avoid the hurry and spike plays. or they can use them and be at the mercy of the booth to get one done. Its a specific type of strategy that i believe teams can certainly implement.

I do believe that every play TYPE should be reviewable, but also believe that teams need to be responsible for managing their reviews. I'm fine at a flat 3 a game.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I'm fine at a flat 3 a game
Yeah I don't really get why the NFL is making it so complicated (other than the fact that they do that with everything). Eliminate booth reviews entirely (including the stupid "all turnovers and TDs are reviewed"), making EVERYTHING challenge-able, and give teams 3 challenges each (maybe 4 in the playoffs or something if that's a concern). If a team wants to burn challenges early, that's their call - if they want to hoard them for the final two minutes in case there's a crucial call that goes against them, that's fine too.