The Philadelphia Eagles and the rest of the NFL were made aware of a slight change in how pass interference will be officiated for the 2019 season.
Fortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles playoff history is void of any instances of their season ending on a bad or an overturned call in the NFL Playoffs. They’ve only had to worry about things like a fog descending on Soldier Field in a game that, by all accounts, they had a very good chance to win.
Actually, instant replay has been good to Philly. Just think back to Super Bowl LII and questions of whether Corey Clement maintained possession in the back of the end zone or the question of whether or not Zach Ertz had actually become a runner.
Instead, Philly’s knowledge of instant replay in big moments is limited to things like the joy of watching the disbelief on Dez Bryant’s face when his catch against the Green Bay Packers in 2014’s version of the Divisional Playoffs was ruled incomplete.
Those are all stories for another day however.
Seeing Philly’s season end on a heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints and, then, watching those same Saints fall out of contention in heartbreaking style makes one think. It has to hurt to see your team go down on a bad call like that.
Well, the NFL may, finally, be showing some signs of remorse as they’ve announced a rule change involving pass interference and using instant replay in 2019 to correct these types of errors.
Here’s how it works:
"According to the final rule, pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official will only stop the game when there is “clear and obvious visual evidence” that a pass interference penalty may or may not have occurred.In an effort to limit excessive stoppages, any stoppage will occur under stricter criteria than other reviewable plays. Calls will only be reversed based on “clear and obvious visual evidence” that an incorrect call was made, which is the same standard for all reviews."
To Saints fans, this probably won’t lessen the sting of what happened a season ago, but at least we won’t have to worry about any egregious errors in the coming season.
As mentioned, this is currently in place for the 2019 season only, but if this pays off in some way, and if this doesn’t disrupt the flow of the game too terribly, then, we may see this become a permanent change somewhere down the line. We’ll have to wait and see what happens though.