NFL Replay Rule

November 25, 2012 by  

NFL Replay Rule, Dean Blandino, the NFL Director of Instant Replay, joined NFL Network’s “Around the League” on Friday to explain why the officials were prohibited from reviewing Justin Forsett’s 81-yard touchdown run against the Detroit Lions.

“The team that commits the foul, that throws the flag, they’re the team that can no longer benefit from the review. The play is still reviewable; the other team can benefit from the review, but the team that commits the foul cannot.
The rule was put in place really to prevent a team in a challenge situation from creating a delay. They’re thinking about challenging the play, they commit a foul, jump offside, false start, now they’ve given themselves more time to make that decision.

I understand this isn’t a challengeable situation, but it still applies after turnovers, after scoring plays and especially inside two minutes when a coach can throw the flag and stop the clock illegally. Here it’s a turnover, it’s going to be reviewed anyway, but it can create a delay and give the replay official more time to look at it where he would normally have to take a timeout to do that. So, we tell our coaches don’t throw the flag.

Our officials should get to the sideline, explain to them that the play is not challengeable, and then the replay official is looking at it and he will stop the game and look at it if he deems that it needs to be stopped.”
While the intention of the rule is sound — prohibiting a team from stalling to get a longer look at replays before initiating a challenge — it is clearly flawed in instances similar to Forsett’s touchdown run.

All scoring plays and turnovers are reviewed by default. Throwing the flag in this instance, while slightly delaying the game, isn’t a deliberate act to extend the review window.

Failure to comply with the rule in these situations still merits a penalty, and potentially the loss of a timeout, but to negate the naturally triggered review is foolish.

The good news is the league’s competition committee has already stated they intend to review the rule.

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