The Way We Penalize Pass Interference
I've long thought about the oddity of the pass interference penalty, but have considered it more in light of Saturday's game.
The defensive PI penalty is the most powerful in the game, since it could technically be a 99 yard penalty if the QB had a strong enough arm, but there seems to be no consistency to when it's called, and often the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Many times, they are game changers. Would you guys consider one of the following:
1) Two different PI calls: a 15 yard penalty for the vast majority of PI (as college does). But giving the refs the right to call a spot foul if the defender is purposely trying to impede the receiver (lets say a guy gets beat and he purposely drags him down. Think like how a basketball ref determines a flagrant foul. Obviously this gives the already suspect refs MORE leeway to decide, but the spot foul would only be used in extreme cases, and would be a deterrant to guys who purposely PI to disrupt a catch.
2) Make PI reviewable: If you can review a spot that might move the ball 5 inches for a first down, why not review a penalty that moves the ball 25 yards on a third down? Football is a fast paced game and, considering refs are only human, they are bound to make mistakes on this prohibitive, game changing penalty. Denver could have used this a few times during the last game. If Pass Interference is truly clear, like a ref will tell you, with no grey area, then it should be easier to see on replay. I would even allow it for both called and uncalled. I know human error is part of the game, but if the goal is fairness, this should be considered. Its not like it'll slow the game down any either.