NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said that the league will take a look in the offseason at possibly using a replay review to determine pass interference

By SI Wire
January 12, 2015

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday that the league will take a look in the offseason at possibly using replay reviews to determine pass interference.

The Canadian Football League instituted a rule last year that made pass interference reviewable by replay.

Calls for changes have been talked about for years, but came to the forefront during the NFC Wild Card game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions.

In the fourth quarter of Dallas' 24-20 victory, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew fell incomplete after being defended by Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens "face-guarded" Pettigrew, never turning around to find the ball. A flag was thrown for pass interference on Hitchens, but was then picked up with no explanation.

Blandino admitted that the call and the situation was handled poorly, saying "It was a judgment call ... it was close." Blandino said at the very least Hitchens should have been called for defensive holding.

According to the league’s rule on pass interference, “the restriction on the defensive team starts when the ball leaves the passer’s hand. Both restrictions end when the ball is touched by anyone.” The penalty for defensive pass interference is a spot foul infraction, while offensive pass interference is marked off 10 yards from the previous spot.

​Through this year's Divisional Playoff games, 213 defensive pass interference penalties were called, while 104 flags were thrown for offensive pass interference.

- Scooby Axson

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