The challenge rules came into question on Thursday for Lions coach Jim Schwartz.
If you missed Thanksgiving Day football then you missed one of the dumbest rules in the NFL enforced.
The rule: Since all scoring plays and turnovers are reviewed, if a coach throws his challenge flag on the field to review a scoring play or turnover, the coach is penalized AND the play will not be reviewed.
This came up last week in a Falcons game but that wasn't on national TV when all NFL fans were watching one game, so it got a lot more attention in the Texans-Lions Thanksgiving Day game when Jim Schwartz was flagged for it. To make matters worse, it came on a truly terrible call that the refs got wrong to begin with. And then the Texans won the game. So, it was bad.
You can blame the league for having a stupid rule but you also need to blame Jim Schwartz because he's the head coach and he should know the rules.
KC Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel was asked about that play on Friday and he said they're warned about that particular mistake.
"[The referees] come into the locker room before the game, and they talk about, ‘You have the flag, Coach.' And I say, ‘yes.' They say, ‘well make sure you hold onto it during scoring plays and turnovers.' The league, they made a big emphasis on that. The officials, when they come in the offseason, they talk to you about that and that this is going to be the change. Turnovers, we're going to review turnovers, and we're going to review scoring plays, so keep the flag in your pocket."
The point of the rule is so that a coach can't throw a challenge flag in unchallengeable situations for strategic purposes -- basically to buy a little time. But the NFL admitted that it may be a little "too harsh" of a rule.