There were a couple of very important games played on Sunday in the National Football League. These games decided who were conference champions. The New Orleans Saints versus the Los Angeles Rams was one of them. It was a great game that left many people talking. The game went into overtime, but should it have?
The answer, everyone believes, is no.
Picture this, Drew Brees drops back looks right and sees an open TommyLee Lewis. He throws the ball to him until BAM, Nickell Robey-Coleman, levels him.
Not uncommon, however, there was no flag on the play as the ball hit the ground. Every announcer, fan, coach and player waited for the flag, but it didn’t come. The shock and awe went through every player. Consequently, the Saints kick a field goal to take the lead, only to have the Rams march down the field and do the same. The rest is history.
New Orleans, We Have A Problem
In almost every game, there is bound to be a missed call or two. These calls can come from a biased fan or fan base, a wide receiver begging for a flag, or the announcer speculating on the call. The number of missed calls usually do not affect games too much, but on this big of a stage it is difficult to overlook. How can this be fixed?
There are a few options to consider. The first option is relatively simple. All calls are reviewed from New York and the referees wear ear pieces.
Since 2017, New York has consulted the lead referee at the game and received input from this individual, but the call has come from New York. Instead of having to review the play, a group of individuals can make decisions as the games are played.
The second option is allowing coaches to challenge a call twice a game in reference to just foul calls. With a third challenge being allowed, if one of the calls is changed similar to the challenges already in place.
The final option is the best. An additional referee would be added to the game. This individual is able to review each play as it happens on the sideline via a tablet or laptop.
This referee will be in direct contact with New York. This individual will be a real line coach to the referees and when a blatant missed call that affects the game, he or she can throw a flag before the next play happens. This should speed up the game and allow for the review process to be expedited.
While these ideas are different, there are so many changes that need to happen.
These changes help prevent injury and speed up the game. Some of these changes are extreme, but the NFL needs these changes not some post game meaningless apology after a bad call.
With all the technological advances in today’s world, it’s hard to see the NFL not making a change sooner or later.