Report: NFL might consider allowing reviews of pass interference after Saints fiasco

It won’t help the New Orleans Saints feel better, but a report Monday said the NFL could consider making pass interference a reviewable play.

The NFL, constantly reactive instead of proactive, apparently is going to look into changing the challenge rules after the Saints were robbed in Sunday’s NFC championship game. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman blasted Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis on a key third down late in Sunday’s game, no call was made, allowing the Rams time to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime. Nobody, not even Robey-Coleman, believes it wasn’t interference. The officials screwed up.

The NFL hadn’t said anything publicly about perhaps the biggest officiating controversy in its history on Monday, but a source did manage to tell Mark Maske of the Washington Post that “NFL leaders and the league’s rulemaking competition committee” plan to consider making pass interference calls subject to challenges and replay review.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) kicks the game winning field goal during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints' Ted Ginn catches a pass in front of Los Angeles Rams' Lamarcus Joyner during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton (58) and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks (95) celebrate after the game during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks to throw the ball during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) runs the ball for a gain during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs the ball during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to throw the ball during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks to throw the ball during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws the ball down field during the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay after the NFC Championship Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints on January 20, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: John Johnson #43 of the Los Angeles Rams intercepts a pass in overtime against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints shakes hands with Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams at the start of overtime in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates with Andrew Whitworth #77 after defeating the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints with a score of 26 to 23. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
El wide receiver Ted Ginn (19), de los Saints de Nueva Orleáns, se queda con el balón ante el free safety Lamarcus Joyner, de los Rams de Los Ángeles, en el partido por el campeonato de la Conferencia Nacional de la NFL, el domingo 20 de enero de 2019, en Nueva Orleáns. (AP Foto/Gerald Herbert)
Los Angeles Rams players celebrate after overtime of the NFL football NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas during the second half the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Los Angeles Rams' JoJo Natson tries to get past New Orleans Saints' Vonn Bell during the first half the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis (11) works for a coach against Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman (23) during the second half the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. The Rams won 26-23. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Too little, too late to avoid a controversy that will help define the entire 2018-19 NFL season. But perhaps another ridiculous situation could be avoided in the future.

Bill Belichick has called for reviews of everything

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has long said coaches should be able to challenge any call, which makes the NFL’s inaction until Sunday’s horrendous non-call even more egregious.

Belichick’s philosophy has been that all calls should be reviewable. Coaches wouldn’t get more challenges than the two they have already, with a third if the first two are successful. But anything would be fair game. It makes sense.

“When you have two challenges, I don’t see anything wrong with the concept of, ‘You can challenge any two plays you want,’” Belichick said in 2013, according to the Sporting News. “I understand that judgment calls are judgment calls, but to say that an important play can’t be reviewed, I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of trying to get everything right and making sure the most important plays are officiated properly.”

Belichick is one of the smartest people in the NFL, and it might take more than five years for the league to listen to one of his best ideas.

CFL allows pass interference to be reviewed

The Canadian Football League has allowed challenges of pass interference for years. As Lindsay Jones wrote for USA Today in 2016, the league’s officials felt it helped protect the integrity of the game. Which is common sense, except to the NFL, which usually needs something horrible to happen to take action.

Sunday’s result probably would have flipped, rightfully, had Saints coach Sean Payton been allowed to challenge the non-call. It was obviously a blown call, and the NFL admitted as much to Payton after the game. It could have been corrected. Had the Saints gotten that call, they’d have been kicking a short field goal as time expired for the win. Instead, they just get a “sorry” from the league and have to watch the Rams play in Super Bowl LIII.

Oh, but the Saints might get a rule change out of it too. That depends on the NFL following through and three-quarters of the teams agreeing to the rule change, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that the NFL isn’t great in thinking ahead on these issues.

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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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