Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman (23) breaks up a pass intended for Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis (11). The NFL later admitted there should've been defensive pass interference on the play.

Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports

Bernstein: NFL Could Review Pass Interference

The outcry from the Rams' win against the Saints could lead to change.

Dan Bernstein
January 21, 2019 - 1:01 pm
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(670 The Score) An obvious injustice perpetrated in front of the eyes of millions of viewers has had another tangible effect, with the NFL already considering the idea of reviewing pass interference calls.

This is a day after Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman torpedoed Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis with a helmet-to-helmet shot well before the ball arrived, an egregious non-call that would have given New Orleans a chance to bleed the clock down for a chance at a game-winning chip shot field in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. The furious aftermath that ensued included a near-immediate mea culpa from league officials and seething disgust across the Crescent City.

NFL leaders and the league's rulemaking competition committee will consider using replay reviews and/or the challenge system to assess such critical moments in games, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported, and now we play out various scenarios for how it all could work, assuming there's a formal proposal that's subsequently adopted as a rule by a vote of three-quarters of teams.

So onto the slippery slope we tiptoe once again, certain only of unknown unknowns and unintended consequences and that no good deed will go unpunished.

One easy option would be to simply allow the judgment call to be part of the current challenge system, and a coach could decide for himself on the significance of the outcome meriting a red flag and another look from all available angles. As long as it's a spot foul, we'll have potentially flipped fields to consider, along with end zone calls that could mean the ball on the 1-yard line.

Another possibility would be an official reviewing all contested passing plays concurrently with those working the field and buzzing down when something is perceived to be missed. It would be possible to merge both, too, with the latter being used automatically for agreed upon times, such as the final two minutes of a game.

This could open longstanding calls for everything in an NFL game to be reviewable, igniting the usual response from those brandishing the "holding can be flagged on every play" argument as reason not do do it. But as long as both challenges and automatic review remain limited, concerns of endless in-game legal battles and Zapruder film breakdowns would seem overblown.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been among those advocating for full reviewability for some time now, asking that he and his counterparts be entrusted with the responsibility of managing their challenge resources, clearly feeling that he and his communications infrastructure could have yet another advantage over opponents in that regard.

At the moment, I see more upside than not for the NFL in letting him have that chance. The league should keep trying to stop being horribly wrong and appreciate anybody willing to help.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​