NFL Set to Review Automatic Replay Rule

If you missed yesterday’s first Thanksgiving Day football game pitting the Detroit Lions vs. the Houston Texans, you missed a thriller of a game. We saw Suh of the Lions land another one of his Thanksgiving Day cheap shots, and we were treated to nearly an entire extra quarter of play before the Texans finally won on a field goal. However, the real controversy occurred on a scoring play by Justin Forsett of the Houston Texans.

Instant replay has quickly become a major piece of technology in all sports, but it was previously only used in the NFL. Each coach was able to challenge two plays per game provided they had at least one timeout. Then, some changes were made that required officials to use instant replay following any scoring replay regardless of how certain they were that the player had solid possession and no penalties were involved.

Two years ago, following an event during the Redskins vs Giants game, the replay rules were changed once again. The Redskins fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by the Giants. Being a controversial play, the Giants, of course, rushed to the line of scrimmage in hopes to get a play off before a challenge flag was thrown. Before they were able to make the snap, however, Redskins linebacker, London Fletcher, “accidentally” kicked the ball, and he was called for a delay of game.

However, by being called for a delay of game, the Redskins then had the opportunity to throw the infamous red flag. Obviously, the Giants’ coach was not happy with the Redskins being able to allegedly intentionally commit a penalty and be rewarded with the ability to now challenge the play.

As a result, the league changed the rule to where all changes of possessions and scoring plays would be under review with the exception of two conditions. The first is that if the team is penalized, they lose their rights to an official review. The other is that if a coach throws his challenge flag when an official review is mandated anyway.

Detroit Lions’ coach, Jim Schwartz, decided to throw his challenge flag yesterday after the Texans scored an 81-yard touchdown when in reality, the player touched the ground on his own 25. As a result, the NFL is considering going back to their old set of rules, but they might add a little twist, such as a 15-yard penalty.

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