“The new rule that allows pass interference to be reviewed by replay was birthed by one of the worst non-calls in sports history and was created in the spirit of closing a loophole.” – Eisen
FMIA Also Features Eisen’s Thoughts on Fumbles Through the End Zone and Predictions for the 2019 Season
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 24, 2019 – In the latest edition of Peter King’s Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com, Rich Eisen, host of The Rich Eisen Show and NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning, discusses the NFL’s plan to implement instant replay procedures on pass interference plays for the upcoming season.
Eisen also shares his predictions for the 2019 season and thoughts on why the NFL’s Competition Committee needs to fix the rule that awards the football to the defense when the offense fumbles the ball out of the end zone.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
PASS INTERFERENCE AND INSTANT REPLAY
Rich Eisen: “The ending of the NFC Championship Game between the Saints and the Rams. The mother of all blown calls, leading to the mother of all course corrections: the NFL allowing pass interference to be a reviewable penalty under the auspices of instant replay in a one-year experiment.”
Eisen: “When Riveron stepped to the mic at the NFL Network gathering last week…it not only offered a remarkable glimpse of the difficult task his officials will undertake in 2019, but also how unintended consequences of the new replay wrinkle might cause occasional confusion and frequently stoke fan anger anew.”
Eisen: “The tough part will be actually making it work week in and week out, with as few bumps in the road as possible. And doing it all in front of a viewing audience that really only wants these decisions to come into the fray when something egregious like NFC Championship Game crops up. From what I witnessed at the symposium, it is not going to be easy for anyone.”
Eisen: “If every review for DPI opens up the play for review for OPI, how many of these calls will wind up with offsetting penalties? No one knows. If the methods for opening a DPI or OPI to review require on terms like ‘clear and obvious’ and ‘significant hindrance,’ won’t replay officials in different stadiums perhaps have different interpretations of the clauses? Hopefully not.”
Eisen: “The new rule that allows pass interference to be reviewed by replay was birthed by one of the worst non-calls in sports history and was created in the spirit of closing a loophole to make sure egregious miscarriages of sports justice would never happen again. The new rule was not passed to create unintended consequences and cause yet more stoppage of a brilliant live-action sport to parse crucial late-game plays.”
Eisen: “To their credit, every single NFL executive in the room admitted they understand this change might make irate fans even more so…The amount of discussion this topic has received from coaches and executives and owners and front office officials has been intense…We are in a brave new officiating world and every football man, woman and child is entering this brave, new football world together.”
FUMBLES THROUGH THE END ZONE
Eisen: “I think that next up on the Competition Committee’s hit list needs to be fixing the rule that awards the football to the defense when the offense fumbles the ball into and out of the end zone.”
Eisen: “I say a ball fumbled into and out of the end zone should remain with the offense and if you’re looking to penalize a team for it, back them up to the 20-yard line. Make it a reverse touchback. Not loss of possession.”
PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2019 SEASON
Eisen: “I think I’m going to choose the Patriots to repeat. I know those are dirty words to a lot of NFL fans. And, as if some of you aren’t outraged enough, I’m thinking about taking them to beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl 54…this is the way I’m leaning right now.”
Eisen: “My first overall pick in a fantasy draft should I be fortunate to get one is Saquon Barkley. Everyone else at the position scares me from injury (Todd Gurley) to rust (Le’Veon Bell) to vulturing (Alvin Kamara). Maybe Ezekiel Elliott would make me think twice, but Barkley would be my pick.”
Eisen: “Sony Michel is going to have a monster season for the Patriots. As in threaten-the-single-season-team rushing-record monster season…With Rob Gronkowski swearing he’s not coming back, I’m thinking New England will lean on Michel, who had 931 rushing yards in 13 games (but just eight starts) last year.”
Read the rest of the column here.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.
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