A Potential Flaw in the NFL’s New Rule?

Posted: August 26, 2011 by admin54321 in Features

One of the new rules in the NFL this season is that all scoring plays are reviewable by the officials instead of coaches having to waste a challenge on it. While at first, this seemed like a great rule, it has brought some issues with it.

Today, in the Browns vs. Eagles game, Browns QB Seneca Wallace threw a pass in the endzone that got tipped and then caught. However it looked like the receiver who caught the ball stepped out-of-bounds and then came back in bounds and was the first player to touch the football. This is usually illegal and would ordinarily void the touchdown. Eagles coach Andy Reid wanted to make sure the officials reviewed it so he threw his challenge flag. Immediately after, a ref threw his penalty flag. The Eagles were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct because Andy Reid challenged a scoring play. While I can get over that, here is what got me: after this, the play is no longer reviewable.

Andy Reid was simply doing his job by throwing the challenge flag as he believed he had a good shot of taking the Browns’ touchdown away. If anything, he threw the challenge flag to ensure that the play was reviewed. I understand that this can be considered unsportsmanlike conduct but the fact that it makes the play non-reviewable is ridiculous. It really looked like that touchdown could have been taken away but the play stood as called because a coach was trying to do his job? This could prevent the right call from being made in the future and could start controversy.

Hopefully the NFL will address this or else we may see some unfair scoring plays in the future.

Original image from Mike Licht, Notionscapital.com of Flickr under this license.

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