NFL May Make Major Change To Pass Interference Rule
Currently, the rule is that the offensive team gets the ball at the spot of the foul. That may not be the outcome by kickoff of the 2018 season.
It's being reported that the NFL Competition Committee is looking at a few rules that are currently in place.
One of them isn't a rule per se, but it seems that there's never been a defined rule of what is or isn't a catch. That's always seemingly left up to the officials in a game by game, or even play by play position. This is something that the committee is looking into.
One major rule that is being looked at is defensive pass interference. There are quite a few rules that separate NCAA and NFL football. Like, as soon as a player down, the play is over, even without contact from the defense. Another is the defensive pass interference penalty. When that penalty is called, the most the offense can gain is 15 yards and a new set of downs. It seems that the committee may look to insert that ruling into the NFL.
This could be a game changer for a lot of teams. It may result in a new game plan in defending the pass. What's to stop them from commit a penalty way down field knowing it's only going to cost them 15 yards instead of a touchdown or at the least, the offense getting the ball at the spot of the foul.
As you can see above, though, they're also looking at illegal contact closer to the line of scrimmage, which could allow a receiver to break away from a defender to be open for those long passes.
The average distance for pass interference calls in the NFL in the 2017 season was only 18 yards. So this may not be THAT big of a difference.