Best Idea Ever: NFL Instant Replay

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30:  Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers throws a red challenge flag against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2008 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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The folks over at Captain Morgan asked us to write a post about the Best Idea Ever, or at least the best idea of the last decade or two, and NFL Instant Replay immediately jumped to mind.

Remember the NFL pre-replay? You’d be sitting at home, watching your favorite team, and lo and behold, your defense would give up a touchdown pass. But wait, did he get both of his feet in? It looked like it was close. All of a sudden, a replay would pop up and show everyone at home and in the stadium that he in fact did NOT get two feet in. The broadcast would cut back to a shot of the extra point going through the uprights as a chorus of boos rained down on the referees working the game, and you’d wonder why they don’t use that technology to get the call right instead of frustrating fans around the country.

Well, thanks to instant replay (adopted in 1999), coaches can now challenge up to three calls a game. Now, when the offense knows there’s a close call, they’ll rush to the line of scrimmage and quick run a play in the hopes of getting the snap off before the other coach can decide whether or not to pull his red flag and throw it onto the field. The coach waits to hear from his assistants in the booth to tell him whether or not it’s worth a challenge, and more often than not, it isn’t. Calls are overturned at about a 44% clip, which makes sense since the official needs to see “indisputable evidence” to overturn the call on the field.

The NFL instant replay system certainly has its flaws, however. If a coach keeps winning his challenges, why is he only allowed to make three per game? And now, with offenses more aware of how quickly they need to get up to the line of scrimmage and take the snap, it can be tough for the network broadcasting the game to get best replay up for the coaches and fans to see. Sometimes the best replay is the third or fourth shot they show, and by then it’s too late.

Still, instant replay is the best idea ever. At least when there’s an obvious mistake on the field, there’s a process in place to fix it.

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Captain Morgan NFL Thanksgiving Weekend Preview

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The Scores Report has teamed up with Captain Morgan to help preview the NFL action this Thanksgiving Day weekend! Below are five games you don’t want to miss in Week 12.

The Top 5:

1. Packers (7-3) @ Falcons (8-2), Sunday, 1:00PM ET
You won’t find a better matchup all weekend. Two of the best teams in the NFC go head to head in what should be a high-scoring affair if Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan have anything to say about it. If Rodgers has time to throw, he could pick apart a secondary that plays a bend-but-don’t-break style of defense and has been known to give up big plays this year. On the other side, the Falcons’ stout offensive line will need to figure out a way to slow Clay Matthews in order to give Ryan time to find open receivers against a Green Bay pass defense that’s giving up just 211.3 yards per game this season. Could this be a potential NFC Championship Game preview?

2. Chargers (5-5) @ Colts (6-4), Sunday, 8:20PM ET
For the third week in a row, the Sunday Night Football matchup is a doozy. Following the likes of Patriots-Steelers and Giants-Eagles, the Chargers and Colts could put on a show in Indy this weekend. After losing three straight games in the middle of October, the Chargers have won three in a row and have climbed back into the hunt in the AFC West. Now they face a Colts team that has already lost four games this year, but none of those defeats coming at home. They’re a perfect 4-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium this year and you know Peyton Manning wants to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth after throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter against the Pats last Sunday. If the Chargers beat the Colts, it could turn the AFC playoff picture on its head.

3. Eagles (7-3) @ Bears (7-3), Sunday, 4:15PM ET
Time to find out whether or not the Bears are for real. Only one of their games this year came against a team with a winning record (Packers), unless you count their victory over a depleted Dolphins team (who was 5-4 at the time) last Thursday night. The Eagles have won three in a row and five of their last six and are now regarded as the team to beat in the NFC. Chicago could certainly quiet its critics with a win on Sunday, but beating a red-hot Michael Vick won’t be easy – even at home.

4. Saints (7-3) @ Cowboys (3-7), Thursday, 4:15PM ET
Thanks to the Cowboys’ recent two-game winning streak, not all of the games on Thanksgiving Day will be duds. Dallas has looked like a completely different team the past two weeks under interim coach Jason Garrett, but they’ll face a huge test this week when a hot New Orleans comes to town looking for revenge. The ‘Boys waxed the floor with the Saints last year at the Superdome and don’t think for a second that Drew Brees and Co. have forgotten that. Jon Kitna has played well the past two weeks but the Saints’ defense has a way of frustrating young and veteran quarterbacks alike. Look for the Saints to be ultra-aggressive and punch their opponent in the mouth right out of the gates. Will the ‘Boys respond?

5. Bucs (7-3) @ Ravens (7-3), 4:15PM ET
Tampa Bay still isn’t getting much respect but a win over the Ravens in Baltimore would certainly change that. The Ravens are a perfect 4-0 at home this year, however, and might be able to cool the white-hot Josh Freeman. That said, the Bucs now have a solid offensive core in Freeman, rookies Mike Williams and LeGarrette Blount, as well as tight end Kellen Winslow. Baltimore better be prepared because Tampa has been in nearly every game this year.

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