The NFL has made sure to work through on-field rules that have been seen as archaic and no longer applicable in the modern era. Though, the league continues to fail on several fronts. Whether it’s what seems to be offense-friendly rules or a lack of defenses actually being able to hit, this has been a major sticking point in recent years.
Heading into the new league year, the NFL Competition Committee is now looking into the possibility of changing one of the league’s longest-standing rules. According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, there’s a chance that next season could see pass interference penalties result in a standard 15-yard mark off.
NFL competition committee is discussing the possibility of limiting defensive pass interference penalties to, at most, 15 yards.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) February 27, 2018
This is the exact yardage that college football uses. Whether a PI penalty is called 20 yards or 60 yards down the field, the NCAA marks it off just 15 yards. In the NFL, it’s currently a spot penalty.
Whether this is a good idea will surely be left up for debate. One thing is clear: NFL penalties would go up a whole heck of a lot. If a defensive back realizes he’s beat over the top, he’ll simply tackle the receiver. A 15-yard penalty is much different than allowing a 60-plus yard gain. With it currently being a spot penalty, that option is pretty much off the table.
It will definitely be interesting to see what player reaction would be should this rule change happen. Though, it’s safe to say offensive-minded players wouldn’t be too excited. On the other hand, defenders would be all for it.