For most of the season, we seemed to know what the NFL was thinking when it reviewed pass interference. If it wasn’t blatant, the ruling on the field wasn’t getting changed.
Then all of a sudden, that has shifted a bit.
There have been a few calls that seemed less than “clear and obvious,” which is the standard for changing pass-interference calls or non-calls on the field. The weirdest recent change cost the Oakland Raiders an interception.
Raiders fans often say the NFL has it out for them, and while that’s not true, the call on Sunday will make them wonder some more.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes dropped back and threw to Demarcus Robinson in the end zone. Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen intercepted it. Nothing seemed amiss. But because it was a turnover, it was automatically reviewed. And Mullen giving a little tug to Robinson as he broke in the end zone got a long look.
Interference was called. By the letter of the law it probably was interference on Mullen. But we’ve seen many, many similar plays and the on-field call hasn’t been changed. The Chiefs kept possession and ended up scoring a touchdown on that drive.
Whatever the NFL’s rules are, the thing most players and coaches want is consistency. With the controversial new pass-interference rule, nobody really should have any clue what’s constitutes a reversal.
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