The first round of this year’s NFL playoffs saw Seattle Seahawk Paul Robinson make an outstanding catch of a Russell Wilson pass in the end zone. On replay, it was clear that he was simultaneously committing a face mask penalty against Detroit Lions defender Tavon Wilson. It was possible that a flag for defensive pass interference might also have been warranted.
What’s sad is flags weren’t thrown for either situation, allowing the touchdown. NFL replay officials review all scoring plays, but can’t point out penalties that weren’t called.
Robinson’s infraction would have nullified the touchdown. Determining if the defender had committed a penalty could have led to two flags wiping each other out and causing a do-over of the play. In either event (one or two penalties), the touchdown was the last appropriate action to stand.
The Canadian Football League permits coaches to throw a “challenge flag” if they feel there was (or shouldn’t have been) pass interference, plus a number of other types of penalties. If the NFL doesn’t want to go that far, at least let scoring plays be judged for calls at the point of reception. Forget holding on the line on those plays, but at least revisit the legitimacy of the alleged scorer’s and defenders’ involvement at the area on the field are points were being awarded.