The NFL owners voted to allow the Competition Committee to tweak the replay process for late-game offensive and defensive pass interference calls.
The NFL owners have voted to give the Competition Committee the power to alter the replay process for both offensive and defensive pass interference inside the last two and a half minutes of a game, sources told the MMQB's Albert Breer.
This move could become part of a coaches challenge system throughout the game. It will be further discussed when the league's head of officiating, Al Riveron, speaks with coaches on June 4th and 5th. The competition committee is expected to make a decision on OPI/DPI reviews after hearing coaches feedback.
Reports surfaced last week that changes could already be coming to the newly installed review rule for pass interference penalties, as NFL owners looked at a proposal allowing the Competition Committee to possibly change the rule without the owners' vote. The committee was reportedly looking at letting coaches challenge any pass interference call or non-call in the game, but it was not expected to gain any traction.
In March, a new rule was approved that allows offensive and defensive pass interference calls and non-calls to be subject to review except for the final two minutes of each half, during which officials in the booth would have to initiate the review. The major change stemmed from a blatant missed call in the NFC championship game that came with under two minutes left in the game. With the Saints facing third-and-10 on the Rams' 13-yard line, quarterback Drew Brees threw an incomplete pass to Tommylee Lewis. The Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman broke up the pass but appeared to make contact with Lewis well before the pass came.
Without what should've been a penalty against Los Angeles, the Rams got the ball back, kicked a game-tying field goal before beating the Saints 26–23 in overtime. Although no flag was thrown on the play, Robey-Coleman was fined over $26,000 a helmet-to-helmet hit on Lewis.
The Rams won the game in overtime, advancing to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City’s proposal to allow both teams a possession during overtime was not voted on by owners as it did not have enough support, per Breer.