NFL Penalties and What Needs To Be Done

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Alright, we have all said it during many games. Where is the flag? What kind of call was that? What do you mean those are penalties? Being an NFL ref isn’t the easiest job in the world,  sure. However, any job you take, you should endeavor to do it to the best of your ability. That being said, NFL penalties, or lack thereof, need addressing.

NFL Penalties Need Addressing

Should Non-Call Penalties Be Reviewable?

We are all aware, they don’t want games to run too long for a variety of reasons. Most of which have little to do with the game and most to do with programming schedules. Beyond that, some obviously blatant missed calls really need a way to be reversed. A prime example being the no-call on New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. There were two clear paths that could have been called on defender Los Angeles Rams Nickell Robey-Coleman. If you didn’t call the obvious pass-interference, a leading with helmet or helmet to helmet infraction also could have been called.

Ultimately, this could be blamed for the Saints losing the game. Of course, nothing is certain as anything could have happened. However, it would have given the Saints a new set of downs inside the five-yard line. Odds are very good that they could have scored more than a field goal and won. If this one play was reviewable, it most certainly would have changed the tide of the game.

How Would It Be Regulated?

In every game, the coaches have two challenges they can use at their disposal to overturn play calls. When the coaches see on the replay they should be able to have one or two separate challenges to tell the NFL refs what they think should have been called and the NFL refs should be able to call the penalty that should have happened. Saints coach Sean Payton was rightly furious as the replay was being shown but he had no recourse.

Odds are also good that tomorrow we will hear from the high ranking officials in the NFL that there was indeed an error in the game and a penalty should have been called. This would not be the first time, and from what it seems will not be the last time. It is little comfort to hear the next morning that indeed your team was basically robbed. In fact, it makes the anger and hurt even more because too many of these mistakes from the NFL refs are costing teams games. And football is a hard enough game without having to fight bad calls.

Last Word

Especially in playoff games, you would think only the best of the NFL refs would be involved. Of course, even the best people can make mistakes, and there needs to be a way to correct those mistakes when penalties aren’t called. One that is reoccurring this much has to be addressed before too many games are altered by bad plays and if nothing else. The NFL needs to protect its business and so many bad calls can hurt their bottom line by people getting tired of watching.

Perhaps also, some extra training should be given in the month or so leading up to preseason. As almost every year there are new rules that must be learned. So much so that one play will get called in one game and the exact same play will be called differently in another. There needs to be an improvement for the sake of the game.

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