The instant replay is supposed to be something that helps teams, not harm them. But as we've seen over the past few years, the system in place today is far from perfect, and Ravens' fans know that all too well. Last season, a missed false-start call on the Jaguars at the end of regulation essentially cost the Ravens a game. Had this play have been reviewable, the outcome of the game would have been entirely different, but fair. Coach John Harbaugh believes that five games, including the one involving his team, were decided by non-reviewable calls last season.
Instances like these happen countless times in every game, where a team feels like a call on the field was missed, but they are unable to challenge it. It's why the Ravens have been aggressive proponents of league legislation that would expand what is considered a reviewable play. While Baltimore withdrew their proposal this week, which called for the expansion of what can be reviewed, a new proposal seen as a compromise has emerged.
League owners will vote this Tuesday on the league's competition committee proposal. If passed, the rule stipulates that roughly eight kinds of plays cannot be reviewed. Anything else is fair game. The passage of this proposal would be a great step towards simplifying the league rulebook, which has become too complex.
What’s happened is there have been so many rules added over the years as situations have come up, the rulebook has become cumbersome. We’re addressing that."
Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s rule-making competition committee
Currently, about 30 kinds of plays are allowed to be reviewed. Should the new proposal pass, the rulebook would be turned upside down, instead dictating what can't be looked at a second time. Things that still won't be able to reviewed include pass interference, holding, illegal contact and other infractions, so the game is still subjective to a significant degree.
If the proposal is put into play, you can thank the Ravens for the reform. Said McKay, "I give coach (John) Harbaugh a lot of credit."