- NFL owners approved review of pass interference penalties for the 2019 season
- It’s the first penalty to be reviewable
- Coaches will be permitted to challenge pass interference calls
Pass interference has always been an NFL hot-button issue. But after last season’s NFC Championship game, the heat grew significantly, moving to the front burner of league concerns.
Tuesday saw NFL owners approving a rule change allowing pass interference to be reviewable. As well, coaches may challenge non-calls they believe are PI.
Coming out of the Annual Meeting in Arizona, @NFL clubs approved the expansion of replay for one year to include offensive and defensive pass interference, calls and non-calls, to the current replay review system. pic.twitter.com/kikOza0pKL
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) March 28, 2019
BetOnline was quick to release a pair of prop bets relating to the rule change. One offers odds on whether a pass interference call to be overturned during the Sept. 5 NFL regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
Odds a Pass Interference Call is Overturned in 2019 NFL Season-Opener?
|Outcome||Odds on whether a pass interference call will be overturned in 2019 NFL season opener at
*All odds taken March 28
Pass interference is the first penalty that the NFL has made reviewable.
The Saints Marched It In
The impetus for this rule change was the non-call of pass interference in the NFC Championship Game, when Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made contact with New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived.
Saints coach Sean Payton raised a hue and cry, championing the cause of replay for PI calls.
Super Bowl 54 Odds Tracker
An equally bizarre episode took place in the 2014-15 playoffs between Dallas and Detroit. Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens was flagged for pass interference on Detroit TE Brandon Pettigrew.
Officials picked up the flag, indicating there was no foul.
Unlike Payton, Jim Caldwell, Detroit’s coach at the time, didn’t cause a fuss over the incident.
Total Number of PI Calls Overturned in Week 1
|Number of PI calls overturned Week 1||Odds at
The stats for the 2018 NFL regular season show pass interference as the third-most flagged foul with 320 calls, an average of 1.25 per game.
Why pass interference? Not just because the Saints were the victims of a PI no-call in the NFC title, but because PI is by far the most impactful penalty call in the NFL because of the yardage involved.
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) March 27, 2019
But only holding (26.77) accounts for more penalty yardage per game than PI (16.00).
What’s the Call?
During the 2017 NFL season, there were 39,677 plays run and only 429 of them were reviewed. That works out to an average of 1.08%.
In other words, don’t expect a sudden rash of reviews simply because PI is now reviewable.
Which @NFL team was called for the most defensive pass interference penalties in 2018?
Which team was called for the fewest?
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 28, 2019
On the other hand, the most commonly reviewed play is whether a pass completion was a catch.
In last year’s Falcons-Eagles season opener, two plays were reviewed and upheld. Pass interference was called once.
The Bears were also involved in the first-ever NFL game utilizing replay in 1986. On the third play from scrimmage, a call was overturned and the Cleveland Browns awarded a touchdown.
We’d take yes on overturned PI call in the season opener but would play the under on total PI calls overturned.