The 2021 NFL season begins tonight as the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys. But while it will be a special night for the defending champion Bucs, it will also be a historic day for the NFL overall.
According to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, tonight’s game will feature the first test of the NFL’s revised instant replay system. This system features additional camera angles and more calls that can be changed without coaches’ challenges, for starters
Communication with league officials will also be changed. NFL referee Walt Anderson will have final say over all calls on the field from the league’s post in New York. Anderson replaces longtime Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron, who retired at the end of last season.
It’s pretty significant given that NFL officials have not always had review access to the same cameras fans often get at home. This should provide for more accurate calls on the field after review.
Tonight’s #Cowboys–#Bucs opener marks the first test of the NFL’s revised instant replay system: More camera angles, more calls that can be changed without a challenge, and new leadership in New York, where longtime NFL referee Walt Anderson has final say. @nflnetwork @gmfb pic.twitter.com/wXLvVhUosx
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 9, 2021
NFL replays have been the source of controversy for years now. Though few non-reviewed moments were more controversial than the 2018 NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, when a blatant pass interference call was not made and not reviewed.
The NFL has taken steps to mitigate those kinds of mistakes happening in the future. But there’s still work to be done.
We’ll see the fruits of the NFL’s labor tonight as the Bucs take on the Cowboys.