Thursday calls should bring concern over pass interference challenge
The new pass interference challenge rule is the subject of debate after two questionable decisions by NFL officials during Thursday's slate of preseason games.
Two plays during the Eagles-Jaguars and Redskins-Bengals matchups have many fans and media members alike discussing if this rule will be an issue during the 2019 season.
The result of both challenges went in the opposite direction of the "clear and obvious" guidelines set to make sure the missed call in the NFC Championship game doesn't happen again
Decision on end-zone play in Jacksonville doesn't seem to reflect "clear and obvious" philosophy
In the redzone with 5:37 left in the 3rd quarter, Eagles QB Clayton Thorson targeted WR Carlton Agudosi in the corner of the end-zone. The pass went incomplete but the Eagles felt there was enough contact from the defender to draw a pass interference call.
After review, the referees agreed and a pass interference flag was drawn. Setting up a 1st and goal for the Eagles.
The official NFL officiating Twitter account justified the overturned call using the "clear and obvious" guidelines that were set when the rule was established.
The defender clearly had Agudosi's jersey in his grip, but there seemed to be grappling deep into the end-zone by both players throughout the play.
This seemed to be the more ticky-tak decision that many feared would come even with the proposal seemingly to stop the obvious whiffs by referees.
Referees miss "clear and obvious" non-call in Washington-Cincinnati match-up
The play under review in Jacksonville was ruled clear and obvious when it didn't seem to be.
In Washington, a clear and obvious non-call ended up being a penalty despite a challenge flag thrown. On a pass down the field intended for rookie WR Kelvin Harmon, a flag was thrown for offensive pass interference when Harmon went over his defender to try and bring the ball down.
Washington challenged the penalty saying there was obvious evidence that Harmon did not commit pass interference.
Officials did not agree as the call was upheld.
The call was an obvious miss as the same play happened later in the game, and no flag was thrown.
The NFL went out of their way to establish the challenge rule having a purpose of getting obvious calls right.
Thursday's decisions are discouraging. One tough call was overturned while an obvious bad call was upheld.
Hopefully officials can get it right by the regular season. Or there could be constant debates throughout the entire year.
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