Depending upon whom you ask, the league has decided to hold the new pass interference rule hostage. Basically only the most egregious plays will be overturned, the likes of which were highlighted last season in the NFC Championship Game, which was the impetus for the rule.
There have been many instances this season already of challenges being issues to pick up or put down a flag on plays where there more or less clearly was an infraction, yet Al Riveron, made the decision to take no action, under the guise of it not rising to the requisite level of severity to make that sort of intrusion into the game.
Terrell Edmunds taps his foot and scoffs. He was tagged for a big defensive pass interference play late in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week Two loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t called on the field, but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll challenged, and Riveron decided to put down the flag.
At the time, I agreed with the decision to throw the flag, but given how we have seen the rule being officiated since then, I can’t help but feel different. I can’t say that it’s been, since then, inconsistent. Rather, it’s been consistently highly conservative. And we saw one play on Thursday Night between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants highlight that.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) October 12, 2019
The play in question came with 2:59 left to play in the game, the Giants facing a third and 10. New York quarterback Daniel Jones fired down the field looking for wide receiver Golden Tate, throwing incomplete with cornerback Johnathan Jones in coverage, forcing a fourth down.
The Giants challenged the ruling on the field that there was no pass interference committed, but the call on the field stood. Should it have? Perhaps, depending on how you view the rule. Was there absolutely defensive pass interference? Yes.
Was that defensive pass interference on that play as significant as that committed by Edmunds back in Week Two? Well, thanks to Dave Bryan, we have a side-by-side gif for you to view to let you make that determination for yourself.
Why was the one determined to be defensive pass interference while the other wasn’t, when neither were viewed as such on the field, the flag only being put down following a coach’s challenge? I don’t have a good answer for that, and I don’t want to settle for “because it’s the Patriots”.
Only a handful of challenges have been won when going up against this rule, and several of those challenges have pertained to pre-throw blocking and other things of that sort. So far, the rule hasn’t been much of factor at all—unless you ask Edmunds and the Steelers, one of the few teams who have had a flag put down or picked up at their expense following a challenge.