The NFL world was watching the Houston Texans face the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day this year and saw one of the most ridiculous rules in the league on display. RB Justin Forsett took a handoff from QB Matt Schaub and ran up the middle for seven yards. He was hit by a Lions defender spun to the ground with his elbow and knee touching. Not hearing a whistle, Forsett jumped back up and went 81 yards to the endzone. No big deal, Forsett was down. All scoring plays are reviewed, it’s coming back. Not so fast.
In the heat of the moment, knowing that Forsett was down before he ran into the endzone, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz threw his challenge flag. Schwartz threw his flag before the officials had reviewed the apparent touchdown. Not a big deal, right? Wrong.
The NFL does not allow coaches to challenge scoring plays. The team is then subsequently hit with a 15-yard penalty and then the scoring play is not reviewed. What? I have no problem with the 15-yard penalty but to not review the play altogether? That is simply ridiculous.
The NFL needs to abolish this rule. Right now, don’t wait until the competition committee sits down in a meeting room at the Ritz Carlton in the offseason. Right now.
Prior to that touchdown run, the Lions held a 10-point lead. Had that score not counted, perhaps the outcome would have been vastly different. I am not a Lions or Texans fan, just a fan of the game. Could you imagine if this had been a playoff game? Or if a play similar to this was the final play of a playoff game and a clear non-touchdown was not allowed to be reviewed because a coach on the sidelines had thrown a challenge flag?
This has been an embarrassing year for the NFL. Bounty-gate, concussion lawsuits, a referee lockout with replacement officials being used. This is a ridiculous rule which should be abolished immediately. Roger Goodell could schedule a conference call of the competition committee on Tuesday morning and the rule could be changed prior to the kickoff of Thursday night’s game. End of story.
Filed under: NFL