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Seahawks win on controversial call: Should Pass Interference be reviewable?

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the very best players in the NFL, but he had a hell of a time trying to cover Julio Jones, another elite player who is probably also in the top 25 among all positions. Sherman got as angry as anyone’s ever seen him after Jones scored on a long touchdown pass in the third quarter based on a blown assignment, but then also helped tipped an interception to Earl Thomas that eventually led to the Seahawks winning the game.

But many will wonder if Seattle should have won the game.

On fourth-and-ten with one final drive to try and get into field goal range, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw deep to Jones, who was unable to come down with a catch as he was defended by Sherman and Thomas. Jones almost made an incredible one-handed catch that would have setup their offense at the 35, leaving about a 52-yard field goal try if no more yards are gained. The reason he had to try and catch it with one hand was because Sherman had a good grip on his other arm.

Pretty much nobody believes that Sherman did not interfere with Julio on the play.

Even Seahawks fans are quick to point out that Jermaine Kearse probably got interfered with on a key play earlier in the game and it wasn’t called. There’s nobody saying “That wasn’t interference as we know it.” That being said, refs often establish a baseline of what is interference for a particular game, meaning that if they didn’t call something earlier, they’re going to try and make a similar call later, if they see it. They also didn’t have a good angle on this play to see Sherman holding Jones’ arm.

So should they be given the opportunity to look at it again?

As of now, pass interference, and all penalties (as far as I know) are not reviewable. Of course, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was livid with the non-call and would have loved the opportunity to throw the challenge flag. But in the rules as they are set today, Seattle won the game fair and square.

I think that it would be fair though to add pass interference as being reviewable in the future. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “judgment call” and it should be at the risk of the head coach challenging the flag that refs may not agree with what he thinks is PI and what isn’t, just like nobody knows what a catch really is. At most it slows the game down the same as any other challenge, and I don’t think you’d need to add a challenge for each team to make it work. Obviously that would not have been in the Seahawks favor at the end of the game, but perhaps it would have on the Kearse play earlier.

And then it’s a whole different ball game anyway.