NFL abandons video review for pass interference

  • After a one-year trial, video review for pass interference in the NFL will not return in 2020.
Modified 07 May 2020, 22:42 IST
NFL - cropped
Review of a pass interference call

The NFL will not have video review for offensive and defensive pass interference going forward, ending the one-year experimentation with the controversial rule without a single team proposing an extension.

Atlanta Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay, who chairs the NFL's competition committee, confirmed the news on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday.

"We're not voting on – because no one's putting forward – the OPI/DPI review again, so that dies a natural death," McKay explained.

Many coaches and players became increasingly frustrated with the reviews as the season progressed due to a perceived lack of consistency, making teams less likely to challenge pass interference later in the year.

"In my opinion, we were trying to apply something that we've always been fearful of – we didn't know what the total outcome would be but we were always fearful of – which would be putting a totally subjective play into replay," McKay said.

The rule was passed on a one-year trial basis after a high-profile officiating error in the 2018 NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams.

"I think when we did what we did, which was try to catch that really egregious, big-time play and put that standard of 'clear and obvious', even then I think you're adding a subjective standard to a subjective play," McKay said.

"And I think we set ourselves up for we were not going to have agreement on the result, and I think that showed itself during the year."

McKay explained the goal video review is to correct glaring mistakes, but there was not a reliable standard for how much contact is too much while the ball is in the air.


"We knew there would be problems, because your subjectivity and my subjectivity on a particular reviewable play can easily be different," he said.

"The fact that a ball was caught or not caught, we're not going to disagree – we might disagree once in a hundred – but about 99 per cent of the time we're going to agree because we can see it on replay.

"That's not true in the subjective world."

McKay added there were two much smaller automatic replay provisions in last year's proposal, including a review of point-after attempts.

The Philadelphia Eagles proposed keeping those, and the NFL is likely to approve, pending a vote of the 32 team owners.

Published 07 May 2020, 22:42 IST
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