I did believe the Force out rule was broken and for
two primary reasons. The rule required an official to be watching several
complex things at once:
1) Did two feet come down in bounds.
2) Did the Receiver gain possession of the
ball (no juggle etc) at the time of the feet being down
3) Was there a force out in which the receiver
might have likely gotten feet down.
Generally they did a decent job but it was a lot to
ask here and it probably could have remained functional there except for the
second issue which was instant replay. Here is where there were
problems. If the official ruled that he came down in bounds but it was
incorrect, replay would catch that error - all good there. If he ruled it
a catch but it was also a force out then he must choose one of those and usually
if he thinks it's a catch he cannot rule it a force out but then on instant
replay he may be found wrong on the catch and the IR is not allowed to review
the judgment call of the force out. Last year that event burned several
Removing the force out does fix this and make the
first decisin process considerably easier for the official. It has
sifnificant other effects on those sideline leaping catches - impact which will
affect each team equally and based on defensive/offensive strengths, will
probably help the Patriots more than hurt them. I don't foresee Rodney
worrying too much about the catch if he can blast the guy out of bounds. I
don't see the height mismatches for Hobbes and company being nearly as
significant under this scenario.
Moss will lose a few more catches on the sideline
and adjustments will probably bbring those a little closer into the field or
further enhance his freakish athleticism as he gets his feet down despite some
of the hits to knock him out of bounds.
Go for the pick/kncok away or for the hit to knock
him out of bounds - some interesting decisions ahead in which the DB will likely
play the ball and the safety will try to time the blast.