Everyone knew it, except the refs.
And that everyone includes the offender.
Nickell Robey-Coleman, the Rams cornerback back who committed the egregious pass interference that was not called in the closing minutes of Los Angeles’ stunning 26-23 comeback win in the NFC Championship, admitted a flag should have been thrown.
If the penalty were called, New Orleans almost certainly would have milked down the clock and set itself up for a game-ending field goal. Instead, the Rams got the ball back, got a game-tying field goal and then got a game-winning one in overtime.
A Washington Post reporter showed the replay to Robey-Coleman, who did not get cute.
“Oh, hell yeah,” he told reporters. “That was [pass interference].”
With Tommylee Lewis running free for the pass from Drew Brees, Robey-Coleman quickly measured the pros and cons of a potential interference. He decided a flag would have been preferred to the alternative. (And a no-call would have been, and was, best.)
“I got there too early. I was beat, and I was trying to save the touchdown,” he said, via Sports Illustrated.
It will be among the most discussed calls — or, in this case, no-calls — in NFL history. And it’s also one of the smartest fouls you can make.