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NFL to consider making roughing the passer reviewable

Plus, the Ravens make a bizarre, fun proposal for overtime called “spot and choose.”

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Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The NFL likes to toy with new ideas during the offseason. Sometimes, they implement a rule and try it out for a season. For example, making pass interference reviewable lasted one season after a failed experiment in 2019. That rule came about after the debacle in the 2018 NFC Championship game in New Orleans. It was evident that the officials had little intention of overturning what seemed to be clear pass interference calls.

Last offseason, NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay confirmed that the league didn’t even vote on whether pass interference should be reviewable again.

According to NFL Network’s Judy Battista, the NFL is considering a rule change for this upcoming season that would allow teams to review roughing the passer penalties. This change would be discussed during the Annual League Meeting at the end of the month.

There are endless examples, but Kentavius Street’s penalty against the Saints this past season comes to mind. Street was flagged in New Orleans thanks to the “bodyweight” rule, which is as subjective as it gets. On the other hand, this puts the game into the officials' hands, and that’s the last thing you want to do.

It’s tough to imagine the NFL getting this right or this not backfiring if these reviews will be implemented. Nothing good ever comes from more reviews.

Ravens overtime proposal

This next rule you’ll read about is as ridiculous as it gets, and I’m all for it. Baltimore proposed a “spot and choose” rule:

It works like this: One team picks the spot of the ball to start overtime, and the other team chooses whether to play offense or defense.

If the one team picks, for example, the offense’s own 20-yard line, the opponent would then choose whether to play offense from their own 20 or to play defense, with the other team having the ball on its own 20. This would minimize greatly the impact of the coin toss; under this proposal, the coin toss would be used only to give the team that wins the toss the right to pick the spot of the ball (along with the end zone to be defended) or to choose offense or defense.

If the goal is to root for chaos, then you’ll love this. I can already see the second-guessing after the game. Under this proposal, overtime would still occur in sudden-death fashion, meaning the first team to score wins.

The idea behind this proposal is to lessen the impact of the coin toss. One team picks where the first drive begins, and the other team picks whether it will take the ball or give the ball to the other team.

For this rule to pass, 24 teams have to vote yes. The Ravens are one, so they’d need 23 other teams to vote in their favor.