Old-School King of the NFL, Part II

(A followup to this post, after having a few days to ruminate on it.)

According to these guys, half of all NFL games are decided by 8 points or fewer.

That means at least half of all games are potentially in the hands of one referee and whether or not he/she decides to drop a flag on a single late-fourth quarter pass play.

The current pass interference penalty (first down at the spot of the foul, spot the ball on the one yard line in the case of an end zone foul) encourages offenses simply to chuck the ball deep and hope for a flag.

Remedy? Simply adopt the NCAA rule: The penalty for pass interference is 15 yards and a first down. Revert to the current penalty only in the case a blatant foul. (FWIW, the Robey-Coleman non-call in the NFC Championship game was what I would call a blatant foul: blow to the receiver’s head, back to the ball, no attempt to make a play on the ball.)

Sure, that leaves some judgment on the zebras. But it makes offenses a lot less likely to “chuck it downfield” and cross their fingers.

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