NFL Really Needs to Review Horrible Review Rule
Last Sunday Atlanta head coach Mike Smith cost his team a possession when he threw a challenge flag over an iffy Arizona Cardinals fumble recovery. Apparently the NFL has a rule in place that says coaches are not allowed to throw a challenge flag on any mandatory booth reviews, which all turnovers are. So instead of Atlanta keeping the ball, the officials refused to review the play, the Cardinals kept possession, and Atlanta was assessed a 15-yard penalty. Luckily for Smith and Atlanta, they still won the game. Thanksgiving Day in Detroit this same type of thing happened again and it cost the Lions a football game.
In the third quarter of Thursday's Detroit/Houston game with the Lions leading by 10, Texans running back Justin Forsett rumbled 81 yards for a game-changing touchdown. The problem was, Forsett was clearly tackled on the play. The bigger problem? Lions coach Jim Schwartz knew that Forsett was down and did not hesitate to throw his challenge flag.The biggest problem? Since scoring plays are automatically reviewed, the officials, by rule, refused to review the play, gave Houston the touchdown, and gave Detroit a 15-yard penalty for its troubles. The Lions eventually ended up losing the game in overtime.
Sure we can place the blame on Smith, Schwartz, and other coaches for not knowing the rules, but the NFL really has take a long look at this and fix it. For a league that always gives lip service to "wanting to get things right," refusing to overturn a play that you know is 100% wrong is the height of hypocrisy. Penalizing a coach for brain farting is one thing, but knowingly getting a call wrong, seemingly out of spite for someone stepping on your precious review rules, is absolute stupidity. Let's hope something gets done about this, and soon.