Shades of the Tuck Rule, and a call that could change how football in the NFL is played.
Sean Payton was furious in the aftermath of the Saints’ 26-23 loss to the Rams in overtime in the NFC Championship, pointing back to the no-call heard around the world.
A blatant pass interference by Nickell Robey-Coleman late in the fourth quarter was ignored, and a pass intended for Tommylee Lewis fell incomplete. Instead of first-and-10 with a chance to ice the game before a game-winning field goal, the Saints kicked a field goal and returned the ball to the Rams — who tied it up and then won it in overtime.
“I don’t know if there was ever more obvious pass interference,” Payton, trying to restrain himself, told reporters afterward.
Payton said he had talked with the league office, who admitted the call was blown.
“It’s tough to get over it. If we were playing pickup football in the backyard … it was as obvious a call [as can be],” Payton said. “How two guys can look at that and arrive at their decision …”
It will be interesting to see whether the NFL allows instant replay on potential pass interference penalties to avoid this controversy from happening again.
It’s the second straight year the Saints’ season has ended in stunning, back-breaking fashion. Last year they were on the wrong end of the Minny Miracle, in which Stefon Diggs caught a last-ditch launch and took it to the end zone.