submit to reddit
Pin it

Last week, I offered my thoughts on the NFL's rule change regarding reviews of scoring plays. In summary, I thought the rule was stupid. It's unfair, as the rule only requires plays that are called as "touchdowns" on the field to be reviewed. It ignores plays that might have been touchdowns, but which were ruled as not a touchdown on the field. This rule bit the Dolphins in the butt last week, but was not a game-deciding issue.

This week, a new problem with the rule change was exposed: if coaches are expecting a "scoring" play to be reviewed by the booth, they aren't going to throw the challenge flag. But what if the booth doesn't make the decision to review the play in time?

This happened to Chicago during the second half of their game against the Saints this weekend. Darren Sproles caught a pass out of the backfield and ran up the sideline for a score. The replay, however, showed that he has probably stepped out of bounds on the one-yard-line. The commentators thought the play would be reviewed, but the booth decided not to. Maybe they just didn't see the replay in time? Anyway, the Saints kicked the extra point, and the play stood without being reviewed.

Chicago @ New Orleans - Darren Sproles steps out of bounds before score, play not reviewed by booth.
The Saints' Darren Sproles stepped out of bounds prior to scoring a touchdown in a game against the Bears. This play was ruled as a touchdown on-the-field, but was not reviewed by the booth!

Like last week, this rule gaffe probably wouldn't have affected the game, as the Bears ended up losing by three scores due to their inability to block for Jay Cutler and the inability of receivers to catch the few passes that did come to them.

But what if this happens in a critical situation in a game? The coach of the defending team may not make a fuss - and might not even run a play - because he knows the play is (by rule) supposed to be reviewed by the officials in the booth and he's waiting for that to happen. If the offense runs the PAT before the officials in the booth decide to review the play, then they blew the call.

So are the officials going to just start giving players the benefit of the doubt and calling more plays as "scores" on the field, knowing that the booth will automatically review them? Well this comes with problems too. For one thing: there must be indisputable visual evidence in order to overturn the call on the field. So the call on the field is important! In really close situations (or when an appropriate camera angle doesn't exist), the call cannot be overturned by rule. Officials can also start taking the game situation into consideration when they make a call. If the offense doesn't have any timeouts or challenges, the officials can just call the play a touchdown on the field so it can be auto-reviewed. But if the team does have challenges and timeouts left, maybe they'll be more conservative with their calls.

Taking control away from the coaches, players, and officials on the field is a bad thing for the NFL.

This rule needs to be ditched.

Tags:, , ,

Contribute Comment


We'll incarnate your avatar from the services below.
PlayStation Network Steam Xbox LIVE Facebook MySpace Pinterest Twitter YouTube deviantART LiveJournal

  • Comment
  • Preview

Grid Clock Widget
12      60
11      55
10      50
09      45
08      40
07      35
06      30
05      25
04      20
03      15
02      10
01      05
Grid Clock provided by trowaSoft.

A gamer's thoughts

Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

Follow me on Twitter at:


If you enjoy my content, please consider Supporting me on Patreon:

Without Gravity

And check out my colleague, David Pax's novel Without Gravity on his website!

Featured Post

Deja vu. Is Hideo Kojima working on a Silent Hill game ... AGAIN?Deja vu. Is Hideo Kojima working on a Silent Hill game ... AGAIN?03/25/2020 Could there be good news on the horizon for Konami's flagship franchises? Last week, I started seeing an increasing number of websites, videos, and social media posts reporting on several new rumors regarding the Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, and Castlevania franchises, which currently are owned by Konami. Konami famously destroyed...

Random Post

Do the Chicago Bears want to win any games next year?Do the Chicago Bears want to win any games next year?07/31/2011 I've been trying my best to keep up with the movement going on in the NFL since the lockout ended in the end of July. It's been a hectic week so far. The reduction in team salary caps and the addition of a salary floor have caused a lot of teams to have to clean house. Considering how awesome the Julius Peppers acquisition was...

Month List