NFL Pass Interference Debate Rumbles On After Controversial Call In Packers Vs Eagles Game
The NFL's pass interference rule was in the spotlight again on Thursday night after a dubious decision in Green Bay's loss to Philadelphia.
Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox was adjudged not to have impeded Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling early in the third quarter, much to Green Bay's fury.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur challenged the ruling on the field from the officials, but the call of no pass interference against Philadelphia stood.
"In #PHIvsGB, Green Bay challenged for pass interference. After review, there was no clear and obvious evidence that Philadelphia #29 significantly hindered the opponent." - AL pic.twitter.com/Loc0LJp90q- NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) September 27, 2019
Pass interference has been the subject of debate ever since Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman collided with New Orleans Saints' Tommylee Lewis in the NFC Championship Game last season.
The Rams defender escaped what looked like the most blatant pass interference ever and that sent his team to the Super Bowl at the Saints' expense.
This year the NFL changed their rules to allow pass interference to be reviewed by coaches if they think a mistake was made on the field as a result of that controversy in the New Orleans Superdome.
But even the replay system didn't come to Green Bay's aid on Thursday night as officials found there was "no clear and obvious evidence" to overturn the decision.
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Speaking on FOX Sports, former American football referee and NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said there was enough contact from Maddox for the call to be overturned after review.
He said: "I think there is (enough contact). He's (Maddox) not playing the ball, plays into his body and significantly hinders his (Valdes-Scantling) ability to make the catch."
Former NFL quarterback Troy Aikman said on commentary: "I do believe it was pass interference. The question now becomes is whether or not they're going to change the call and that's where it's hard. Everybody watching that will say it was (pass interference). It's certainly frustrating for Matt LaFleur."
The play came on 3rd down and 7 with the Green Bay Packers trailing 21-20 early in the second half.
Green Bay were forced to punt, and went on to fall to a 34-27 defeat at Lambeau Field.
Jordan Howard scored three touchdowns while Philadelphia's defence twice made goal-line stands as they inflicted the Packers' first loss of the season.
"I really don't know what pass interference is anymore," Packers head coach LaFleur said. "I'll just leave it at that."