NFL Admits They Got the Offensive Pass Interference Call Wrong


If it’s one play that completely changed the St. Louis Rams’ game against the San Francisco 49ers, it was a a 21-yard reception to Jared Cook that was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty. The reception would have put the Rams at the 49ers 25-yard line near the end of the first half and the Rams assumably would have at least gotten a field goal out of the drive.

Instead, the pass interference put the Rams back at the 44-yard line and were forced to punt. Just a few plays later Colin Kaepernick hit Brandon Lloyd for an 80-yard touchdown receptions to make the score 14-10. Although the Rams were still ahead, you just knew the tides were about to turn.

"“Well, it would have been different.” said Jeff Fisher.  “If that penalty’s not called, there’s points. I would assume we were going to get some points. We’re well within field goal range, we got a first down – and those will happen -so it’s three or seven (points) you would assume that the chain of events are probably significantly different at the end of the half as far as they were concerned.”"

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Every week on NFL Network the VP of NFL Officiating Dean Blandino reviews a few controversial plays in the NFL every week. This week he took a look at the offensive pass interference on Cook and had this to say:

"“From the back judge’s perspective, the official that threw the flag, he’s got Cook extending his arms into the defender, and in his judgement, pushing off to create separation. That’s not the case when you look at the sideline angle, he’s(Cook) going to get jammed by the defender and he’s going to use his hands to get that release. That’s legal, thats not offensive pass interference. Not a correct call.”"

Blandino then goes into some correct examples of offensive pass interference. You can watch the video here.

It seems like at least once per game the Rams are getting hurt by poor calls by the officiating crew and this is coming just weeks after the NFL admitted a mistake on the Eugene Sims roughing the passer call against the Dallas Cowboys.

At the end of the day, this play didn’t decide the game, but things could have been different if the Rams had been ahead 17-3 or even 21-3 going into the half.